Dame Evelyn Glennie, who since training at the Academy has become one of the world’s premier international soloists, will receive an honorary degree (Hon DMus). Dame Evelyn is a double Grammy winner, BAFTA nominee and recipient of the Polar Music Prize, the Léonie Sonning Music Prize and the Companion of Honour. In addition to performing with the greatest orchestras and artists, she has commissioned over 200 new works for solo percussion and has made over 40 recordings. Outside of performing and composing, she continues her life-long mission to teach the world to listen through her charity, The Evelyn Glennie Foundation, which aims to improve communication and social cohesion by encouraging everyone to discover new ways of listening.

'The Academy is a living, breathing space that puts importance on igniting stories and lasting experiences for all who engage with it. With so many things in life, it is the reverberation of a journey that can transform a life; this is what the Academy did for me.'

Dame Evelyn Glennie

Often referred to as one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, pianist Alfred Brendel will become Honorary Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Music. He is renowned for his interpretations of the works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt. He will be the first person to be awarded this honour, which follows many major prizes, including the Léonie Sonning Prize, the Golden Mozart Medal of the Salzburg Mozarteum and the Hans von Bülow Medal of the Berlin Philharmonic. After over 50 years on the stage, he continues to write and teach.

Leading names from an array of musical genres will be awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music. Singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright, who has released eleven studio albums, composed two operas and written a West End musical has been elected an honorary member of the Academy. His piece Dream Requiem will be premiered in Paris in June with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under the baton of Mikko Franck. Further to this, it will be performed by six other international orchestras, including for a performance with The Royal Ballet.

'It is wonderful to receive this as the nomination came from the Academy, its students and alumni, and that is really the true nature of the honour.'

Rufus Wainwright

Joining Rufus is multi-award winning Errollyn Wallen, one of the world’s most performed living composers. Her prolific body of work includes over twenty operas and a large catalogue of orchestral, chamber and vocal works, which are performed and broadcast throughout the world. Following the release of her 100th album, celebrated opera and concert soprano Carolyn Sampson will also receive honorary membership. In this category, the Academy is also pleased to celebrate internationally recognised concert pianist Yuja Wang, who is known for her flair, artistry and innovative outlook, as well as leading baritone Roderick Williams, who is not only in demand as a singer but also known for his compositions of inventive choral and vocal music. In recognition of their vital support for the next generation of music makers, former cellist and Chief Executive/Artistic Director of Young Classical Artists Trust Alasdair Tait and the Academy’s Head of Undergraduate Programmes Anthony Gritten, also a distinguished organist and researcher, will become Honorary Members too.

The Academy will welcome four new Fellows of the Royal Academy of Music, an honour reserved for alumni. World-renowned set designer Es Devlin, who trained at Junior Academy, will become a Fellow. Her work has provided the design for artists from Beyonce to Stormzy, landmark cultural events such as the London 2012 Olympics and productions for the world’s most prestigious theatres and opera houses. Also being awarded this honour is classical-soul pioneer, composer, producer and pianist Alexis Ffrench, who ranks among the top 10 most streamed classical artists and Peter Holder, who was the Principal Organist at the Queen’s funeral and the Coronation. Sought after viola player and winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society 2023 Young Artist Award Timothy Ridout completes the list.

The Academy’s Registrar and Director of Student Operations Catherine Jury and Damian Wisniewski, Chief Financial Officer of Derwent and serving Governing Body Member become Honorary Fellows of the Royal Academy of Music.

'We are thrilled to celebrate a range of people whose contribution to music is inspiring and truly enabling to so many. The breadth of disciplines recognised in this year’s honours reflects the Academy’s desire to ensure its third century acknowledges excellence across all parts of society and paths of musical endeavour.'

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

Header image - top row, left to right: Dame Evelyn Glennie, Es Devlin, Rufus Wainwright, Errollyn Wallen. Bottom row, left to right: Alfred Brendel, Alexis Ffrench, Yuja Wang, Timothy Ridout