Nikolaus Harnoncourt awarded RPS Medal
Nikolaus Harnoncourt is awarded RPS Medal
The distinguished Austrian conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt was given one of the world’s most prestigious awards – The Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society.
On Sunday 22 April 2012 at 3.00pm in London’s Barbican Centre, Harnoncourt joined a roll of honour without parallel in the history of world music. Inaugurated to mark Beethoven’s centenary, previous recipients include composers Brahms, Delius and Elgar, Stravinsky and Benjamin Britten, singers Kathleen Ferrier, Dame Janet Baker and Thomas Quasthoff, and conductors Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Simon Rattle.
Recognised for his outstanding musical achievements on the world’s stage, Nikolaus Harnoncourt is also one of the earliest pioneers of Bach played on period instruments and according to period style. With his Concentus Musicus Vienna, he shared with the harpsichordist and director Gustav Leonhardt/Musica Antiqua Amsterdam what is probably the most important and influential complete cycle of Bach’s church cantatas on disc – the series they recorded for Teldec from 1970-the early 1990s. Why was this series important? Because it enabled a wider audience to experience the new sound world of period style playing on original instruments, all-male solo and choral forces, and to hear the composer’s church cantatas (the cornerstone of his output) complete using musical forces with which Bach himself would have been familiar. A kindred spirit, the London Bach Society sends warmest congratulations to Nikolaus Harnoncourt on this very auspicious occasion.
The Royal Philharmonic Society celebrates its bi-centenary in 2013.
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