The President’s Visit 2015
Thursday 12 March 2015
HRH The Prince of Wales honoured a number of outstanding figures in international musical life today at the Royal College of Music's Annual Awards ceremony.
These included renowned conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy and acclaimed lyric soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who both received their Honorary Doctorate from HRH The Prince of Wales.
HRH The Prince of Wales, President of the Royal College of Music since 1993, conferred Fellowship of the Royal College of Music (FRCM) upon six outstanding figures in international musical life: acclaimed oboe player John Anderson, renowned soprano Janis Kelly, Chairman of the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine Richard Price, celebrated British tenor Toby Spence, renowned scholar and performer Robin Stowell and Chair of the Mills Williams Foundation Nigel Woolner.
Honorary Membership of the Royal College of Music was presented to six individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to music and to the RCM: Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall Chris Cotton, BAFTA winning stage and film actor Edward Fox, eminent music critic and academic Ivan Hewitt, Head of Keyboard Technical Services Chris Moulton, early music pioneer Jane Ryan and philanthropist Ruth West.
On receipt of the Honorary Doctorate, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa said: "I am delighted and thrilled to be honoured in this way by the Royal College of Music, especially as the honour is being conferred by HRH The Prince of Wales himself". Dame Kiri also expressed her honour at seeing, for the first time, her recently painted portrait hanging in its home at the Royal College of Music. The portrait, commissioned by the Royal College of Music as part of the Sky Arts TV series Portrait Artist of the Year, was painted by artist Laura Quinn and now hangs in the foyer of the Britten Theatre, the home of the RCM’s International Opera School.
Vladimir Ashkenazy said: "It is a tremendous honour on this truly special and memorable occasion to be awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Music of the Royal College of Music".
His Royal Highness also presented awards to the RCM’s most exceptional recent graduates: violinist Agata Daraskaite – who received the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Rosebowl – and saxophonist Amy Green and double bassist Rodrigo Moro Martin, who were both awarded the Tagore Gold Medal. They all also performed at the ceremony.
The President’s Award, which was instituted in 2013, by HRH The Prince of Wales was this year presented to composer Arne Gieshoff. His works have been performed, amongst others, by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music, said: "I am delighted that the Royal College of Music has honoured this diverse array of eminent musicians and RCM supporters, in recognition of the contribution they have made, not to only the Royal College of Music, but also to musical life in this country and beyond. It is very special that the College is joined by HRH The Prince of Wales, our President and a wonderful advocate for the Royal College of Music, in honouring these most extraordinary and established individuals".