HRH The Prince of Wales celebrates 20 years as President of the Royal College of Music by introducing a brand-new honour, The President’s Award, which he presents in person at the College’s annual awards ceremony on Wednesday 15 May 2013.

During the event, which includes live performances from some of the winners, HRH also presents honours to outstanding figures in international musical life, including tenor Alfie Boe and conductor Christopher Hogwood CBE, and to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to music and to the Royal College of Music.

The new President’s Award honours a student for outstanding work in the community and is presented to young Irish percussionist Ruairi Glasheen, now completing a Masters at the RCM, who has been mentoring children from schools where high numbers are eligible for free school meals as part of the RCM’s Sparks Juniors programme.

The Prince of Wales instituted this Award and commissioned wood carver Tim Plunkett to carve a rose bowl from a piece of oak from His Royal Highness’s Duchy of Cornwall Estate. He presents the Award for the first time during the event, before hearing Ruairi and children from the RCM’s ground-breaking ‘Sparks Juniors’ programme in a special performance and meeting them afterwards.

Ruairi says:
“I didn’t start playing percussion until I was 17, and I think coming to it so late has been a great driving force for me in bringing musical opportunity to the community. In addition to my own creative pursuits, it has been a huge inspiration for me to work with the young people and the Royal College of Music and I am honoured to receive this recognition.”

In this annual ceremony, HRH also confers the Fellowship of the Royal College of Music (FRCM) on five outstanding figures in international musical life: Tony-Award winning singer Alfie Boe, RCM Head of Percussion and principal with BBC Symphony Orchestra David Hockings, guitarist and composer Gary Ryan, flautist and conductor Jaime Martin and Guildhall School of Music & Drama Principal Barry Ife.

Alfie Boe said:
“It seems like a lifetime ago since I studied at the Royal College of Music. My musical career has developed though a number of evolutions where I have worked to break down the barriers between musical genres and so now, I am deeply honoured to receive the Fellowship of the Royal College of Music.”

Honorary Membership of the Royal College of Music (HonRCM) is presented to six individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to music and to the RCM: philanthropist Graham Bamford, composer and educator Rachel Leach, RCM Director of Finance Marcus McDonald, RCM Director of Development Samir Savant, philanthropist Dasha Shenkman and Philharmonia Orchestra chief David Whelton.

Leading British conductor Christopher Hogwood, universally regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of historically-informed performance, is presented with an Honorary Doctorate.

Christopher Hogwood said:
“I am honoured to receive this award from an institution which is at the forefront of combining historical awareness and period performance styles with its excellent music tuition programme.”

His Royal Highness presents the Tagore Gold Medal to two students who graduated last year – violinist Mari Poll and trumpeter Christian Barraclough – and the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Rosebowl to pianist Caterina Grewe.

After the ceremony, His Royal Highness will attend a short concert in which the Tagore and Rosebowl medallists will perform works by Ravel, Hertel and Rachmaninov, and will then meet RCM students and supporters.

Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music, says: “We are delighted to have the new President’s Award for a student who’s made a particular contribution to our work in the wider community. It’s a great way to celebrate HRH The Prince of Wales’ 20th year as President of the Royal College Music. He is a wonderful advocate for the Royal College of Music and indeed for music itself. During his annual visits to the RCM, he has conducted an orchestra, played our gamelan, met our students and supporters and presented honours to musicians as diverse as Paul McCartney and Lang Lang. His continued commitment to us is invaluable.”


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