The Progress 1000: London's most influential people 2018 - Performance: Classical music

Sheku Kanneh-Mason: Ed Miles
Sheku Kanneh-Mason: Ed Miles

Sheku Kanneh-Mason


His 2016 win as BBC Musician of the Year began it all, since when the charismatic virtuoso‘s reputation has soared with his chart-topping album Inspiration and appearance at this year’s royal wedding. Also performing together with other members of his gifted family, including sister Isata and brother Braimah, he has become a notable ambassador of music-making across cultural and generic divides.

Simon Rattle

Music Director, LSO

Has set alight music-making in London since returning from Berlin last year.

Sarah Connolly


The Progress 1000, in partnership with the global bank Citi, is the Evening Standard’s celebration of the people who make a difference to London life. #Progress1000
The Progress 1000, in partnership with the global bank Citi, is the Evening Standard’s celebration of the people who make a difference to London life. #Progress1000

Has glided regally through a stellar career of several decades to establish herself at the apex of the profession. Her Handelian heroines remain unsurpassed, but she has continued to expand her lieder and operatic repertoire – from Wagner to Mark-Anthony Turnage – with exciting results. She recently tweeted that she was working on a new opera by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones.

Karen Gibson

With her Kingdom Choir at the royal wedding

Choir conductor, workshop Leader and founder of London’s Kingdom Choir, Gibson has been crowned “‘Britain’s godmother of gospel” after leading the Kingdom choir’s gospel performance of Stand by Me at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding ceremony.

Nadine Benjamin


The rising star takes to the Coliseum stage this October in the ENO’s first ever production of Porgy and Bess

Antonio Pappano

Music Director, Royal Opera

Respected by musicians and public alike, also a TV natural, he is a galvanic force at London’s leading opera house.

Roderick Williams


Handsome profile and genial manner have helped make him a popular figure on the operatic and concert circuits

Mike Volpe

General Manager, Opera Holland Park

Positively pugnacious in his desire to democratise opera, he brings the spirit of the Notting Hill Carnival to Holland Park.

David Pickard

Director, BBC Proms

Broadening the definition of classical music in the search for new audiences.

Martyn Brabbins

Music Director, English National Opera

Continues to steer the ENO ship skilfully through choppy waters.

Keith Warner

Opera director

His impressive production of Wagner’s epic Ring cycle returned this year alongside a new one of Barber’s Vanessa at Glyndebourne.

John Wilson


Wows Proms audiences with an annual feast of Broadway favourites, delivered with slick sophistication.

Nicholas Collon

Principal Conductor, Aurora Orchestra

Has made indelible mark with his virtuoso Aurora players.

Benjamin Grosvenor


Former BBC Musician of the Year, is fast developing into one of the leading interpreters of the day.

James Newby


Much in demand since winning the Kathleen Ferrier Award two years ago.

James Way


Has been astonishing audiences with his technical command and stylistic maturity.