Dame Felicity Lott is awarded the ISM's Distinguished Musician Award

One of Britain’s most eminent and best-loved sopranos, Dame Felicity Lott, has been awarded the Incorporated Society of Musician’s Distinguished Musician Award for her illustrious career that spans a wealth of musical achievements as a performer with many of the world’s leading opera companies at some of the most iconic venues.

Of receiving the ISM’s Distinguished Musician Award, Dame Felicity said:

‘To read the list of musicians honoured by the ISM with the Distinguished Musician Award since 1976 is to see all one’s heroes and heroines assembled. It is especially heart-warming to be given an award by one’s fellow musicians and I am very honoured that my name should appear on this list.’

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians said:

‘We are delighted to be awarding the ISM’s Distinguished Musician Award to Dame Felicity Lott. Her outstanding career captures many musical achievements as a performer with many of the world’s leading opera companies at some of the most iconic venues, and this makes her the ideal recipient of this year’s DMA.’

Established in 1976, the ISM’s Distinguished Musician Award recognises outstanding contributions that an individual (member or non-member) has made to musical life in the UK. Only one award is made each year and previous recipients include Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir William Walton, Sir Peter Pears, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir James Galway, Jacqueline du Pré OBE, Sir Michael Tippett, Sir Charles Groves, Sir Simon Rattle, Norman Del Mar, Sir Colin Davis, Christopher Hogwood, Sir David Willcocks, Dame Fanny Waterman, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sir Charles Mackerras, John McCabe, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Pierre Boulez, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Dame Janet Baker, Sir Mark Elder, John Stephens, Sarah Connolly, Judith Weir and Julian Lloyd Webber.

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About Dame Felicity Lott

Dame Felicity Lott was born and educated in Cheltenham, read French at Royal Holloway College, of which she is now an Honorary Fellow, and singing at the Royal Academy of Music, of which she is a Fellow and a Visiting Professor. Her operatic repertoire ranges from Handel to Stravinsky, but she has above all built up her formidable international reputation as an interpreter of the great roles of Mozart and Strauss. At the Royal Opera House she has sung Anne Trulove, Blanche, Ellen Orford, Eva, Countess Almaviva and under Mackerras, Tate, Davis and Haitink, the Marschallin. At the Glyndebourne Festival her roles include Anne Trulove, Pamina, Donna Elvira, Oktavian, Christine ("Intermezzo"), Countess Madeleine ("Capriccio") and the title role in "Arabella". Her roles at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich include Christine, Countess Almaviva, Countess Madeleine and the Marschallin. For the Vienna State Opera her roles include the Marschallin under Kleiber which she has sung both in Vienna and Japan. In Paris, at the Opera Bastille, Opera Comique, Chatelet and Palais Garnier she has sung Cleopatra, Fiordiligi, Countess Madeleine, the Marschallin and the title roles in “La Belle Helene” and “La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein”. At the Metropolitan Opera, New York, she sang the Marschallin under Carlos Kleiber and Countess Almaviva under James Levine. She recently sang Poulenc’s heroine in staged performances of ‘La Voix Humaine’ at the Teatro de La Zarzuela, Madrid, the Maison de la Culture de Grenoble and the Opera National de Lyon.

She has sung with the Vienna Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestras under Solti, the Munich Philharmonic under Mehta, the London Philharmonic under Haitink, Welser-Moest and Masur, the Concertgebouworkest under Masur, the Suisse Romande and Tonhalle orchestras under Armin Jordan, the Boston Symphony under Previn, the New York Philharmonic under Previn and Masur, the B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra with Sir Andrew Davis in London, Sydney and New York, and the Cleveland Orchestra under Welser-Moest in Cleveland and Carnegie Hall. In Berlin she has sung with the Berlin Philharmonic under Solti and Rattle and the Deutsche Staatskapelle under Philippe Jordan.

A founder member of The Songmakers' Almanac, Felicity has appeared on the major recital platforms of the world, including the Salzburg, Prague, Bergen, Aldeburgh, Edinburgh and Munich Festivals, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Salle Gaveau, Musée d’Orsay, Opera Comique, Chatelet and Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris. She has a particularly close association with the Wigmore Hall and received the Wigmore Hall Medal in February 2010 for her exceptional contribution to the hall.

Her many awards include honorary doctorates at the Universities of Oxford, Loughborough, Leicester, London and Sussex and the Royal Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. She was made a CBE in the 1990 New Year Honours and in 1996 was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire. In February 2003 she was awarded the title of Bayerische Kammersängerin. She has also been awarded the titles Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur by the French Government.

The ISM celebrated Dame Felicity’s fortieth year as an ISM member in 2014, hosting a special evening which delved into her acclaimed and illustrious career. Dame Felicity also supported the Protect Music Education campaign, stating: 'It is hard to believe that now, when there are so many issues in society, that music - the civilising and uniting force which helps with self-confidence, relationships, with all round development, concentration and self-discipline – is a subject that governments still do not deem worth spending money on. I wholly support the ISM’s campaign to protect music education and to remind people of the fundamental value of music.'

About the ISM

The ISM is the professional body for those working in the music profession. We promote music and look after the interests of professional musicians.

Our membership of approximately 7,000 covers both individual musicians and corporate bodies. Individual members include leading conductors, featured and non-featured artists, orchestral musicians working in all of the UK’s leading orchestras, composers, animateurs and arrangers.

Our corporate membership of over 160 music organisations includes Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire, British Voice Association, Rhinegold Publishing, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, The Opera Awards, Classic FM, the Royal Philharmonic Society, Association of British Orchestras (ABO), Association of British Choral Directors, and more.

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