Pianist Imogen Cooper CBE has been awarded The Queen’s Medal for Music 2019. The Medal, first awarded in 2005, each year acknowledges an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the United Kingdom.
“I am humbled and honoured to be receiving The Queen’s Medal for Music, following a line of distinguished colleagues whose achievements I have always admired,” says Imogen. “I believe that the power of music is like no other within the arts – vitally necessary to calibrate, stimulate, move and nurture us in these turbulent times. Through the Imogen Cooper Music Trust, I am more than gratified to reinforce this power to a younger generation, who are starting on a long journey. My heartfelt and respectful thanks to Her Majesty.”
Recipients of the honour are nominated by a committee chaired by Judith Weir, Master of The Queen’s Music, before being approved by The Queen. Judith Weir comments: “A historically important British solo pianist, Imogen Cooper has devoted her extensive, and ongoing, performing career to her repertoire, richly upholding the values of classical music as an inspiration to listeners and colleagues worldwide.”
During her celebrated career of over five decades Imogen has performed with some of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland and Vienna Philharmonics, and the London Symphony Orchestra. She is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music and was made a Doctor of Music at Exeter University. In 2015 she founded the Imogen Cooper Music Trust, supporting young musicians with personal tutoring and a series of week-long masterclasses.
Imogen was among the first musicians to return to the concert stage this year, performing a livestreamed concert from the stage of London’s Wigmore Hall during lockdown. Watch a highlight of that performance alongside Imogen’s reflection on receiving The Queen’s Medal for Music: