Guardian writer's music guide up for Royal Philharmonic Society award

Tom Service's guide is shortlisted for creative communication prize in UK's most prestigious classical music awards

A guide to contemporary classical music by the Guardian's Tom Service has been shortlisted for this year's Royal Philharmonic Society music awards, the most prestigious classical music awards in the UK.

Service's Guardian guide, published weekly for a year, began with Elliott Carter and concluded with Karlheinz Stockhausen. It is nominated for the creative communication award alongside the conductor John Eliot Gardiner, for his book on Bach, Music in the Castle of Heaven; classical music iPad apps by Touch Press; and the Channel 4 documentary Chopin Saved My Life.

Other shortlists include Daniel Barenboim, Andris Nelsons, and Riccardo Chailly vying for the conductor award; mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, soprano Barbara Hannigan and baritone Michael Volle for the singer award – all performances at Covent Garden; and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and pianist Nikolai Lugansky for the instrumentalist award.

The large-scale composition award will be contested by Sally Beamish for Flodden, George Benjamin for Written on the Skin and David Matthews for A Vision of the Sea, while in chamber-scale composition the nominees are Harrison Birtwistle's The Moth Requiem, Peter Maxwell Davies's Oboe Quartet, James Clarke's 2013-V and Richard Baker's The Tyranny of Fun.

In the opera and musical theatre category Longborough Festival Opera's staging of Wagner's Ring Cycle goes up against heavier weights in the shape of Welsh National Opera, for its 2013 work as a whole, Opera North's Festival of Britten, and the Royal Opera House's Elektra.

A full list of nominees in the 13 categories can be found at The winners will be announced on 13 May.


Mark Brown, arts correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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