John Gilhooly Receives Heidelberger Frühling Music Award

John Gilhooly (Photo: Frances Marshall)

John Gilhooly Receives Heidelberger Frühling Music Award

Artistic Director of Wigmore Hall and Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society recognised for his contribution to classical music education.

John Gilhooly has been awarded the 2019 Heidelberger Frühling Music Award in recognition of his contribution to classical music. 

The Heidelberger Frühling Music Award recognises ‘substantial and sustained contribution to bringing classical music to wider audiences’ and was first presented in 2013 to composer/conductor Jörg Widmann. Other recipients include music journalist Eleonore Büning (2014), baritone Christian Gerhaher (2016) and pianist Gabriela Montero (2018). 

Gilhooly, who was born in Limerick, became Chief Executive and Artistic Director of London concert hall Wigmore in 2005. He is also Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society and was awarded an OBE in 2013 for his services to music. Gilhooly has announed that he will donate the €10,000 that comes with the honour to Wigmore Hall and the RPS.

Gilhooly will be presented with the award at the next Heidelberger Frühling Festival, which takes place on 16 March –14 April 2019. Speaking of the decision, the organisers of the festival said in a statement: 

Thanks to John’s intelligent and ambitious programming, alongside his innovative musical education initiatives, Wigmore Hall has opened its doors to wider and more diverse audiences. He has created a space in which the core audience meets the tentative first listener – classical newcomers of today are becoming tomorrow’s classical music connoisseurs. John Gilhooly has managed to create coherence through this juxtaposition; an inspirational musical home for artists and audiences alike.

For further information about the Heidelberger Frühling Award and Festival, see

Published on 12 October 2018

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