Judith Weir is to be announced by Buckingham Palace as the first ever female Master of the Queen’s music, taking over from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Weir has composed several acclaimed operas, including A Night at the Chinese Opera and Blond Eckbert, and was resident composer with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the 1990s. In 2007 she was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music in recognition of her contribution to British musical life.
Her works have taken inspiration from medieval history, the Chinese Yuan Dynasty and Scottish and Icelandic folklore.
The role of master is described as ‘the musical equivalent of poet laureate’. It comes with no fixed obligations, but the master may ‘choose to produce compositions to mark royal or state occasions if he or she wishes to do so.’