We are delighted to announce that Spitalfields Music has won the RPS Music Award for Chamber Music and Song with our 2017 Festival flagship project, Schumann Street! These prestigious awards are rivalled by none other and are the highest level of recognition for classical music-making in the UK, so needless to say we are over the moon.
It was a huge honour to recreate some of the magic from Schumann Street at last night’s awards ceremony with performances from three artists involved in the project: Shapla Salique, Katherine Manley and James McVinnie. Shapla transformed the opening song of the cycle – Im wunderschönen Monat Mai – into her own style of melismatic Bengali Folk while Katherine performed Wenn ich in deine Augen seh as Clara Schumann writing letters to her husband Robert Schumann, accompanied by James on the digital organ.
Schumann Street was the vision of our exceptional Artistic Curator André de Ridder and this RPS Award is a wonderful endorsement of the new directions Spitalfields Music is taking with its Festival programming. We are extremely excited to be working with André again as Artistic Curator for the 2018 Festival, which will launch this September.
Spitalfields Music also produced Schumann Street Reimagined, a learning and participation project inspired by the installation performance. With help from composer John Barber and artists from Schumann Street, Year 4 pupils from Osmani and Shapla primary schools were introduced to the music of Robert Schumann and created their own song-cycle inspired by Dichterliebe. The pieces created in these workshops were given a public performance at Rich Mix, as part of the Spitalfields Music Festival.
Spitalfields Music would like to thank all the incredible artists who brought this project to life and made it their own, André de Ridder and our financial supporters, without whom this project would not have been possible: Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, London Community Foundation, The Landmark Trust and the members of our Keyholders Circle: Stephen & Jackie Benson, Maurice & Sophie Biriotti, Chris Carter & Stuart Donachie, Charles & Tessa King-Farlow, Jasmine Mathews, Imogen Rumbold, Paul Steeples and John & Linde Wotton.