Here’s how BBC News is reporting those honoured.
No mention for Stephen Hough’s knighthood. No mention either generally on BBC Radio 3’s news summary at 7 o’clock; so, Stephen aside, there appears to be no other ‘classical’ musician in the Honours List?
Congratulations Stephen. It was a pleasure to meet you in Manchester
for your splendid Brahms 1 ahead of David Matthews’s new 10th Symphony.
Yours is a fantastic achievement for your talents and for music in this country.
Stephen Hough’s Brahms was broadcast live in Radio 3’s Afternoon Concert, with BBC Phil & Jac van Steen,
so why not David’s Tenth as well? It has been recorded by R3, but there and then would have been better.
It is shocking how classical music is so disregarded by the media at present. Nothing (so far) on Teletext either. If it were a minor musician in a band you’d never heard of it would be there. Congratulations to Stephen Hough (incidentally, let us not forget, another of the incredibly successful roll-call of the students of piano teacher Gordon Green from John Ogdon onwards).
The unique occasion of her majesty’s Platinum Jubilee offered a brilliant opportunity to honour Britain’s serious creative artists and to show the world the depth of their achievement and on-going contribution to global art. Sadly, as so often, the Committees who draw up these lists are peopled by aesthetic ignoramuses. It seems that those responsible seek to honour administrators in the arts rather than the very figures whose creativity is the basis on which their jobs depend – this list is a shocking admission of failure on their part.
Are there no British composers worth of recognition today? Apart from Stephen Hough, and a tiny handful of recognisable figures in classical music, for Her Majesty’s once-in-a-thousand-lifetime’s Platinum Jubilee Honours, classical music in this country might just as well be considered an insignificant part of the nation’s aesthetic, treated with contempt it does not deserve.
I could name half-a-dozen internationally-acknowledged British composers, conductors, singers, instrumentalists and classical-only British record company executives who are consistently ignored by those who feel that unknown administrators are the most important figures to be considered for public recognition. One could well imagine what Sir Arthur Bliss, Malcolm Williamson, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and others would have made of this once-in-a-thousand-lifetime’s opportunity – but today? Nothing – in terms of new music – and – Stephen’s knighthood aside – we might just as well not bother.
Which major British orchestra is programming music written for and dedicated to Her Majesty? Such pieces as those by Elgar, Bax, Bliss, Williamson, Maxwell Davies – music written to honour our Queen and country: none that I know of. It’s more than a shame – it’s a disgrace; but at the time the BBC announces the scrapping of BBC4, this is what we can expect. Get on with it.
As ever, so well-thought out and so well-put, Bob. What about an honour for David Matthews, for example? However, as you probably know, these things have to be set up by collating letters of request for an honour for such and such a person. Perhaps we are at fault for not DEMANDING honours for various people. We could try. Perhaps all we followers of Colin’s posts should start a project to collate letters for an honour, or honours, for various people? Names in a hat….
Monica – it surely should be the function of an Honours Committee to draw up the lists, by all means taking account of public submissions but surely not only from the public: otherwise, any bunch of Civil Service Clerks could do it, working from home or not.
Bob, there is genuinely a way of doing these things, believe me. What ‘should be’ is different from what is. I know because John was once part of an application for an honour for someone – I have truly forgotten who it was – which failed. Once the set of letters is sent in, then a committee ponders and decides. Another possible problem is the number of honours currently available in whatever form. There are more OBEs than CBEs, for example. More knighthoods than C.Hs, which are very limited. I’m not aware of the exact rules or numbers, but I think there are only c. 10 CHs at any given time. It is important that the proposed recipient knows nothing about the suggested honour, and plays no part in the application. S/he is informed of the honour possibility c. 6 months beforehand and asked if it is acceptable. S/he may turn it down at that time, so embarrassment is avoided. It is my understanding (possibly wrong) that Bob Simpson turned down an honour.
I still think it is a great idea to set up a proposal for some deserving music recipient, not only for that person, but for the honour of classical music. However, the proposed recipient should not know of this – it should be done secretly. Incidentally, I happen to know (John never did) that a knighthood was proposed for him – and failed to get through the Honours committee.
Also on HM’s gift list are the orchestra activist Chi-Chi Nwanoku (CBE), and Harry Bicket (OBE).
Thanks for the update.
ABOVE COMMENTED PASTED FROM Mr Lebrecht….hence Chi-CHI is not a double bass player but an activist!
The whole thing is a load of bollocks anyway, the current list full of ancient and modern footballers, and athletes who already have their medals. Congratulations to Hough, the only worthwhile musician in an unworthy list.
Well, apart from the aforementioned Stephen Hough, Harry Bicket and Chi-Chi Nwanoku, we should note that soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn and conductor Michael Seal are the only other classical musicians honoured – and, Pete, they are worthwhile, too. My point is that there should be quite a few more in terms of this very special list in this of all years.
Well Bob, the list is getting slightly longer!
Bob, for all I know, it probably is all done by a bunch of Civil Service Clerks, but how would you expect the committee to know, first-hand, about all those lollipop ladies? I tend to agree somewhat (but not entirely) with Pete Sinclair. However, most countries I think have some sort of honours or medal system, And I don’t see why classical musicians should be so ignored as they are here….
Hey! Big debate going on…..No-body at work????
I tend to agree with Mr Sinclair, but I wonder why Martyn Brabbins has yet to receive a knighthood, so richly deserved.