Royal Academy of Music names 2023 honours, including Beverley Knight

The Royal Academy of Music has announced the musicians and educators it will honour at its 2023 Graduation Ceremony.

Leading names from a range of musical disciplines will be awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music, including West End star and Queen of British Soul Beverley Knight.

An acclaimed recording artist and musical theatre star, Beverley won an Olivier Award earlier this month for her performance in Sylvia at The Old Vic. She was also nominated in 2022 for her role in The Drifters Girl.

Beverley will return to the West End next year, to reprise her role as Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act at the Dominion Theatre.

Other Honorary Memberships will go to celebrated jazz musician Jamie Cullum, conductor and Music Director Designate of The Royal Opera Jakub Hrůša, violinist Hilary Hahn, pianist Maria João Pires and the Academy’s Head of Vocal Studies Kate Paterson.

Award-winning screen music composer and Visiting Professor of Composition James Newton Howard will receive an Honorary Degree (Hon DMus). James has composed for over 100 films and TV shows, and is a nine-time Oscar nominee, and Emmy and Grammy winner. His film scores include Pretty Woman, The Fugitive, Space Jam, Peter Pan, King Kong, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Dark Knight which he composed with Hans Zimmer.

Musicians to be recognised as Fellows of the Royal Academy of Music, an honour reserved for Academy alumni, are pioneering singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier, and opera singers David Butt Philip and Freddie De Tommaso.

Musician, music educator and academic Professor Susan Hallam, collaborative pianist Simon Lepper and conductor Jonathon Heyward, who was recently appointed Music Director of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, complete the list of alumni being celebrated this year.

Her Grace The Duchess of Wellington, Chairman of the Bicentenary Development Board, and Chief Executive of Britten Pears Arts Roger Wright will become Honorary Fellows of the Royal Academy of Music.

The Academy’s Principal, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood CBE, said in a press statement: “As we look ahead to our third century, I’m delighted to celebrate this outstanding list of honorands who are shaping the future of music. They represent a breadth of musical genres and areas of the profession in which we are very proud to see Academy students excel across the globe.”

Sister Act

Dominion Theatre, London

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📷 Main photo: Beverley Knight at the 2023 Olivier Awards

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