Entertainment & Arts

Composer Dillon wins fourth Royal Philharmonic award

James Dillon - picture courtesy of Simon Jay Price
Image caption James Dillon won his first RPS award in 1997 for Traumwerk Book 1.

Composer James Dillon has notched up the most wins in the history of the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Music Awards after taking his fourth prize on Tuesday.

He picked up his award for the epic orchestral work Nine Rivers.

The piece took two decades to compose and was performed for the first time in its entirety last year.

Antonio Pappano, Ivan Fischer, Susan Bickley and Alina Ibragimova were also winners at the London event.

The RPS Music Awards, which was hosted by BBC Radio 3's Katie Derham and Andrew McGregor, celebrates achievements in live classical music.

Dillon won his first Chamber-Scale Composition RPS award in 1997 for Traumwerk Book 1. His next win was in 2002, followed by another one three years later.

BBC Four was presented with the prize for creative communication for Opera Italia, Pappano's journey through the history of Italian opera.

The Royal Opera House picked up a gong for its production of Wagner's epic Tannhauser.

Mezzo-soprano Bickley was presented with the best singer prize and US pianist Leon Fleisher was named the winner of the instrumentalist category.

Having regained the use of his right hand after a four-decade struggle with a neurological condition, the 82-year-old was singled out for his "extraordinary" performances at last year's Aldeburgh Festival.

There were also prizes for Brian Ferneyhough, the Southbank Centre and George Benjamin, who was made an honorary member of the RPS.

A special programme devoted to the awards will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 1400 on Sunday 15 May.

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