Harrison Birtwistle's 'Moth Requiem,' Daniel Barenboim's 'Ring,' Levit, DiDonato, Southbank Win Big at Royal Philharmonic Society Awards

By Classicalite Newsdesk on May 14, 2014 01:20 PM EDT

Five times a charm, or at least it is for Harrison Birtwistle, who has just won more prizes than anyone else (as he did in December for the British Composer Awards) in the Royal Philharmonic Society's long history. In the just-announced awards, he picked up the gong for Chamber Scale Composition, for The Moth Requiem.

That was a BBC Proms concert, as were Daniel Barenboim's performances of Wagner's Ring operas with the Staatskapelle Berlin. He bagged the RPS's conductor prize for that achievement.

Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaya won Best Instrumentalist, Igor Levit--whose recordings of late Beethoven piano sonatas for Sony was a bold, audacious success--won the Young Artist award. Joyce DiDonato was named Best Siger for La Donna del Lago at the Royal Opera House and the Last Night of the Proms.

The ROH could also take some credit for two other awards. John Tomlinson, long a Royal Opera favorite, won the RPS Gold Medal. And composer George Benjamin won the large-scale composition prize for his widely-lauded opera Written in Skin, premiered at the ROH's Linbury Studio Theater.

Southbank Centre in London (they've dropped the "the") won for its year-long festival "The Rest is Noise," based around New Yorker classical critic Alex Ross's great book. Welsh National Opera, resurgent under David Poutney, won in the opera category for its recent productions.

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TagsDaniel Barenboim, Igor Levit, Joyce DiDonato, Royal Opera House, BBC Proms

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