On 20 May Oliver Knussen CBE was presented with the Queen’s Medal for Music 2015, in a private audience with The Queen. The presentation comes only a day after Knussen received the Ivor Novello Award for Classical Music.
The Queen's Medal for Music, established in 2005, is awarded to an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation. Knussen is the eleventh recipient of the award, following Simon Halsey CBE who received The Queen's Medal for Music 2014 last year.
Commenting on the award, the Master of The Queen's Music Judith Weir said: "Greatly admired and much loved by his musical colleagues, Oliver Knussen is both a revelatory conductor and a masterly composer, whose work always persuades audiences to listen carefully. With characteristic generosity and warmth, he has supported the practice of music in numerous ways: as a musical director of leading festivals, orchestras and ensembles, including the Aldeburgh Festival, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; and as an informal adviser, teacher and friend to several generations of musicians in the UK and further afield."
On hearing of the award Knussen said: "I am most surprised and thrilled to be chosen to receive The Queen's Medal for Music and thus to join such a distinguished list of admired colleagues. It is an honour for me that this should happen during such a special year for Her Majesty The Queen, and I would also like to remember that Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, much-missed colleague and friend of more than forty years, was instrumental in the instigation of this marvellous symbol of professional recognition, which I am extremely happy – and humbled – to accept."