Geoffrey Norris, chairman of the Music Section. © The Telegraph
The 77 members of the music section will soon be casting their votes for the 2010 awards. Awards have been given from time to time in the past, but the plan is now to put them on a permanent footing by presenting them annually.
Most of our members write regularly about music and musicians in newspapers and journals, both in the UK and abroad, whether it be reviews of live concerts, recitals and opera productions or critiques of CDs. All of us keep a close watch on what is going on in the musical sphere on a daily basis. Many of us might have interests in particular fields – in opera, say, or in contemporary music or in the music of specific countries – but the distinguishing feature of the Critics’ Circle membership is that it encompasses an unparalleled breadth of experience.
The idea of the awards is to draw on members’ knowledge of the world of music and performance to focus attention on musicians who have made a special impression during 2010 and, in the process, to put classical music in the spotlight. In all, we shall be making four awards. Three of them will be for musicians up to the age of 30. We are fortunate enough to live in a golden age when the fund of serious young talent is richly endowed, and we as a music section are very keen to recognize it with awards that will be presented in three categories: instrumentalists, singers and a joint grouping of conductors and composers.
At the same time, we are just as alert to the degree of inspiration that artists of maturer years and seasoned insight bring to our evenings in the concert hall, recital room or opera house. So we shall be making our fourth award on that basis, and the list of nominees is already aglow with familiar, illustrious names. All the awards are open to musicians of any nationality, the only specification being that their impact must have been made here in the UK.
The lists of nominees are nearly complete. Voting will get under way in January. Keep watching this space for news of the results and information about the presentations.
Enquiries about the Critics' Circle should be made to the Hon Gen Sec Rick Jones by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 8698 2460.