Press release: Lennox Mackenzie awarded prestigious RPS/ABO Salomon Prize for orchestral musicians

Lennox Mackenzie, sub-leader and former Chairman of the London Symphony Orchestra, awarded prestigious RPS/ABO Salomon Prize for orchestral musicians.

London Symphony Orchestra violinist Lennox Mackenzie has been awarded the RPS/ABO Salomon Prize for orchestral musicians for his “innate ability, love of music, generosity of spirit” and his “wisdom, strength of character, good judgement and diplomacy that has served the LSO well over so many years”. Mackenzie has been a member of the LSO since 1980, and within this 36-year period served as a Board Member, and as Chairman twice, from 1988-92 and then from 2004 until he handed over the reins in February 2016. He is the longest-serving Chairman in the LSO’s 112-year history.

The Salomon Prize was created by the Royal Philharmonic Society and Association of British Orchestras in 2011 to celebrate the orchestral players that make our orchestras great, and give public recognition for the enormous contribution orchestral musicians make both on, and off the concert platform. The £1000 award is named after Johann Peter Salomon, violinist and founding member of the Philharmonic Society in 1813. Each year, players in all orchestras across the UK are asked to nominate a colleague who has been ‘an inspiration to their fellow players, fostered greater spirit of teamwork and shown commitment and dedication above and beyond the call of duty’. Mackenzie received an unprecedented number of nominations from fellow musicians at the London Symphony Orchestra.

Lennox Mackenzie is the sixth recipient of the award*. The Salomon Prize trophy, an 1810 soft-ground etching of Salomon by William Daniell, was presented to him by Mark Pemberton, Director of the Association of British Orchestras, and Rosemary Johnson, Executive Director of the Royal Philharmonic Society, on stage at the LSO concert at the Barbican on Sunday 23 April.

Salomon prize presentation

In its citation, the RPS and ABO said: “The role of Chairman of the LSO is time-consuming and demanding. It is a tribute to Lennox’s innate ability, his love of music, and his generosity of spirit that he was able to undertake this role for such an extensive period while sustaining his quality of playing as a violinist at the front of the LSO.

Lennox has commanded the highest respect and authority with his colleagues in the orchestra, and with conductors and soloists. He is much respected and loved by the LSO’s wider family of supporters – sponsors, individual donors and Friends. He has wisdom, strength of character, good judgement and diplomacy that has served the LSO well over these many years.”

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, comments: “I am absolutely delighted that Lennox Mackenzie’s work has been recognised with the RPS/ABO Salomon Prize. Under Lennox's Chairmanship, the LSO has gone from strength to strength. This is a testament to the integrity, effectiveness, and wisdom that Lennox brought to the role, creating an atmosphere in which the highest possible artistic standards – which he exemplifies in his own playing - as well as the LSO’s pioneering spirit have been encouraged to thrive.”

Further press information about the RPS/ABO Salomon Prize from: Sophie Cohen on 020 7482 3466 / 07711 551 787 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

* As the sixth recipient of the RPS/ABO Salomon Prize, Lennox Mackenzie follows in the footsteps of outstanding musicians from Sinfonia Viva, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Hallé and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Notes: About Johann Peter Salomon
Johann Peter Salomon was born in Bonn and was the second son of Philipp Salomon, an oboist at the court in Bonn. His birth home was at Bonngasse 515, coincidentally the later birth home of Beethoven. At the age of thirteen, he became a violinist in the court orchestra and six years later became the concert master of the orchestra of Prince Heinrich of Prussia. He moved to London in the early 1780s, where he worked as a composer and played violin both as a celebrated soloist and in a string quartet. He made his first public appearance at Covent Garden on 23 March 1781 and became a central figure in London Orchestral life for over 30 years.

Salomon brought Joseph Haydn to London in 1791-92 and 1794-95, and together with Haydn led the first performances of many of the works that Haydn composed while in England. Haydn wrote his symphonies numbers 93 to 104 for these trips, which are sometimes known as the Salomon symphonies (they are more widely known as the London symphonies). Salomon is also said to have had a hand in providing Haydn with the original model for the text of The Creation.

He was one of the founder members of the Philharmonic Society and led the orchestra at its first concert on 8 March 1813. Salomon died in London in 1815, of injuries suffered when he was thrown from his horse. He is buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey.

The Salomon Prize is named in honour of this versatile and influential musician.

Photos: © Tristram Kenton
Top photo: Lennox Mackenzie on stage with Mark Pemberton (Director, Association of British Orchestras) and Rosemary Johnson (Executive Director, Royal Philharmonic Society)
Bottom photo: Kathryn McDowell (Managing Director, London Symphony Orchestra), Lennox Mackenzie, Rosemary Johnson, Mark Pemberton