In praise of … the Royal Philharmonic Society | Editorial

Society is celebrating its bicentenary by doing what it does best: encouraging composers to compose and performers to perform

What was started in London in 1813 to "promote the performance, in the most perfect manner possible, of the best and most approved instrumental music" gradually developed into Britain's leading independent musical organisation. The Royal Philharmonic Society remains a unique alliance of those who make music and those who listen to it, and it is celebrating its bicentenary by doing what it's always done best: encouraging composers to compose and performers to perform at the highest possible level. The society's back catalogue of concerts reads like a history of 19th and 20th-century music – from Berlioz and Boulez and beyond. One of its earliest coups was commissioning Beethoven's Ninth Symphony – a hard act to follow indeed – but it assiduously continues to sponsor new works, and no honour in British music is more coveted than the society's gold medal. Its generosity has always been coupled with discrimination.

Editorial

The GuardianTramp

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