RPS Music Awards Shortlist Announced

12 Apr 2018

Opera, composers, singers, conductors, instrumentalists, ensembles … and virtual reality! The shortlisted nominations for the RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, have been announced.

Over 50 musicians, ensembles and organisations nationwide are in contention for this year’s awards, which celebrate outstanding music making in 2017.  The shortlists reveal a kaleidoscope of musical talent, invention and imagination, whether in the concert hall or on the opera stage, in the community or online, in written word, film or for the first time, via virtual reality. From nearly 400 nominations in 13 categories, the 65 independent, expert jurors have chosen this year's shortlisted nominations.

Amongst shortlisted ensembles and organisations are London Symphony Orchestra, The Sixteen, Spitalfields Music, Sir John Eliot Gardiner/the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras, Southbank Sinfonia, PRS Foundation, Orchestras Live, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Operasonic, Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Opera House. 

Virtual reality features on RPS Music Awards shortlists for the first time, in the shape of Welsh National Opera’s Magic Butterfly, a reinterpretation of Madam Butterfly and The Magic Flute. There are strong showings for Scotland with the Dunedin Consort (which recently faced closure after a threatened funding cut) and Scottish Ensemble.

Those receiving double shortlisted nominations include: 26-year-old Scottish guitarist, Sean Shibe (RPS Music Award for Instrumentalist and for Young Artists), and Scottish Opera, for Pelléas and Mélisande and for two projects: the groundbreaking BambinO, a new opera for 6-18 month old babies, and Memory Spinners, a weekly project for people living with dementia.

John Gilhooly, Royal Philharmonic Society Chairman comments:

“The musical ambition and talent on display in these shortlists is extraordinary.  Professional musicians are exploring music – new and old, often side-by-side – with a fierce dynamism and breathless virtuosity, and amateur music-makers are creating works that draw on the landscape and legends of their own communities to create original, high-quality music. And it’s very noticeable that this is not happening in isolation – there’s exciting collaboration across art forms, and a dialogue between young musicians and their distinguished counterparts that is good for music today, and bodes very well for the future.  

Several of the shortlisted events have been created to engage audiences who can feel culturally disenfranchised, whether through disability, age or geography.  For those who are yet to discover the joys of live music making, whether as an audience member or as a participant, I hope that these shortlists highlight the variety and excellence of live classical music in the UK.  And I hope that they act as a clarion call to funders and supporters to continue to back the musicians and organisations that make the UK music scene the envy of the world.”

The RPS Music Awards are independent and peer-judged. Winners will be announced at The Brewery on 9 May 2018, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Monday 14 May at 7.30pm.

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