Queen Elizabeth II presents Nicola Benedetti with the Queen’s Medal for Music at Buckingham Palace on May 23, 2017 (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
On May 23rd in London, Nicola Benedetti was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music 2016 by HRM Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen presented Benedetti with the Medal during a private visit to Buckingham Palace.
On receiving the medal, Benedetti said she would continue to campaign for access to the arts “at a time when music and the arts are being so woefully neglected” in school curriculums.
The medal was established in 2005, an idea suggested by the late Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
It is awarded every year to an “outstanding individual or group of musicians” who have had a major influence on the music world.
Benedetti further said: “It is such an honour to receive the Queen’s Medal for Music and to join such an esteemed list of recipients. 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.”
Benedetti is the 12th and youngest recipient of the award, following Oliver Knussen who received The Queen’s Medal for Music 2015 last year.
The nominating process for the award is overseen by a committee under the chairmanship of the Master of The Queen’s Music, Judith Weir.
Weir said: “Nicola Benedetti is a world-famous violinist of whom musicians in the U.K. are extremely proud. Her mastery of the violin was built at an early age, since when, as a genuinely communicative and sympathetic artist, she has gained an exceptionally enthusiastic public following. Exceptional in the range of her musical activities, she is inspiring new generations of children to learn to play instruments and to enjoy music actively; and gives a significant part of her time and energy to teaching and advocating the importance of music in society and education.”