Press and Journal: sound festival director wins prestigious award from Royal Philharmonic Society

Fiona Robertson, the director of sound, the acclaimed Aberdeen-based new music organisation, has been presented with the prestigious Leslie Boosey award at the opening of the 2019 festival.

A striking bronze sculpture of an eagle by the acclaimed sculptor Dame Elizabeth Frink, the award is presented every two years by the Royal Philharmonic Society.

James Murphy, Chief Executive of the RPS, paid tribute to Fiona.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted to be presenting the Leslie Boosey Award to Fiona. Through the award, we recognise those who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to help new music to thrive.

“The recipient of the award is chosen by the Board and the Council of the RPS and they were unanimous this year in their recognition of Fiona’s remarkable work.

“Since 2004, she has done remarkable things through sound including great work for emerging and established Scottish composers and bringing international talent to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

“In doing so, she has created an enthusiastic audience for new music not just in soundfestival, but in a year-round talent programme.”

Professor Pete Stollery, the chairman of sound, said: “This is huge, a tremendous accolade both for sound and Fiona.

“It recognises the energy and commitment that Fiona has put in to building soundfestival up over the last 15 years and Aberdeen as a vibrant centre of new music.”

The 2019 soundfestival opened with the World Premiere of a new work, Motherhood, by sound’s composer in residence, Ailie Robertson.

Based on interviews with women across Aberdeen City and Shire about their experiences of motherhood, it was performed by leading vocal ensemble EXAUDI with local group Tutti voices.

The festival runs until November 3 at a variety of venues across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and this year includes a major focus on the oboe as part of the festival’s commitment to showcase endangered instruments.

It also includes a co-commission from the Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, which will be performed at the official opening of the Aberdeen Art Gallery, following the latter’s multi-million pound refurbishment.

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