Delving into the past, looking to the future

05 Jul 2018

As he begins his new role, RPS Chief Executive James Murphy delves into the Society’s past to find inspiration for its future (via Classical Music Magazine).

"As a Classical Music reader, you’ll surely know about the Royal Philharmonic Society.

You’ll know about its annual music awards which set a vital benchmark sector-wide for excellence and innovation. You’ll know of its gold medal, presented to inspirational icons like Jessye Norman most recently, and countless luminaries past from Brahms, Elgar and Shostakovich to Hess, Ferrier and Menuhin. You’ll likely know it champions exceptional young artists bound to join such ranks in years to come, giving them the helping hand they need to find their voice and make their mark. You’ll know its illustrious record for commissioning music too, including a certain choral symphony by one Ludwig van Beethoven 194 years ago.

But that’s only part of the story. As I prepare to take the reins of this extraordinary organisation in July, asking where we might take it in future, I felt it essential to cast myself back to its very beginning, and learn how it all started."

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Claire-Louise Auguste, flautist at Trinity Laban: enjoying playing her new flute purchased with assistance from the RPS Sir John Barbirolli memorial Fund.


The Philharmonic Society was founded by professional musicians in 1813 to perform publicly ‘in the most perfect manner possible, the best and most approved music'.