Lawrence Power picks up his RPS Instrumentalist Award (detail) View full image

Royal Philharmonic Society winners announced

Three of our artists have been honoured at the 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. Held online this year, due to the pandemic, the ceremony featured pre-recorded performances and acceptances filmed under tight Covid-safe regulations at London’s Wigmore Hall.

Lawrence Power – Instrumentalist Award

Lawrence was honoured with the RPS Instrumentalist Award, which is made ‘For the outstanding quality and scope of the performances and work in any context of a solo performer on any instrument in the UK.’

The citation described him as ‘A remarkable viola player and outstanding advocate for his instrument. He’s forever fostering new repertoire that’s set to last – from James MacMillan’s vibrant Concerto to a series of commissions captivatingly filmed in lockdown.’

In 2019 Lawrence gave the world premiere of Gerald Barry’s Viola Concerto with the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Thomas Adès, as well as further performances of the James MacMillan Viola Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Martyn Brabbins. He commissioned both works himself, a passion that he cemented by founding the Viola Commissioning Circle to continue this legacy of new works for his instrument. He also held the post of Artist-in-Residence at Turner Sims Southampton, giving a series of curated concerts at the venue across the year. He also held a Brahms Marathon at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, and managed to stage his West Wycombe Chamber Music Festival online.

Elena Urioste – Inspiration Award

The RPS Inspiration Award was created this year in response to musicians’ efforts to keep producing and broadcasting music as far and wide as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic, and was voted on by the public. Together with her husband, pianist Tom Poster, Elena reacted to the pandemic by launching #URIPOSTEJUKEBOX. They presented mini-performances online every single day for 88 days, charting a massive range of diverse repertoire, fresh arrangements and brand-new works, with their inimitable style and wit.

Opera & Music Theatre Award

Garsington Opera won the Opera & Music Theatre Award for its 2019 production of The Turn of the Screw, which was conducted by Richard Farnes. The judging panel commented: ‘This spine-tingling, stylish production was a class act. It was perfectly conceived for its setting as twilight fell, and showcased a gratifyingly inclusive cast and crew, all delivering at the very highest level.’

Lawrence Power: Martyn Brabbins' Matchless Space