Rayfield Allied artists shortlisted for prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Awards

15 October 2020

Congratulations to guitarist Sean Shibe, composer David Sawer, soprano Julia Sporsén and baritone David Stout, who have had musical achievements recognised with nominations in the 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.

Sean Shibe is shortlisted in the Instrumentalist category. Previously at the awards, he became the first guitarist to win the RPS Young Artist Award in 2018. The jury commented on Sean's achievements: "From Penzance to Ullapool; from Dowland to David Lang, this artist has excelled in communicating the range and versatility of his instrument - one that often lacks the exposure in venues around the UK. The winner exemplifies the values of the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. He extends boundaries and challenges pre-conceptions of the guitar in solo and collaborative performance. The artistry and dedication of Sean Shibe are compelling."

David Sawer is nominated in the Large-Scale Composition category for his latest work, How Among the Frozen Words, a new work inspired by Rabelais’ novel Gargantua and Pantagruel, for 24 singers and bassoon and which sets the endangered Evenki language. The work was commissioned by the BBC Singers, who gave the premiere performance in February 2020 with soloist Jonathan Davies, conducted by Sofi Jeannin.

Julia Sporsén and David Stout appear in the Opera and Music Theatre category, as part of the cast in Scottish Opera's production of Nixon in China. In her role debut as Pat Nixon, Julia Sporsén received fantastic praise from critics, describing her performance as "compelling" (The Guardian), "radiant" (The Sunday Times), and "towering" (Bachtrack). Following recent appearances with Scottish Opera in Silvano, The Blazing Fiery Furnace and La bohème, David Stout was praised for his "canny" (The Stage) role debut as Henry Kissinger.

Chief Executive James Murphy says: ‘The RPS Awards have always shone a light on great musical achievements, but now that light is a beacon: reminding the nation of the essential, invigorating, connective force that classical music is for so many people. The nominees represent a nation of selfless, inspirational musicians, and a picture of all that risks being lost if they cannot wholly return to work soon.’ More information on the awards can be found here.

Winners will be announced in a live streamed event at Wigmore Hall on the 18th November 2020. We wish the best of luck to all nominees!

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