On Wednesday 5 December, we were honoured to host our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, at the Barbican Hall for a concert honouring this year’s winner of the Queen’s Medal for Music.
This annual award honours those who have made an outstanding contribution to the musical life of the nation. The first medal was awarded in 2005 to Sir Charles Mackerras, and winners since then have included baritone Bryn Terfel, oboist Nicholas Daniel and, in 2009, LSO President Sir Colin Davis.
This year the Medal was awarded for the first time to an ensemble, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Five members of the orchestra’s string principals received the Medal on behalf of their colleagues, and then were invited to join the LSO’s ranks for the second half of the concert. With many past and present members of the LSO, and not to mention the evening’s conductor Robin Ticciati, being former members of the NYO, it was an inspiring experience all round!
The Medal citation was read by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Music, who had earlier made his own contribution to the evening with a new fanfare, Her Majesty’s Welcome. Commissioned by the LSO, the piece was written to allow the wind, brass and percussion sections of the LSO to play alongside young people of different ages and abilities. Joining the LSO on stage (and playing from the Circle!) were around 80 musicians from LSO On Track, our scheme based in the ten Olympic Host and Thames Gateway boroughs of East London which provides a platform for young musicians of all abilities to play side-by-side with the LSO.
The Queen was later introduced to the Orchestra backstage. The visit also marked 30 years since Her Majesty opened the Barbican Centre in 1982, and to mark the occasion she signed the Barbican’s Royal Book on her way out.
> Download a programme from the evening with full information about the concert, Queen’s Medal for Music winners, biographies of the artists and programme notes
> Read some of the reviews of the concert and the reaction to the National Youth Orchestra’s award
> Listen to the concert on BBC iPlayer (available until Wed 12 Dec)