Established in 2005, the UK medal is awarded annually to 'an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation'
Violinist Nicola Benedetti has been awarded The Queen’s Medal for Music 2016. Established in 2005 at the suggestion of composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who at that time was Master of The Queen's Music, the UK medal is awarded annually to 'an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation'.
Benedetti, who was presented with the medal by The Queen at Buckingham Palace yesterday, is the youngest ever recipient of the award. The nominations are overseen by a committee under the chairmanship of current Master of The Queen's Music, Judith Weir and then submitted to The Queen for approval.
'It is such an honour to receive the Queen’s Medal for Music and to join such an esteemed list of recipients,' said Benedetti. 'I believe passionately that the arts and music should not be a luxury, and everyone should have access. I see first-hand the powerful impact increased creativity can have on people's lives, and witness in schools, after concerts and during workshops, the effect of experiences that stir our souls and remind us of feelings we forgot were there. I will continue to fight to ensure as many people get access to the arts at a time when music and the arts are being so woefully neglected on the national curriculum agenda.'
Previous Queen's Medal winners include Sir Bryn Terfel, Sir Colin Davis, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Oliver Knussen.
Watch: Nicola Benedetti performs Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto in 2017
Photo: Simon Fowler