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Les Miserables composer receives honorary membership of Royal Academy of Music

Claude-Michel Schonberg receiving his honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music. Photo: Kate Cowdrey
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Les Miserables creator Claude-Michel Schonberg has been given honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music, in recognition of his contribution to musical theatre.

The accolade is given to musicians who did not attend the London conservatoire but whom it wants to celebrate. This is limited to 300 individuals.

Schonberg, whose credits as a composer also include Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre and The Pirate Queen, was awarded the honour at the opening of the academy’s new Susie Sainsbury Theatre on April 26.

As part of the event, the school’s musical theatre students and orchestra performed a showcase of Schonberg’s sons, called This is the Hour, which also featured a performance by Matt Lucas. Lucas reprised the role of Thenardier, which he played in the West End production of Les Miserables.

The production’s original director John Caird also spoke at the event.

Schonberg is currently visiting professor of musical theatre at the academy, and has also held the position of visiting professor of contemporary theatre at Oxford University.

Other honorary members of the school include fellow musical theatre composer Stephen Sondheim, Joyce DiDonato and Paul McCartney.