A man and a woman both in robes, shaking hands and smiling

Members of Royal College of Music community receive recognition in the 2024 King’s New Year Honours List

Thursday 4 January 2024

The 2024 New Year Honours List includes Victoria, Lady Robey HonRCM, Judith Weir FRCM and Sir Antonio Pappano HonDMus, as well as alumni including Laurence Cummings and Margaret Fingerhut and the next Director of the College, James Williams. 

Victoria, Lady Robey was awarded a CBE for services to music in the 2024 New Year Honours List. A Leadership Supporter of the College, she established the EDI Matching Fund for Scholarships and Bursaries in March 2021 and the EDI Visiting Artists Fund in March 2023 to strengthen support in this vital area of the RCM’s work.  Lady Robey’s support for equitable access to high quality music education propelled her to start the charity Music Masters which has focused on widening access to music education since 2007. A trustee of the Royal Philharmonic Society, Lady Robey served as Chair of the London Philharmonic Orchestra for 10 years and on the Royal College of Music Council from 2007-17. She was made an honorary member of the RCM in 2018.

Composer Judith Weir FRCM has been named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to music, having received a CBE in 1995 and the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2007. She became a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 2006 and currently serves as Master of the King’s Music after being appointed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2014. 

James Williams, who takes up his role as Director of the Royal College of Music in September 2024, became an LVO in the New Year Honours in recognition of his significant contribution to the music for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla in 2023. He was honoured alongside former RCM Council member David Whelton HonRCM, as the two advisors who supported the musical preparation for the Coronation service. Sir Antonio Pappano, who received his Honorary Doctorate from the College in 2020, became a CVO after directing the 12 newly commissioned pieces of music in the ceremony. 

RCM alumni were also recognised including renowned pianist Margaret Fingerhut who received an MBE for services to music and charitable fundraising. Alongside her distinguished international career as a soloist, she recently led a campaign using music by Ukrainian composer Sergei Bortkiewicz to raise money for emergency vehicles in Ukraine. Receiving an OBE for services to music was alumnus and Fellow of the RCM, Laurence Cummings, who is currently Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music.

Several major supporters of the Royal College of Music were also recognised in this year’s honours list. Lady Susan Mary Sainsbury, trustee of the Headley Trust, and David Laing, Chairman of the Kirby Laing Foundation each received a CBE for services to philanthropy and charity. Sophia Mary Mason, Trustee of the Garfield Weston Foundation, a Founding Patron of the RCM, was awarded an OBE for services to arts philanthropy

Read the full list on the gov.uk website.  

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