Violinist Elena Urioste, cellist Abel Selaocoe and violist Timothy Ridout are nominated for awards this year

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Left: Elena Urioste © Chris Gloag

Right: Abel Selaocoe

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Shortlists have been announced today for the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Awards, billed by BBC Radio 3 as ’the BAFTAs of classical music’.

Star string players feature among the nominees. Violinist Elena Urioste and cellist Abel Selaocoe are nominated the Instrumentalist Award, while violist Timothy Ridout is up for the Young Artist Award.

Shortlisted initiatives highlight the social and emotional benefits of music, including Manchester Camerata’s powerful film Untold: Keith, the story of someone living with dementia who finds comfort and company through music; digital venture Opera-tic creatively empowering those living with Tourette’s Syndrome; and Joe Cutler’s Concerto Grosso written for disabled musicians to perform centre-stage with Gateshead’s Royal Northern Sinfonia. 

UK amateur groups are also celebrated with the Inspiration Award, the winner of which will be decided by a public vote from a shortlist comprising Bradford Festival Choral Society, Côr CF1, Torbay Symphony Orchestra, Tredegar Town Band, and community music director Ula Weber. Votes will be collected on the RPS website until 10am on Wednesday 1 February. 

27% of the individual performers and composers nominated are people of colour, in addition to the transnational ensemble Tangram which celebrates Chinese cultures, also nominated for the Young Artist Award.

The award ceremony will be held on 1 March 2023 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, which will include a special guest performance from cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Several nominees will also give performances at the event, which will be hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters Hannah French and Petroc Trelawny with trophies presented by RPS Chairman John Gilhooly. It will be filmed to watch on the RPS website at a later date, and BBC Radio 3 will present a special broadcast featuring music of the winners and nominees at 7pm on Monday 6 March.

’With much recent reportage about funding cuts to the arts, what a story we have to share about classical musicians’ creativity, generosity and resilience,’ said RPS chief executive James Murphy. ’The RPS Awards shortlists represent thousands of musicians who devote their lives to uplifting, inspiring and uniting communities nationwide.

’We’re newly presenting the RPS Awards at the same time of year as the BAFTAs and BRITs, as classical musicians deserve as much recognition as pop acts and movie stars. Tickets have never been cheaper, from only £10, so we warmly invite music-lovers to come and be part of the festivities and help us make some noise.’

Read the full list of nominees here.

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