The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) have announced that the Hallé’s Music Director Sir Mark Elder CBE is to become a Companion of the College.
Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, said: ‘It is an absolute privilege to welcome Sir Mark Elder as a Companion of the RNCM.
‘For many years, Sir Mark has played an integral part in enhancing the College’s reputation as a leading international conservatoire, both independently and as Music Director of the Hallé, one of the College’s professional partners. As our International Chair in Conducting, he is a huge inspiration to our young conductors, orchestral musicians and singers, and it is fitting that the RNCM is recognising his invaluable contribution in this way.’
Companionship is the highest honour the RNCM can make; conferred upon persons of distinction who are deemed to have made an exceptional and enduring contribution to the life of the College. Since its formation in 1973, the RNCM has awarded Companionships to Katharine, Duchess of Kent (1976), Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw (1978), Sir Charles Groves (1983), Ida Carroll OBE (1986), Sir Simon Towneley (1990), Sir Dennis Foreman (1993), Sir John Manduell (1996), Michael Kennedy CBE (1999) and Professor Edward Gregson (2008).
Sir Mark said: ‘I am thrilled and feel greatly honoured to be awarded Companionship of the RNCM and to follow in the footsteps of the small and hugely distinguished group to have held this mark of distinction. I find my work as International Chair in Conducting constantly stimulating and challenging and look forward to continuing to help in the development of ever higher standards in the years to come. It is wonderful that the College has chosen to support me in this way and I know that the RNCM and the Hallé will continue to act in partnership at the heart of musical life in Manchester.’
Sir Mark Elder won an Olivier Award in 1991 for his outstanding work at English National Opera, and received the 2006 Royal Philharmonic Society Conductor Prize. He was awarded the CBE in 1989 and knighted in 2008. Companionship of the RNCM will be conferred at the College’s annual Congregation of Awards ceremony on Tuesday 6 December.