Association Of British Choral Directors

Simon Halsey awarded Queen's Medal for Music

Simon Halsey receives the Queen's Medal for MusicMany congratulations to abcd member Simon Halsey, who has been awarded the Queen's Medal for Music 2014. Simon has been the Chorus Director of the CBSO Choruses since 1983 and in 2012 became Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. He is also Principal Conductor of the Berlin Radio Choir and will become their Conductor Laureate in May.

The prize, established in 2005, is awarded to an outstanding individual or group of musicians who has had a major influence on the musical life of the nation. Simon was presented with the award by the Queen at a reception at Buckingham Palace following a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra. He is the 10th recipient of the award and follows in the footsteps of winners such as Bryn Terfel, Dame Emma Kirkby, and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

The nominating process for the award is overseen by a committee under the chairmanship of the Master of the Queen's Music, currently Judith Weir, who commented: 'Choral conductor Simon Halsey has made a fundamental contribution to European music through his championship of choral singing as a vital part of orchestral performance, a British tradition which stretches back several centuries. In 1983, he took over the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, now a world-leading ensemble which, having founded several youth and community choruses along the way, he still directs. As a close colleague of Sir Simon Rattle in both Birmingham and Berlin, he has devised and conducted numerous innovative projects in his time with the Berlin Radio Chorus, and more recently has assumed care of the London Symphony Chorus. His lively, participatory style has inspired a new generation of young choral directors, together with a remarkable upsurge of interest in choirs and singing in the UK.'

Simon Halsey said: 'I am so surprised and thrilled to receive this extraordinary honour from Her Majesty the Queen. Choral music is a vital part of our national life and is such a force for social and educational good. I'd like to see this medal as recognition of the work of a whole generation of dedicated choral musicians.'

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Posted: Thu 12th March 2015

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