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Press Release: Tamara Rojo to be presented with the Santander Bank Foundation Award for Anglo-Hispanic Relations

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Second Edition of the Santander Bank Foundation Award for Anglo-Hispanic Relations


The Lead Principal Dancer and Artistic Director of the English National Ballet will receive the award on June 5th at the Spanish Embassy in London.


  • The jury distinguished Tamara Rojo as a beacon of Spanish culture in the United Kingdom that combines both talent and youth.
  • The award recognizes the significant contribution by a British or Spanish person of eminence in bringing Britain and Spain closer together.
  • The historian Raymond Carr was the first award-winner. 


Tamara Rojo (Montreal, Canada, 1974) took her first steps in the artistic world in the Víctor Ullate Dance School, and later its Company, before embarking on an international career under the aegis of Galina Samsova, who invited her to join the Scottish Ballet in 1996. In 1997 she reached the rank of principal dancer in the English National Ballet, where she stayed for three years before accepting, in July 2000, an invitation from Sir Anthony Dowell to be prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet in London.

By the age of 25 Rojo had become the first Spaniard to dance for the United Kingdom’s leading company and indeed one of the most prestigious in the world. She is the second youngest prima ballerina in the history of ballet after Maya Plisétskaya, who reached this position in the Bolshoi Theatre at the age of 18.

The prize consists of a sculpture by the Spanish artist Cristina Iglesias and 10,000 Euros, which winners of this award give to an NGO or charity or academic organisation of their choice.


A jury, presided by the Spanish Ambassador Federico Trillo-Figueroa and constituted by members Lord Garel Jones (former UK Foreign Office Minister for European and Latin American Affairs), Ana Patricia Botín (Advisor to Santander Bank UK), Antonio Escámez (Chairman of the Santander Bank Foundation), Denise Holt (President of the Anglo-Spanish Society), Baroness Hooper (Vice-President of Canning House), Karina Robinson (columnist), José Antonio Villasante (General Director Universities), Borja Baselga (Director of the Santander Bank Foundation) and the Jury Secretary Fidel López (Secretary Minister Embassy UK) unanimously approved the bestowal of the award on Tamara Rojo.


Among the award-winner’s merits, the jury highlighted her immense dedication and capacity for work as well as her character and personality that have led her to become not only one of the principal dancers of the world but an Artistic Director of enormous imagination and energy of one of the leading cultural institutions of Great Britain, the English National Ballet. The jury also recognised her enthusiastic and indefatigable search for new talents and ideas to ensure the viability of the ENB. All this has earned Tamara Rojo, in spite of her youth, widespread admiration and the reputation as a beacon of Spanish culture in the United Kingdom.

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