Music Past - Present - Future
The iconic RPS Bust of Beethoven is a symbol of musical excellence, creativity and support for the living composer. Beethoven's image is also engraved on our highest honour for musicians - the Gold Medal.
Beethoven's music featured from the first Philharmonic Society concert in 1813 and the Society went on to give many premieres of his works as well as commissioning the Ninth Symphony. Two years later, when the Society learnt that Beethoven was both ill and much in need of money, the Directors decided that a sum of £100 should be sent to him “to be applied to his comforts and necessities”.
The bust was given to the Society in gratitude for the help we gave to Beethoven in his lifetime. It has traditionally stood on the platform at every RPS concert since 1871, and can still be seen at RPS events today as we continue to support the finest performers and most creative living composers.
To celebrate our 200th Birthday we sent Beethoven Bust out on to the streets of London:
Daniel Barenboim, RPS Gold Medal 2007: Classical music will not survive unless we change our attitude and make it something that is essential to our lives. Join the RPS if you believe in the future of music.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Schaller Bust of Beethoven, donated in 1871, has stood on the platform of every RPS concert since then as a symbol of excellence and support for the living composer.