Hilary Campbell, who graduated with distinction from the Academy’s conducting postgraduate programme, won the Inspiration Award with the Bristol Choral Society. This new prize was introduced to celebrate amateur ensembles who have kept communities connected through the pandemic. Over 4,500 people voted to decide the winner, the first time an RPS Award recipient has been decided by the public. Last year the award was presented to Tori Longdon, another Academy choral conducting alumna, for her work with the Stay at Home Choir.

Composition alumna Laura Bowler collected the Chamber-Scale Composition prize for her piece Wicked Problems, for vocalist and bass flute, which premiered at Sound Festival, Aberdeen in 2020. Laura completed her MMus and PhD at the Academy where she studied with Gary Carpenter, David Sawer and Sir Harrison Birtwistle.

The Hermes Experiment performed live during the ceremony and were the recipients of the Young Artist Award. The ensemble has worked closely with our students, visiting the composition department for workshops and masterclasses, with two of the group having studied here.

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason won the Storytelling Award for her book House of Music which is out now, published by Oneworld. Mother of the Kanneh-Mason family, many of whom studied with us at Junior Academy and degree level, Kadiatu’s book explores what it takes to raise a musical family in a Britain divided by class and race. Since graduating, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason have gone on to release best-selling solo albums with Decca Classics, and the family performed live together at the 2021 BBC Proms.

ENO Breathe, the Creative Director of which is regular Open Academy project leader Suzi Zumpe, won an Impact Award for its breathing and wellbeing programme for people recovering from the effects of Covid-19.

Congratulations to all nominees and winners across all categories.

Images: Hilary Campbell and the chair of the Bristol Choral Society, and Laura Bowler, credit: Mark Allen