Media Release: Distinguished conductor to receive honorary doctorate at The RSAMD

ONE of the world’s most distinguished conductors is to receive an honorary doctorate at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

The Academy will confer the doctorate on the internationally-renowned Donald Runnicles at the lunchtime concert on Friday, February 11 2011.

On announcing the doctorate, Professor John Wallace CBE, said: “The Academy is a crucible of Scottish talent and a prolific contributor to contemporary British identity.

“We are delighted that one of the country’s greatest musical exports, Donald Runnicles, is spending a significant proportion of his time reinvesting all he knows in the future generation.

“He is an International Fellow, a member of our board of Governors and a key player in our Memorandum of Understanding with the BBC.

“I am delighted that we are able to salute his contribution to the Academy, and more widely to Scottish culture, by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate of Music.”

Other recipients of an Academy honorary degree include Lord Richard Attenborough, Billy Connolly, Tilda Swinton, Annie Lennox, Vladimir Ashkenazy, James MacMillan and Phil Cunningham.

The honorary graduation ceremony will take place in the Academy’s concert hall as part of a concert by the Academy’s Symphony Orchestra performing the music of Edward Elgar, led by Runnicles.

Maestro, Runnicles, was born in Scotland and educated there and at Cambridge.

He began his career in Mannheim, Germany, made his North American debut in 1988 conducting Berg’s Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera, and in 1989 became General Music Director of the City of Freiburg.

After two ‘Ring’ cycles at San Francisco Opera in 1990, he was invited to become music director, and has since led more than 60 productions in the house.

Mr. Runnicles has ongoing musical relationships with some of the finest orchestras and opera companies in the U.S. and Europe.

He is currently the BBC SSO’s chief conductor and the RSAMD’s international fellow in conducting.

For more information contact Katie Bell at the Academy on 0141 270 8387 or

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Contact: Katie Bell
Phone: 0141 270 8387