Music Past - Present - Future
The iconic RPS Bust of Beethoven is a symbol of musical excellence, creativity and support for the living composer. Beethoven's image is also engraved on our highest honour for musicians - theGold Medal.
Beethoven's music featured from the first Philharmonic Society concert in 1813 and the Society went on to give many premieres of his works as well as commissioning the Ninth Symphony. Two years later, when the Society learnt that Beethoven was both ill and much in need of money, the Directors decided that a sum of £100 should be sent to him “to be applied to his comforts and necessities”.
The bust was given to the Society in gratitude for the help we gave to Beethoven in his lifetime. It has traditionally stood on the platform at every RPS concert since 1871, and can still be seen at RPS events today as we continue to support the finest performers and most creative living composers.
To celebrate our 200th Birthday we sent Beethoven Bust out on to the streets of London:
Joseph Straker, double bassist studying at the Guildhall School: likes classical, jazz and salsa and the RPS Sir John Barbirolli Foundation which helped buy his new bass.
DID YOU KNOW?
An early member of the Society, who played in our first season in 1813, was the Afro-European violinist George Polgreen Bridgetower (1778-1860) – the original dedicatee of Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata.