The highly prestigious RPS (Royal Philharmonic Society) Music Award for Audiences and Engagement 2017 was presented last night to Memorial Ground, a new choral work by American, Grammy Award winning composer, David Lang. It was co-commissioned by the East Neuk Festival and 14-18 NOW – with the support of Creative Scotland to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.
World premiered on 2 July 2016 as part of our 2016 season at the East Neuk Festival in Fife by singers from local choirs, Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus and Theatre of Voices conducted by Paul Hillier, it was then performed by choirs across all four UK nations. The RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK.
Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said:
‘It’s fantastic that East Neuk Festival has won this well-deserved and prestigious award. David Lang’s Memorial Ground was a highlight of 14-18 NOW’s season of new commissions marking the centenary of the First World War. The nature of the work called for a very personal response exploring the tragedy of the Somme, engaging many local communities and bringing people together.’