The shortlists for this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Awards includes a diverse trio of nominees from Scotland, alongside many others who are regular visitors or sometime residents.
Aberdeen’s sound festival is nominated in the Series and Events category for its 2021 festival, which explored the climate emergency through specially commissioned works and environmentally themed performances. Performers and audience members were encouraged to travel to the festival using sustainable modes of transport and the programme included a ground-breaking multi-media chamber work by composer Laura Bowler which saw soprano Juliet Fraser performing in Aberdeen with the Talea Ensemble streamed live from New York.
Director Fiona Robertson said of the nomination: “It recognises the contribution that the arts sector can make, both practically and artistically, to the climate emergency. It shows that it is possible to bring some of the world’s leading performers and composers to a festival in the UK, without an enormous carbon footprint.”
In the Opera and Music Theatre category Scottish Opera is up against ENO’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Garsington’s Orfeo and Theatre of Sound and Opera Ventures’ Bluebeard’s Castle, and unusually not linked to a single production. The citation reads: “Scottish Opera are on a roll. From their hilarious, magical take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream to their community-driven Candide, all their ventures this year have embodied their signature spirit and talent for magnetising audiences from near and far.”
Given the task of unveiling the shortlists on BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast show, Edinburgh’s Kate Molleson modestly omitted the Storytelling category, presumably as the writer and broadcaster herself is nominated for her acclaimed book exploring 20th century composition beyond the mainstream, Sound Within Sound. She is competing with James Runcie’s Bach novel The Great Passion and Manchester Camerata’s short film Untold: Keith.
The awards have been described as the classical music BAFTAs, but VoxCarnyx prefers to think of the BAFTAs as the RPS Awards for film and television!
The full shortlists are available at royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk and the winners will be announced on March 1 in London.