Maurizio Pollini wins RPS Instrumentalist Award
Maurizio Pollini received a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Music Award at a ceremony held at London's Dorchester Hotel on 8 May. The award in the Instrumental category recognised the ambitious Pollini Project, consisting of five concerts at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall as part of the International Piano Series. These seminal concerts saw the celebrated pianist perform a hugely wide range of repertoire, from Bach to Beethoven and Schubert, with the final concerts culminating in works by Stockhausen and Boulez. Commenting on the recital featuring Beethoven's last three Piano Sonatas, The Guardian's Andrew Clements hailed Pollini's "majestic, peerless performance".
The 2011 Aldeburgh Festival, curated for the third time by its Artistic Director Pierre-Laurent Aimard, was also recognised with the Concert Series and Festivals award. Aimard himself received the Instrumentalist award in 2004. Highlights from the 2011 festival included a day of performances to commemorate the fifth anniversary of György Ligeti's death, Peter Eötvös conducting the London Sinfonietta in works by Boulez, Oliver Knussen conducting Britten's Rape of Lucretia and Spira mirabilis's pioneering residency.
Dame Mitsuko Uchida was presented with the RPS Gold Medal - one of classical music's highest honours - just days after giving a critically-acclaimed recital as part of the International Piano Series, described in The Independent as "haunting and beautiful beyond words". The RPS Gold Medal was created in 1870 to mark the centenary of Beethoven's birth, previous recipients have included Brahms, Elgar, Stravinsky, Britten and Bernstein.
The Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards are the UK's most respected of their kind for recognising outstanding achievement in live performance and have been given each year since 1989. BBC Radio 3 have also partnered the awards since 2003 and will broadcast a special awards programme on 13 May.
Click here for more information and to view an acceptance speech by Maurizio Pollini.