Sarah Connolly receives Honorary Membership

16 Sep 2020

The much-loved mezzo soprano Dame Sarah Connolly has been made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in recognition of her outstanding services to music.

Honorary Membership was presented to Dame Sarah by John Gilhooly OBE, Chair of the RPS and Director of the Wigmore Hall, live on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday 16 September 2020, as she returned to the venue to perform with pianist Malcolm Martineau in its new Autumn series of concerts.

Since 1826, the Society has presented Honorary Membership in recognition of those who devote their lives to music, uplifting others in the music they create. It was first presented to the composer Weber and subsequent recipients include Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, Clara Schumann, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, Yehudi Menuhin, Dame Janet Baker, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Sir George Benjamin, Marin Alsop and recently Stephen Sondheim – to name but a few.

On presenting Dame Sarah with her certificate of Honorary Membership, John said:

‘Today, on behalf the Society’s Board and advisory Council, we add Dame Sarah Connolly to this extraordinary roster. Sarah, I’m very pleased to make this award to you. Your definitive performances in operas internationally are too many to mention and you are equally treasured of course in performances with the leading orchestras and on the recital platform. You are an outspoken champion for the value of music in our lives, for singers and for a great many other causes. Sarah, you are very much loved and we award this to you with our affection, our gratitude and every possible good wish for the future. Congratulations.’

Annually, the RPS welcomes nominations for Honorary Membership from its Members and colleagues across the music profession. Recipients are decided upon by the RPS Board of Trustees and advisory Council. A full list of those who have received Honorary Membership from 1826 to the present day can be found here.

You can watch the whole concert on the Wigmore Hall’s website until 17 October. The presentation takes place at 46:20 minutes into the film.

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