Daniel Barenboim wins Royal Philharmonic Society award

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Daniel Barenboim
Image caption,
Barenboim was up against fellow conductors Riccardo Chailly and Andris Nelsons

Daniel Barenboim has won the Royal Philharmonic Society's conductor award for his Wagner Ring cycle Prom with Berlin's Staatskapelle Orchestra.

Composer Harrison Birtwistle has become the most honoured musician in the RPS's history, winning for the fifth time in his 80th birthday year.

He won the chamber scale composition award for The Moth Requiem, also performed at last year's Proms.

US mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato won the singer award.

She was honoured for her role as Elena in Rossini's La Donna del Lago at the Royal Opera House and also her performance at the Last Night of the Proms. It is the second time she has won the award.

Image source, Simon Jay Price
Image caption,
Sir John Tomlinson performed the role of Wotan in Wagner's Rheingold in New Zealand and Australia last year

Other winners included Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who picked up the award for instrumentalist, while pianist Igor Levit won the young artists award.

George Benjamin won the RPS award for large scale composition for his opera Written on Skin at the Royal Opera House.

In a special presentation, the Society's highest honour, the RPS Gold Medal, was presented to the celebrated English bass Sir John Tomlinson.

He has joined an illustrious group of RPS gold medallists including Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle and Placido Domingo.

In a statement, the RPS said: "There are no pretensions about John Tom. For him, celebrity status is irrelevant - the crucial thing is singing; and it is the desire to sing and communicate, and the obsession to get it right every time, that drive him."

Welsh National Opera won the opera and music theatre award for productions including Lulu, Lohengrin and Paul Bunyan.

London's Southbank Centre picked up the festivals and series award for its year-long classical music festival, The Rest is Noise.

A special programme devoted to the RPS Music Awards will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday at 2200 BST.

Outgoing Proms director and controller of BBC Radio 3 Roger Wright said: "The range of the year's awards is another sign of the high quality in live music-making and new work.

"We are thrilled to have broadcast so much of the award-winning music and performers - and, in particular, to have been responsible through the BBC Proms for the remarkable Ring cycle conducted by Daniel Barenboim."

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