Royal Philharmonic Society Announces Winners of Salomon Prize
In collaboration with the UK’s Association of British Orchestras, the prize was jointly awarded to violinist Jamie Hutchinson and percussionist Beth Higham-Edwards
The UK’s Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) and Association of British Orchestras (ABO) launched the Salomon prize in 2012 to celebrate orchestral artists.
Named after one of the RPS founders, violinist Johann Peter Salomon, it is an annual prize in which all ABO member orchestras are invited to nominate a player for the award. The prize recognizes a musician who has made outstanding contributions to their orchestras and audiences.
This year, the award was jointly awarded to Jamie Hutchinson, sub-principal violin with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, and Beth Higham-Edwards, percussionist in the London Chamber Orchestra (LCO).
They will each receive £1,000, a certificate, and be profiled on the RPS and ABO websites and social media.
The prize also recognized viola player Amy Thomas of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, who “was commended by the panel for being a bright, driving force across the orchestra's social media platforms, drawing on her fellow players to engage with audiences online,” according to an RPS Facebook post.
Traditionally, the Salomon Prize is presented on the concert hall stage. Hutchinson was presented her award earlier this month by ABO’s CEO Mark Pemberton, in a concert given by Oxford Philharmonic at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre.
To say I’m feeling overwhelmed by this would be an understatement!
And of course, most importantly, to the wonderful children of Oxfordshire for their sheer JOY ❤️ https://t.co/HUoMgmTjcJ
— Jamie Hutchinson (@JamieHutch84) December 10, 2021
“For many years Jamie Hutchinson has been at the heart of the outreach work of the Oxford Philharmonic,” said its music director, Marios Papadopoulos.
“During the pandemic, Jamie refused to be disheartened by the fact that this work was no longer possible in person [and] turned her energy and imagination to launching programs to entertain and educate schoolchildren, as well as provide some much-needed work for our musicians.”
Beth Higham-Edwards was awarded for her work on LCO’s education project, "Music Junction," which partners with schools in Greater London and Berkshire.
She led the project before the pandemic and despite difficult circumstances, maintained and expanded the initiative. She will receive the award in a ceremony in early 2023.
“Beth’s brilliance through this has been to make all young people – regardless of their musical ability, or even whether they own an instrument – feel musically fueled…, not just fortifying them through the lockdown, but setting them on musical journeys for life,” the judging panel stated.