The Academy is home to a community of music makers. For over 200 years music has inspired us to do more and be more. Several Academy alumni, visiting professors and close collaborators have been recognised in the shortlist this year, which illustrates the strength and vibrancy of music making nationwide.

Academy musicians lead the charge in the ‘Young Artist’ category. Trumpeter Aaron Azunda Akugbo, who graduated from the Academy in 2020, is nominated alongside mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean, a fellow alum.

In the ‘Singer’ category, Visiting Professor of Opera and Vocal Studies Nicky Spence has been shortlisted with Academy alum Alice Zawadzki, who completed her training at the Academy in 2012.

Vocal Masterclass with Nicky Spence

Every day, the Academy welcomes some of the world’s finest artists through its doors and we are excited to see many of our friends and collaborators shortlisted. Alice Farnham has received a nomination for the ‘Conductor’ award. Alice most recently conducted Le nozze di Figaro for Royal Academy Opera in March 2023, and returned to coach this year’s intake of musicians on the Glover-Edwards Conducting Programme. The shortlist for the ‘Ensemble’ category includes the BBC Singers, who have partnered with the Academy for approximately 20 years, and the Composition Department’s Ensemble in Residence, Riot Ensemble.

The Academy’s students, staff and Governing Body offer their warmest congratulations to everyone ahead of the ceremony on 5 March.

Image 1: Trumpeter and Academy alum Aaron Azunda Akugbo

Image 2: Alice Farnham leading a Glover-Edwards Conducting Programme session at the Academy in 2023.

Image 3: Aaron Holloway-Nahum, CEO/Co-Artistic Director of Riot Ensemble, rehearsing with Academy students in 2023.