Counting down to RPS200: The Bicentenary Launch

Brendel and BeethovenFrom Beethoven’s 9th to the Argyll Arms, the Royal Philharmonic Society has always recognised great bars…

…so what better venue than the Argyll Arms to launch our programme of Bicentenary events yesterday morning? 19th century Philharmonic Society musicians almost certainly drank at this historic pub following concerts at the Argyll Rooms in Regent Street, which included the first UK performance of the Society’s most famous commission, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

The legacy of Beethoven remained much in evidence yesterday -not least through the dusting down of our very own Beethoven bust, which had pride of place on the bar. Alas, he failed to raise a smile even for one of his greatest interpreters, Alfred Brendel (pictured here). We were thrilled that Brendel (who was awarded the RPS Gold Medal in 1992) and wonderful soprano Susan Bullock (2008 RPS ‘Singer’ Award Winner) were able to join us at the launch and share a few words.

“Please keep commissioning composers, keep supporting musicians, keep talking about music and keep championing excellence”, Brendel urged, whilst approving of us “growing old disgracefully”! Follow this link to take a look at our programme of concerts – featuring several high profile commissions – debates, talks and exhibitions, and we think you’ll agree Brendel won’t be disappointed! We hope you won’t be either.