Dame Evelyn Glennie and Alfred Brendel were presented with top honours by the Academy. Dame Evelyn Glennie, who since training at the Academy has become one of the world’s premier international soloists, received an honorary degree (Hon DMus). Often referred to as one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, pianist Alfred Brendel was conferred as Honorary Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Music.

Leading names from an array of musical genres were awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music. Singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright became an honorary member of the Academy. Joining Rufus was multi-award winning Errollyn Wallen, one of the world’s most performed living composers. Following the release of her 100th album, celebrated opera and concert soprano Carolyn Sampson also received honorary membership.

In this category, the Academy was also pleased to celebrate 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, became Honorary Members too.

The Academy welcomed two new Fellows of the Royal Academy of Music, an honour reserved for alumni. World-renowned set designer Es Devlin, who trained at Junior Academy, became a Fellow. Also receiving this honour today was Peter Holder, who was the Principal Organist at the Queen’s funeral and the Coronation.

The Academy’s Registrar and Director of Student Operations Catherine Jury and Damien Wisniewski, Chief Financial Officer of Derwent and serving Governing Body Member were granted Honorary Fellowships of the Royal Academy of Music.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dame Evelyn Glennie said: ‘I’m extremely touched and grateful to receive this, especially as the Royal Academy of Music has played such a pivotal role in my development as a professional musician. I’m incredibly humbled to be standing here in the same room with so many of my fellow colleagues who I have the utmost respect and admiration for.’

The Academy marked the achievements of honorands alongside over 300 graduating students across 40 different disciplines. Academy musicians permeate all areas of the music profession and lead the way in concert halls, opera houses and theatres across the globe. Recent alumni include Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Rob Madge, Freya Waley-Cohen and Freddie De Tommaso. The Academy is proud of its network of alumni and the significant contribution they make to the music profession and beyond.

Addressing this year’s graduates Principal Jonathan Freeman-Attwood said: ‘By graduating you have met the thresholds of musical craft, artistic imagination, intellectual enquiry and all those additional skills and qualities required over your time at the Academy. The possibilities emerging from the training you’ve had here are, I believe, endless. What you’ve done on the Marylebone Road will forever shape the distinctive excursions and destinations we’ll hear about from you in the years to come. We look forward to receiving your updates and celebrating your successes.’

The Academy would like to congratulate all honorands and graduating students.

Images © Frances Marshall