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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May, 2005, 18:29 GMT 19:29 UK
Awards hat-trick for Opera House
Sir Charles Mackerras
Sir Charles conducted the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra last year
London's Royal Opera House and conductor Sir Charles Mackerras have taken the top prizes at the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) awards.

Sir Charles received the RPS Gold Medal and BBC Radio 3 Listeners Award at the event honouring live classical music.

The opera house won the conductor award for music director Antonio Pappano and the singer award for Ben Heppner.

Composer Thomas Ades took the large-scale composition prize for the opera house production of The Tempest.

'Great success story'

Opera North triumphed over the Royal Opera House in the opera and music theatre category with Eight Little Greats, its series of short, rarely-staged operas.

Manchester's Halle Orchestra took the ensemble award as the RPS jury said: "The revival of the Halle under Mark Elder is one of the great success stories of British classical music."

Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House won conductor, singer and composition awards
Edward Gardner, 30-year-old music director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera, won the young artist award.

BBC Two programme Britten's Children won the inaugural RPS creative communication award for director John Bridcut for his psychological portrait of composer Benjamin Britten.

And pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard's "adventurous commitment to 20th Century and contemporary music" was rewarded with the instrumentalist prize.

RPS chairman Tony Fell said: "It is those artists and organisations which dare to submit themselves to intense self-questioning, brave and often risky enterprises, idealism and a willingness to look at music with fresh eyes and ears who have triumphed at this year's RPS Music Awards."

Sir Charles Mackerras was honoured for his "consistently distinguished performances", including Dvorak concerts with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at last year's BBC Proms and Weber's Der Freischütz at the Edinburgh Festival.

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