Southbank Centre War Requiem project wins RPS Learning and Participation award

Marin Alsop rehearsing with the RAM Symphony Orchestra © Hana Zushi-Rhodes

Marin Alsop rehearsing with the RAM Symphony Orchestra © Hana Zushi-Rhodes

A partnership project led by the Southbank Centre and involving musicians from the Royal Academy of Music has won the Royal Philharmonic Society's Learning and Participation Award.

The Southbank Centre's War Requiem project took place in November 2014 culminating in a performance of Britten's work at the end of a day of activities marking the 100th anniversary of World War One. The War Requiem was performed by the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop (pictured). 

The judges of the annual RPS Music Awards, the UK’s most coveted live classical music awards, said:

‘Britten’s War Requiem at the Southbank Centre was a truly immersive experience introducing, exploring and ultimately performing Britten’s epic War Requiem... an ambitious project encompassing talks, participatory workshops, films and the creation of a new children’s choir. The Southbank team – including the committed input of Marin Alsop – drew participants of all ages and experience into the creative and rehearsal process. 

‘The project reflected the profound nature of Britten’s work and was distinctive for its overall quality and its attention to detail.’

To commemorate 100 years since World War One in Nov 2014, Southbank Centre staged a special performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem featuring hundreds of young performers. UNCOVERING CLASSICS: Benjamin Britten's War Requiem.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, RPS Chairman, John Gilhooly, challenged a new government to 'put the strength of imagination and the power of creativity to change lives at the very centre of decision making', making a call for government to 'invest in the imaginations of our young people and promote creativity in every sphere – not just in the arts, but in science, mathematics, industry … even in political thinking.'

Commenting on the 'fantastic' line up of RPS Music Award winners, he said: 'If there was ever a reason to embrace live music making in the UK, this is it: vibrancy, adventure, surprise, excellence.'