Shortlists announced for the“the BAFTAs of classical music” Shortlists are announced today for the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Awards,billed by BBC Radio 3 as “the BAFTAs of classical music”.

The RPS Awards celebrate classical musicians nationwide, shining a light on brilliant individuals, groups and initiatives inspiring communities across the UK. Featuring star soloists, local heroes and amateur musicians, this year’s shortlists reflect the far-reaching and resounding impact that classical music has nationally.  The RPS is presenting the Awards on its biggest stage yet – at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 1 March – with tickets from only £10 so music-lovers can come and be part of the experience. Cello sensation Sheku Kanneh-Mason will give a special guest performance. 

  • Shortlisted initiatives highlight the social and emotional benefits of music, including Manchester Camerata’s powerful film Untold: Keith, the story of someone living with dementia who finds comfort and company through music; digital venture Opera-tic creatively empowering those living with Tourette Syndrome; and Joe Cutler’s Concerto Grosso written for disabled musicians to perform centre-stage with Gateshead’s Royal Northern Sinfonia. 
  • Nominees showcase outstanding music-making across the country, notably from the North East (Sheffield’s Ensemble 360, Leeds Piano Trail, Ryedale Festival, and Bradford Festival Choral Society), the North West (Manchester Collective and Manchester Camerata), Scotland (Aberdeenshire’s Sound Festival and Scottish Opera) and Wales (Côr CF1 and Tredegar Town Band).
  • Among the star names nominated this year are the cellist Abel Selaocoe, violinist Elena Urioste, soprano Lise Davidsen, and composer Thomas Adès.
  • The UK’s constellation of amateur groups is also celebrated with the Inspiration Award, the winner of which will be decided by a public vote from a shortlist comprising Bradford Festival Choral Society, Côr CF1, Torbay Symphony Orchestra, Tredegar Town Band, and community music director Ula Weber. Visit the RPS website by 10am on Wednesday 1 February to discover more about the nominees and cast your vote.
  • 27% of the individual performers and composers nominated are people of colour, in addition to the transnational ensemble Tangram which celebrates Chinese cultures, nominated for the Young Artist Award. 
  • Much in the news lately, the English National Opera receives two nominations, for their Music Director Martyn Brabbins, and their acclaimed production of The Handmaid’s Tale.

The event, which will also feature performances from some of this year’s nominees, will be hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters Hannah French and Petroc Trelawny with trophies presented by RPS Chairman John Gilhooly. It will be filmed to watch on the RPS website at a later date, and BBC Radio 3 will present a special broadcast featuring music of the winners and nominees at 7pm on Monday 6 March.  The RPS Awards can only happen thanks to a range of dedicated supporters. The RPS is especially grateful to this year’s Principal Supporters – BBC Radio 3ABRSMPRS for MusicYamaha, and BBC Music Magazine – and those who support individual awards as detailed below. RPS Chief Executive James Murphy says: “With much recent reportage about funding cuts to the arts, what a story we have to share about classical musicians’ creativity, generosity and resilience. The RPS Awards shortlists represent thousands of musicians who devote their lives to uplifting, inspiring and uniting communities nationwide. We’re newly presenting the RPS Awards at the same time of year as the BAFTAs and BRITs, as classical musicians deserve as much recognition as pop acts and movie stars. Tickets have never been cheaper, from only £10, so we warmly invite music-lovers to come and be part of the festivities and help us make some noise.

Booking Tickets are priced £10 to £30. General booking is online at phoning the box office on 020 3879 8555, and in person at Southbank Centre. Tickets are £10 – £30.For further details visit