HRH The Prince of Wales, who celebrates 21 years as the President of the Royal College of Music this year, presented an Honorary Doctorate to musical theatre composer Lloyd Webber and pianist Perahia, with Benedetti being awarded a Fellowship at the annual awards ceremony.
Speaking after the ceremony, Benedetti said: “It’s very traumatic when you can see directly the immense impact of not just music education but a more creative education, and you see that being curtailed left right and centre.”
“There’s no question that results do materialise, but when you’re fighting against a system that fundamentally does not value the importance of very thing you’re fighting for, it can become demotivating… not that it demotivates any of us, we actually become stronger and more resolute in our mission.”
Perahia also spoke passionately about conductor Sir Neville Marriner, explaining exactly why he has such universal appeal: “His tremendous character, he has a very good sense of humour, he gets on with everybody, and he has very high standards, so it’s a great pleasure to be around him.”
Lloyd Webber, who has close family links with the Royal College of Music, described honour as a ‘delight’, and revealed his plans to work more closely with his brother Julian, who recently announced his retirement from playing the cello.
“I think he’s very keen to now move into an area which he’s very passionate about, which is education in music,” he said. “There’s a lot to talk about between Julian and I there – my foundation is very active in that area also – so I suspect that Julian and I may well do quite a bit together on that front.”