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I’m pleased that so many recent achievements by the Academy and our alumni have been recognised in the shortlist for this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, which was announced yesterday evening.

At the Academy we are celebrating two major nominations. Our Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata series, recently described in the press as ‘becoming something of a London cult’, has demonstrated its appeal by becoming one of four shortlisted nominations for the Concert Series and Festivals award. Our acclaimed premiere of Kommilitonen!, the new opera by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies which we commissioned together with The Juilliard School, is joined by productions by the Royal Opera House and ENO in the Opera and Music Theatre category.

We can claim two out of three nominations in the Young Artists category, for a solo artist or chamber ensemble making their first significant impact in the UK during 2011: recent graduate Oliver Coates and current student Benjamin Grosvenor.

Alumnus Sir Harrison Birtwistle is shortlisted in the Large-Scale Composition category, and current Composition professor Gary Carpenter features under Chamber-Scale Composition.

Congratulations also to Academy alumna Tessa Marchington, founder of Music in Offices (Learning and Participation shortlist), and to our regular collaborative partners Spitalfields Music and Aldeburgh Productions for their own nominations.

Finally, the guest speaker at the RPS Music Awards ceremony, which I look forward to attending on 8th May, will be Academy graduate Gareth Malone.

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