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The Salomon Prize has been created by the Royal Philharmonic Society and Association of British Orchestras to celebrate the ‘unsung heroes' of orchestral life; the orchestral players that make our orchestras great. The award is named after Johann Peter Saloman, violinist and founding member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 1813.
The £1000 Salomon Prize will be awarded each year to a musician who has shown commitment and dedication above and beyond the expected service asked by their orchestra over a single concert season. They will have been "an inspiration to their fellow colleagues and engendered a greater spirit of teamwork within the orchestra".
The inaugural recipient of the Salomon Prize, Hallé double-bass player Beatrice Schirmer, was chosen from nominations received from orchestras across the UK. Beatrice Schirmer, who has been with the Hallé for 19 years, was presented with her award onstage at the Hallé's concert at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - and live on BBC Radio 3 - on 9 November 2011. She will keep for one year the Salomon Prize Trophy - a soft-ground etching of Salomon made by William Daniell in 1810, sponsored by Selina and David Marks.
Beatrice was nominated by her fellow musicians and the Hallé's management, not just for her very considerable skills as a member of the orchestra's Double Bass section, but for the extraordinary range of other activities which she has embraced and enriched in almost two decades with the orchestra. The Salomon Prize citation from the RPS and ABO comments:
‘Double bassist Beatrice Schirmer has been at the heart of the life of the Hallé for nearly twenty years. She has always given her time freely to support the individual players as well as the orchestral community. As a union representative she ensures clear communication between the players and administration as well as making sure she is always across any current issues which affect the orchestra. Beatrice is a founder member of the new music ensemble ALEAtronic and has an indefatigable passion and dedication for the Hallé's education work. This was highlighted in last season's community project in Clowne, Derbyshire for which she produced a full musical score as well as helping with technical and sound production. Beatrice Schirmer is an asset to her colleagues, to the Hallé and the profession. It is with great pleasure that the first Salomon Prize is awarded to her.'
For further information visit www.royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk/awards/