Imogen Cooper has been awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music for 2019, the first pianist to do so.
She is the 15th recipient of the award, which was established in 2005 at the suggestion of composer Peter Maxwell Davies, who was, at the time, Master of the Queen’s Music. The first award was given to conductor Charles Mackerras.
The current Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, was chair of the committee who nominated Cooper. The recommendation was then passed to the Queen for her approval.
Cooper was commended for her work with the Imogen Cooper Music Trust, a charity which supports and tutors young musicians with masterclasses. She has been a star pianist for over five decades.
Previous recipients of the award include soprano Emma Kirkby, baritone Thomas Allen, choirmaster Simon Halsey, violinist Nicola Benedetti, oboist Nicholas Daniel, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, jazz bassist Gary Crosby and composers Thea Musgrave, Oliver Knussen and Judith Weir.