Composer Steve Reich and leading conductors Vladimir Jurowski and Sir Roger Norrington, received Honorary Doctorates from HRH The Prince of Wales, while popular film and TV composer Barrington Pheloung, an RCM alumnus best-known for film scores such as Truly, Madly, Deeply and the iconic theme for Inspector Morse and its successful spinoffs Lewis and Endeavour, was honoured with a Fellowship. HRH The Prince of Wales, President of the Royal College of Music since 1993, presented awards to several others who have made significant contributions to musical life, before attending a short concert featuring three of the RCM’s prizewinning recent graduates. Percussionist Louise Goodwin, performed Sine Sole by Michael Ladouceur and Kitchen, her own work composed with Phoebe Garratt. To conclude, Naoka Aoki performed Liebesfreud by Fritz Kreisler.
Sir Roger Norrington is a pioneer of historically informed performance practice who continues to shape the music world with his inquisitive, provocative approach. An alumnus of the RCM and a staunch advocate of young musicians, Norrington continues his much-treasured relationship with the College as both a visiting professor and guest conductor with the RCM Symphony Orchestra. On receipt of his honour, he said:
‘We have a high standard of young musicians in this country, and so many of them come from the Royal College of Music. When I come to conduct them each year I am impressed by their talent and their seriousness of purpose. The College provides an ideal atmosphere for this work.’
Steve Reich, a Pulitzer-prize-winning American composer, is widely regarded as one of the most influential and original composers of our time. Now in his 80th year, his powerful and hypnotic music has reached enormous audiences globally and Reich is, according to The Guardian, among ‘a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history.’
Reich returns this evening to join RCM musicians for a concert of some of his most seminal works, a special celebration of his distinguished career in his 80th birthday year, and tomorrow shares his knowledge and enthusiasm with RCM composers in a Masterclass.
Conductor Vladimir Jurowski, acclaimed worldwide for his incisive musicianship and creative programming, is best known to UK audiences for his work as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as Principal artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and as former Music Director of Glyndebourne.
Jurowski returns on 28 April to conduct the RCM Symphony Orchestra in programme of music by Stravinsky.
Others who received awards from HRH The Prince of Wales at today’s ceremony included Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, whose independent government reviews into music and cultural education resulted in the creation of several trailblazing initiatives, including England’s first National Plan for Music Education, the BFI Film Academy and the new National Youth Dance Company.
Amongt the prize winners was composer and producer Michael Ladouceur, who received his Masters in Composition for Screen from the Royal College of Music in 2015. While at the RCM, Ladouceur co-produced The Infinite Bridge, a groundbreaking production in which musicians, dancers, and visual artists from four different countries performed simultaneously.
Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music, said: ‘The annual visit by our President, HRH The Prince of Wales, is a highlight of the Royal College of Music’s calendar of events and I am delighted that he joins us again to honour an illustrious array of world-renowned musicians and leading figures from across arts and education. The recipients of today’s honours and prizes have all made important contributions to the RCM, and to the wider international music community.’
After the ceremony, HRH The Prince of Wales met RCM students and supporters.
Notes to Editor
The RCM is a world leading conservatoire, providing musical education and training at the highest international level for performers and composers. The Royal College of Music is currently home to 800 undergraduate and postgraduate students from 60 nations. International students constitute approximately 50% of our student body. In 2016, the RCM was ranked by The Guardian as the leading Higher Education Institution in the UK for studying music. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) survey found that proportionally more RCM alumni who responded to the survey had moved to employment or further study within six months of graduation than those from any other UK conservatoire or UK university. Among RCM alumni are composers and performers such as Sir Hubert Parry, Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, Sir Colin Davis, David Helfgott, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Lord Lloyd Webber, Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir James Galway, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Alfie Boe. Regular visitors to the RCM to teach and demonstrate are Bernard Haitink, Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Lang Lang. Our most recent honorary doctorates include Bryn Terfel, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Thomas Allen, Murray Perahia and Christopher Hogwood.