The award honours those committed to classical music education

John Gilhooly, Chief Executive and Artist Director of Wigmore Hall and Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society, is to receive 2019 Heidelburger Frühling Music Award. Gilhooly will donate the €10,000 monetary gift which comes with the honour to Wigmore Hall and RPS.

The International Music Festival Heidelburger Frühling bestows the award each year to individuals who have made substantial and lasting contributions within the classical music education sector. The award is donated by HeidelbergCement, the founding partner of the Festival and its main sponsor since 1997. Previous winners include composer and clarinettist Jörg Widmann, music journalist Eleanore Büning, pianist and cultural manager Markus Hinterhäuser, baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gabriela Montero.

It will be presented to John Gilhooly on 7 April 2019 during the next Festival (16 March – 14 April 2019).

In explaining their choice for the 2019 Heidelburger Frühling Music Award, the Festival said: “John Gilhooly became the youngest director of an internationally acclaimed concert hall at age 35 with his appointment at Wigmore Hall. Since then he has developed the Hall into one of the world’s premiere venues for chamber music, vocal music and music education. Today, a performance in the ‘Temple of Chamber Music’ has become an indispensable addition to the biographies of young musicians. Thanks to John’s intelligent and ambitious programming, alongside his innovative musical education initiatives, Wigmore Hall has opened its doors to wider and more diverse audiences. He has created a space in which the core audience meets the tentative first listener – classical newcomers of today are becoming tomorrow’s classical music connoisseurs. John Gilhooly has managed to create coherence through this juxtaposition; an inspirational musical home for artists and audiences alike. This achievement, alongside his tireless dedication (particularly to art song and string quartets), makes John the perfect candidate for the award, aligning him the social mission of connection and commitment that exemplifies the Heidelberger Frühling. For his outstanding achievements, John Gilhooly is awarded the Heidelberger Frühling Music Award.”

John Gilhooly said: “I have long admired International Music Festival Heidelberger Frühling as an outstanding example of an innovative festival and series. I am honoured to receive the 2019 Heidelberger Frühling Music Award, and have donated the monetary gift which comes with it to Wigmore Hall and the Royal Philharmonic Society, in recognition of all of the wonderful people associated with these two musical institutions. I look forward to returning to Heidelberg on many occasions in 2019.”


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