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Nordoff Robbins raises £750K

Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity, is delighted to announce that its prestigious annual O2 Silver Clef Awards, held today to honour artists from across the music industry, has so far raised £750K. Returning after a two-year break due to the pandemic, this huge fundraising boost will enable Nordoff Robbins’ trained music therapists to support some of the most vulnerable people in the UK.

This afternoon’s star-studded award ceremony at JW Marriott, Grosvenor House, London, saw Becky Hill, Tom Walker, Kano, Griff, Tems, YUNGBLUD, London Grammar and Alexis Ffrench receiving their awards, with the iconic Peter Gabriel winning the coveted O2 Silver Clef Award, the legendary Frankie Valli being honoured with the Icon Award and Jools Holland OBE receiving the accolade for Outstanding Achievement*. Guest presenters included Matt Berry, MNEK, Angellica Bell, Aries Moross, Nitin Sawhney, Harriet Rose, Fraser T Smith and Graham Gouldman.

Presented by Edith Bowman for the fourth-year running, with Peter Andre covering the blue carpet celebrity arrivals, the O2 Silver Clef Awards are held to recognise and celebrate the talent of the winning artists and the powerful impact of music on all members of our society. Since 1976, through the power of music, the awards have raised over £11 million for Nordoff Robbins and honoured some of the greatest names in music.

Nordoff Robbins believes that everyone should have access to the value of music. Its music therapists use the power of music to connect with some of the most isolated people in our society - working with children and adults affected by life-limiting illness such as dementia, learning disabilities including autism, physical disability and mental health issues. Nordoff Robbins’ music therapists work with over 270 schools, hospitals, hospices and care homes, as well as providing sessions from its centres across the UK.

George Michael’s personal Bechstein Grand piano raised £200K after guests enjoyed a performance of Cowboys and Angels by talented pianist Derek Paravicini. Blind and autistic, Derek can play any piece of music after hearing it only once.  The piano was generously donated by George Michael’s Estate to continue the global star’s career-long association with the music therapy charity. In 1989, when George Michael was just 27-years-old, he was honoured with Nordoff Robbins’ iconic Silver Clef Award for his outstanding contribution to UK music. When he picked up his award that year, during the charity auction his typical generosity saw him bid a substantial sum for a guitar – which he immediately gave straight back to be auctioned again the following year.

Hosted with Virgin Media O2, the annual lunch is one of the highlights of the music industry’s calendar, bringing together artists, celebrity supporters and influencers to raise vital funds for the music therapy charity.

Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff Robbins said: “We are thrilled to honour such talented artists and welcome our friends and supporters back to this incredibly special event. I’d like to thank George Michael’s estate for their generosity in donating his personal piano. We couldn’t put on our annual awards without the amazing support of the music industry who help us year in, year out, so that we can continue our vital work with vulnerable and isolated children and adults. I believe that music is a superpower – it can connect everyone with their human potential and dignity regardless of profound disability, illness or society excluding them. Quite simply – in an unpredictable world, music matters, and we are grateful to everyone who donated today.”  

Gareth Griffiths, director of partnerships and sponsorship at Virgin Media O2, said: “It was great to see the return of the O2 Silver Clef Awards with so many incredible artists under the same roof. There were so many worthy winners and, as partners of Nordoff Robbins, we were so pleased to see so much money raised which will go a long way to help them continue the amazing work that they do through music therapy.”

  • The flagship O2 Silver Clef Award, presented by actor Matt Berry, this year honours Peter Gabriel for his outstanding contribution to music. Musician, human rights campaigner and entrepreneur, Peter Gabriel rose to fame as the original lead singer of Genesis, before launching his solo career in 1975. He has released eleven solo albums and written soundtracks for three films. He created and co-founded WOMAD festival (now in its 40th year), WITNESS and The Elders and is working on plans to create a streaming service for digital medicine and an Interspecies Internet. His single, ‘Sledgehammer’ from multi-award-winning album ‘So’, remains the most played music video ever on MTV. The award has previously been won by legendary musicians including Ed Sheeran, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Oasis.
  • The legendary American artist Frankie Valli received the American Express Icon Award from Graham Gouldman of 10cc. As lead singer of the Four Seasons, Valli’s number-one hits include "Big Girls Don't Cry" (1962), "Walk Like a Man" (1963) and "December,1963 (Oh, What a Night)" (1975). As a solo artist, Valli’s number-one hit "Grease", the title song of the iconic film, sold over seven million copies worldwide.
  • Jools Holland picked up the Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by Nitin Sawhney in recognition of his influential career as pianist, bandleader, singer, composer and television presenter, hosting BBC 2’s much loved ‘Later... with Jools Holland’ since 1992. 
  • Dance-pop star Becky Hill received the award for Best Female from MNEK and Scottish singer-songwriter Tom Walkertook home Best Male, presented by his grandmother Sadie.
  • Indie-pop trio London Grammar picked up the award for Best Group from Aries Moross and pop-punk artist YUNGBLUD was awarded Best Live Act by Edith Bowman. 
  • Grime pioneer and British rapper Kano won the Innovation Award, presented by Fraser T Smith, while Electro pop singer-songwriter Griff won the award for New Music, presented by Harriet Rose.
  • Nigerian singer and producer Tems won the International Award, presented by Glyn Aikins and Riki Bleau of Since ‘93 Records, whilst classical soul pioneer, pianist Alexis Ffrench picked up the Classical Award from Angellica Bell.

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