Musicians honoured by the Queen

Mitsuko Uchida, Stephen Cleobury and Simon Preston receive honours

Pianist Mitsuko Uchida, conductor Stephen Cleobury and organist Simon Preston have all received honours for their services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. In total fifteen people were honoured for their services to music.


The London-based Japanese pianist Uchida, who is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart and Schubert and last year won BBC Music Magazine’s Disc of the Year for her latest Beethoven CD, was made a dame. Meanwhile organist Simon Preston, who has carved an international career following his time as organist first at Westminster Abbey and then Christ Church, Oxford, was awarded the CBE.

Cleobury, who is director of music at King’s College, Cambridge, home to the world-renowned King’s Choir, was also appointed CBE. ‘I had no inkling that this was going to happen, and I’m very delighted,’ says Cleobury to Cambridge News. ‘I have received honours for my work in the world of music, but this is the first time I have been honoured by the Queen.’

Grahm Vick, artistic director of Birmingham Opera Company, was also awarded a CBE. Vick founded the company in 1987 with the aim of producing opera in unexpected venues ranging from shopping centres to abandoned buildings.

OBEs were awarded to Gary Crosby, artistic director of Tomorrow’s Warriors, an organisation which works towards providing high-quality jazz music education, and, on the diplomatic service and overseas list, David Vincent Wilkin Chew, cellist, music teacher and founding director of the Rio International Cello Festival.


Kuljit Bhamra, who was honoured for services to Bhangra and British Asian music, was one of several musicians who received MBEs. The others include composer Brian Irvine, for services to music in Northern Ireland; conductor and horn player Xenophon Kelsey, for services to music; David Vernon Read, for services to brass band music; Helen Watkins-Snart for services to Croydon Music Festival; Glyn Hughes, music director of Brymbo Male Choir, for services to music and to charity in North Wales; Gillian Dibden, for services to youth choral music in Berkshire; Professor Leslie Bunt, founding director of the music therapy charity, the MusicSpace Trust; and John Powell, head of music and performing arts at Davenant Foundation School in, Loughton, Essex, for services to education.