Jane Mitchell wins the RPS ABO Salomon Prize

09 Sep 2020

Jane Mitchell, Principal Flute and Creative Director of Aurora Orchestra, has been announced as the winner of the RPS ABO Salomon Prize for orchestral musicians.

Orchestral musicians are extraordinary. They dedicate years to perfecting their craft. They perform centuries of repertoire with fluency and verve. Their usual schedules are as physically intensive as Olympic athletes. Their performances onstage are just part of what they do, most devoting themselves to teaching and – as we have palpably seen this year in their online offerings during lockdown – inspiring others in countless settings.

Annually, the Royal Philharmonic Society and Association of British Orchestras unite to present the Salomon Prize, the only award presented to orchestral musicians working in Britain. Each recipient has not only shone musically but made a remarkable contribution to the life of their orchestra, its audience and community.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s winner is Jane Mitchell, Principal Flute and Creative Director of Aurora Orchestra.

The awarding panel, which comprises leading figures working in classical music, says:

‘Jane Mitchell is a distinct creative force and catalyst at the heart of Aurora Orchestra’s programming, presentation and performance. She continually pushes the boundaries of the orchestra’s work, developing a fresh artistic blueprint which has transformed the expectations of audiences and players, all the while sustaining the highest musical quality. Particularly through her curation of Aurora’s strand for young people, Far Far Away, as well as their Orchestral Theatre series – including last summer’s immersive and thrillingly theatrical accounts of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique – Jane has achieved remarkable feats and created wildly innovative and imaginative ways of experiencing classical music. The respect and support she has from her colleagues is evident in their nomination, which said “Much of Jane’s work happens unheralded behind the scenes. Though Jane is never someone to seek out the limelight, her commitment, drive and creativity have made Aurora the orchestra it is today.”’

The Salomon Prize was presented onstage to Jane at Saffron Hall in Essex on 9 September 2020, in one of the orchestra’s first live performances since lockdown began.

In considering entries for the prize from across the UK, the panel also wishes to make special commendation of Katherine Wren, viola player with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Alongside her active involvement in all aspects of orchestral life, Katherine lately devised and delivered Nordic Viola, a project designed both to create and share music with people in remote reaches of the North Atlantic – a fulfilling new experience for players that has forged lasting links with these communities. The panel says ‘the positive energy and passionate curiosity Katherine brings to the orchestra is inspirational and engaging to all who know and work with her; as one colleague puts it, “She inspires just by being herself.”’

The Salomon Prize is named after one of the founders of the RPS, violinist Johann Peter Salomon (1745 – 1815) who did much to enrich the impact and spirit of classical music in Britain. Click here for details of all previous recipients since the Prize was introduced in 2012. The RPS and ABO will be welcoming professional UK orchestras to put forward nominees from among their ranks for the next Salomon Prize later this year, and will be particularly welcoming nominations for those who have achieved remarkable feats and kept the spirit of their respective ensembles alive during lockdown.

The 2020 Salomon Prize is kindly supported by musicalchairs, the world’s leading online recruitment resource for classical music professionals and students.