Winners at the 2011 RPS Music Awards last night included conductor Claudio Abbado, tenor Toby Spence and the ENO’s production of Eugene Onegin, directed by Deborah Warner and conducted by Edward Gardner.
Claudio Abbado won the RPS Music Award for Conductor for revelatory concerts with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in 2011 that the RPS Music Award jury said “changed perceptions and raised the bar on what is possible for a group of musicians to achieve”. Askonas Holt’s Joint Chief Executive Martin Campbell-White accepted the award on Claudio Abbado’s behalf.
Winner’s citation: Every one of the infrequent but annual appearances by this conductor produces a performance of indelible, life-changing moment. His extraordinary, revelatory concerts with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in 2011 changed perceptions, and raised the bar once again on what it is possible for a group of musicians to achieve. The Award goes to Claudio Abbado.
Congratulations also to Toby Spence who was given the RPS Singer of the Year Award. 2011 was an astonishing year for Toby Spence, who appeared in concert with Nézet-Séguin, Adès, Bychkov and Harnoncourt. He sang at the Glyndebourne Festival as Peter Quint and Don Ottavio and in London as Lensky at the London Coliseum and David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Royal Opera House, conducted by Antonio Pappano. His winner’s citation reads: This was a breakthrough year for Toby Spence, who in a wide range of repertoire on the opera stage and concert platform demonstrated vocal beauty and dramatic maturity culminating in the roles of Lensky and David.
Deborah Warner’s acclaimed production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin for English National Opera, superbly conducted by Music Director Edward Gardner, won the RPS Music Award for Opera and Music Theatre. In addition to Toby Spence, the cast included Audun Iversen, Brindley Sherratt and Catherine Wyn-Rogers.
Opera and Music Theatre award winner citation: After a lively debate which considered a range of excellent work, including some outstanding new commissions, the jury chose English National Opera’s beautifully realised production of Eugene Onegin for its superb orchestral playing and singing led by Music Director Edward Gardner which made a familiar work fresh and dynamic for today’s audiences.
Tenor John Mark Ainsley, himself a former RPS Music Award winner, presented the silver lyre trophies.
A special RPS Music Awards programme will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 13 May at 2pm.
*Extracts taken from RPS awards 2011 press release.