What’s the point of Awards?

With less than one week to go until the annual RPS Music Awards, we’re rather glad to know that our Executive Director, Rosie Johnson, has some answers!

RPS2015-1125‘In an era of click-bait media and the perception of a shrinking relevance for classical music, the RPS Awards have never been more important’

Is there any point to awards ceremonies? Do they provide anything more than an ego boost and a good night out for a lucky few? Why do we need to slap ourselves on the back to prove our worth?

These are perennial, and valid questions regularly aired on social media during awards season. Where the frocks and the froth come first, the points are perhaps well made. But, what of awards ceremonies based on serious intent?

For the past 18 years, I’ve been in charge of producing the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, the UK’s most prestigious awards for live classical music. This year’s winners will be announced next Tuesday (May 10), and in an era of click-bait media and the perception of a shrinking relevance for classical music, the awards have never been more important.

The RPS Music Awards have two functions – firstly, they are there to celebrate classical music. This may sound simple – perhaps unnecessary at first glance – but as a rule, serious musicians are simply more interested in the ‘doing’ than stopping to give themselves a standing ovation: it’s the music that matters most – and great musicianship takes time and focus. Yet there’s so much to applaud, and we are pleased to be classical music’s cheerleader in chief if it helps the music we love so much find an ever-wider audience. The awards give a clear message about the abundance of both distinguished and young talent, the sheer excellence, dedication and commitment of musicians and composers, and incredible performances of live music that take place up and down the UK everyday.

Read the full article in The Gramophone

More about the RPS Music Awards