Clockwise from top left: conductor Alice Farnham, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival’s Chornobyldorf, soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, sitar player Jasdeep Singh Degun, accordion player Ryan Corbett

2024 RPS Awards shortlists announced

30 Jan 2024

We are delighted to announce the shortlists for this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and invite you to join us for the event on 5 March, with tickets from only £10.

Billed by The Sunday Times as 'the biggest night in UK classical music’, the RPS Awards shine a light on brilliant musical individuals, groups and initiatives inspiring communities across the UK. From star soloists, to heroic amateur musicians, the RPS Awards tell a vibrant, vital and uplifting story about classical music’s resonance, impact and reach.

For the very first time, the RPS Awards will be presented out of London, taking place in Manchester: a city that resounds with musical creativity and is home to two of last year’s RPS Award-winners, Manchester Collective and Manchester Camerata. The RPS Awards will take place at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) on Tuesday 5 March – with all tickets priced only £10 to £25 so music-lovers can come and be part of the experience. Click here to find out more about the event and to book tickets.

  • Nominees collectively illustrate the strength and vibrancy of music-making nationwide, with Scottish nominees including Drake Music Scotland, Glasgow Madrigirls, tenor Nicky Spence and accordion player Ryan Corbett; Manchester-based nominations for Manchester Classical, Olympias Music Foundation and LGBTQ+ choir The Sunday Boys, plus nominations for Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Aldeburgh Festival, Derbyshire’s Derwent Brass, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
  • Among the big names nominated this year are tenor Nicky Spence, soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, trumpeter Aaron Azunda Akugbo, and conductor François-Xavier Roth, all of whom made a big impression wowing the crowds at 2023’s BBC Proms.
  • Composer Kaija Saariaho, an icon of contemporary music who sadly died in 2023, is recognised in two categories for her opera Innocence: for Large-Scale Composition, and in the Opera and Music Theatre category for its UK premiere at The Royal Opera.
  • Of the 19 individual performers and composers shortlisted, 42% represent the global majority, including cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Music Director of Birmingham Opera Company Alpesh Chauhan, and sitar player Jasdeep Singh Degun. A number of the nominated organisations also celebrate diversity including Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective and Olympias Music Foundation.
  • Disabled artists are celebrated, with nominations for composer Ben Lunn’s History needs…, written for left-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy, and Call of the Mountains by Clare Johnston and Drake Music Scotland, dedicated to enabling disabled musicians to fulfil their potential.
  • The UK’s constellation of amateur groups is also recognised with the Inspiration Award, the winner of which is decided by public vote from a shortlist comprising Derwent Brass, Glasgow Madrigirls, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and The Sunday Boys. You can discover more about the nominees in this category and cast your vote here on our website by 10am on Friday 2 February.
  • Much in the news, the BBC Singers are nominated for the Ensemble Award, while the BBC receives further nods in the Storytelling category for BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week and BBC Radio 4’s Eastern Classical.

The event, which will feature performances from some of this year’s nominees, is hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters Elizabeth Alker and Linton Stephens with trophies presented by RPS Chairman John Gilhooly.

It will be filmed to watch on the RPS website from 12 March, and BBC Radio 3 will present a special broadcast featuring music of the winners and nominees at 7.30pm on Wednesday 6 March.

RPS Chief Executive James Murphy says ‘Given the truly national story they represent, we’re so pleased to be taking the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards out of the capital for the very first time. We’ll be venturing elsewhere in years to come, and back to London of course, but this year Manchester is the ideal destination. With big wins last year for Manchester Collective and Manchester Camerata, and nominations this year for local heroes The Sunday Boys, Manchester Classical, and Olympias Music Foundation, classical music pulses through the city’s veins. We’ve received such a wonderful welcome from our hosts at the Royal Northern College of Music, and – with tickets from just £10 – we invite Greater Manchester’s music-lovers to come and join in the festivities.’

The RPS Awards can only happen thanks to a range of dedicated supporters. The RPS is especially grateful to this year’s Principal SupportersBBC Radio 3, ABRSM, Lark Music, PRS for Music, Yamaha, and BBC Music Magazine – and those who support individual awards as detailed below.

Chamber-Scale Composition

supported by Boosey & Hawkes in memory of Tony Fell
Ben Lunn
History needs…
Laurence Osborn
Nilufar Habibian
Az nahāyate tāriki (From the deep end of darkness)


supported by Schott Music
Alice Farnham
Alpesh Chauhan
François-Xavier Roth


supported by Steinberg’s Dorico

BBC Singers
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective
Riot Ensemble


supported by Oxford University Press Music

Call of the Mountains – Clare Johnston and Drake Music Scotland
Re:Sound – Streetwise Opera
Music in Secondary Schools Trust
Olympias Music Foundation


supported by Presto Music

Derwent Brass
Glasgow Madrigirls
Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus
The Sunday Boys


supported by ISM, the Independent Society of Musicians

Ayanna Witter-Johnson
Jasdeep Singh Degun
Pavel Kolesnikov

Large-Scale Composition

supported by the Boltini Trust

Cassandra Miller
I cannot love without trembling
Jasdeep Singh Degun
Kaija Saariaho
Noriko Koide
Swaddling Silk and Gossamer Rain

Opera and Music Theatre

supported by Wise Music Group

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Dialogues des Carmélites
Glyndebourne Opera
The Royal Opera

Series and Events

supported by Warner Classics

Aldeburgh Festival
Manchester Classical
Oratorio of Hope – London Borough of Croydon


supported by Jenny Hodgson

Alice Zawadzki v
ocalist, songwriter
Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha
Nicky Spence


supported by Martin Randall Travel

Composer of the Week – BBC Radio 3
Eastern Classical – BBC Radio 4
Quartet – Leah Broad

Young Artist

supported by Sir Simon and Victoria, Lady Robey CBE

Aaron Azunda Akugbo
Lotte Betts-Dean
mezzo soprano
Ryan Corbett

Follow all the #RPSAwards news @RoyalPhilSoc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If you are a member of the press and would like further information about the RPS Awards, please contact Maddie Castell at Rebecca Driver Media Relations.