Radu Lupu is one of a number of leading musicians to have been named in the recently announced New Year Honours list.
The outstanding Romanian pianist, 70, has been awarded the CBE, while fellow pianist Malcolm Martineau and conductor Steuart Bedford have received OBEs.
While few would doubt Lupu’s brilliance, the timing of his award ‘for services to music’ may seem to some a little quirky – resident outside the UK, he gives recitals relatively infrequently in Britain, boycotts London’s concert halls almost entirely and prefers not to speak to the press. Others, however, have argued that a CBE is scant reward for a player whose sublime artistry ought in fact to be recognised with a knighthood.
The OBE for Steuart Bedford, 76, rewards a conductor whose long and distinguished career has included notable moments such as conducting the world premiere of Britten’s Death in Venice in 1973. Particularly closely associated with the music of Britten, Bedford is also a former artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival in Suffolk.
Also awarded the OBE is Pianist Malcolm Martineau, a performer who has made his name as one of today’s most accomplished accompanists.
A regular at many of the world’s leading chamber music venues, not least London’s Wigmore Hall, the 55-year-old Scot’s impressive discography includes highly acclaimed recordings with the likes of mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, soprano Barbara Bonney and baritone Simon Keenlyside.
Among those awarded the MBE is violinist Alina Ibragimova.
There are also welcome honours for a number of those who ply their musical trades away from the big stage. Among these are City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra violinist Catherine Arlidge who, for her exceptional outreach work with her quartet The Stringcredibles, has been awarded an MBE for services to music education.
There is also an MBE for the Czech-born Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, in recognition of her fundraising for and patronage of musical activities in Liverpool.
Below is a list of the major New Year Honours recipients from the music world:
Matthew Bourne. Choreographer. For services to dance.
Ms Jill Tookey. Founder and artistic director, National Youth Ballet Great Britain. For services to dance and young people.
Radu Lupu. Pianist. For services to music.
Steuart John Rudolf Bedford. Conductor. For services to music.
Leslie Charles East. Lately Chief executive, ABRSM. For services to musicians and music education.
Paulette Long. For services to the music industry.
Malcom John Martineau. Pianist. For services to music and young singers.
Professor Helen Margaret Odell-Miller. Professor of music therapy and director, Music therapy research centre, Anglia Ruskin University. For services to music therapy.
Jane Thursa Sanderson. Chief exective, Drake music Scotland. For services to music education and people with disabilities.
Ms Catherine Arlidge. Violinist. For services to music education.
Maralyn Barton-Kronman. Head of costume workrooms, ROH. For services to performing arts.
Carolyn Baxendale. For services to music and the community in Bolton.
Felicity Belfield. For services to supporting musicians and dancers.
John Clemson. Chair, Music therapy works. For services to music in Birmingham.
Anne Conlon. For services to Musical education and conservation in the UK and abroad.
Sallie Jane Eastick. Chief Executive, Musical Keys. For services to Families with Children with severe and life-limiting disabilities.
Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines. Fundraiser and Patron, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. For services to music.
Alina Ibragimova. Violinist. For services to music.
Richard Escricke Phillips. For services to music and the arts.
Goldie. For services to music and young people.