Roy Benson, the recently retired co-principal double bass of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), has been awarded the Salomon Prize by the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Association of British Orchestras.
The Salomon Prize recognises the contribution of orchestral players to UK musical life and is named after violinist Johann Peter Salomon, one of the founding members of the Philharmonic Society in 1813.
Benson is the second double bassist to receive the award, which in its launch year of 2011 went to Hallé bassist Beatrice Schirmer. Benson received a cheque for £1,000 and will keep for one year the Salomon Prize Trophy – a soft-ground etching of Salomon made by William Daniell in 1810.
Benson joined the RPO in 1977 and was promoted to co-principal double bass ten years later. Benson was nominated for the Salomon Prize in recognition of his service to the orchestra over three decades, including cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of the RPO’s Sickness & Benevolent Fund.