The eminent composer-conductor Oliver Knussen CBE has been awarded the ISM Distinguished Musician Award 2016 for his extraordinary services to music as a leading figure in contemporary classical music.
Of receiving the award, Oliver Knussen CBE said: ‘I am particularly touched to be accorded this honour by such a distinguished professional body as the Incorporated Society of Musicians, which acts tirelessly on behalf of its members and the rights of musicians in general. Thank you so very much!’
Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of the Musicians said: ‘We are delighted to award the ISM Distinguished Musician Award to the eminent composer-conductor Oliver Knussen CBE as an acknowledgement of his extraordinary contribution to music as a leading figure in contemporary classical music.’
About the ISM’s Distinguished Musician Award
Established in 1976, the ISM’s Distinguished Musician Award recognises outstanding contributions that an individual (member or non-member) has made to musical life in the UK. Only one award is made each year and previous recipients include Sir Antonio Pappano, Dame Felicity Lott, Sir William Walton, Sir Peter Pears, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir James Galway, Jacqueline du Pré OBE, Sir Michael Tippett, Sir Charles Groves, Sir Simon Rattle, Norman Del Mar, Sir Colin Davis, Christopher Hogwood, Sir David Willcocks, Dame Fanny Waterman, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sir Charles Mackerras, John McCabe, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Pierre Boulez, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Dame Janet Baker, Sir Mark Elder, John Stephens, Sarah Connolly, Judith Weir, Julian Lloyd Webber and Dame Emma Kirkby. The award is always dated the year before it is awarded to correspond with the term of the ISM President.
About Oliver Knussen CBE
One of the pre-eminent composer-conductors in the world today, Oliver Knussen was born in Glasgow in 1952, grew up near London (where his father was principal Double Bass of the London Symphony Orchestra) and now lives in Suffolk. He is presently Artist-in-Association with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Richard Rodney Bennett Professor of Music at the Royal Academy of Music. The recipient of many honours and awards, including the Nemmers Prize in 2006, the RPS Conductor Award in 2009 and The Ivors Classical Music Award in 2016, he has served as Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival (1983-98), Head of Contemporary Music at the Tanglewood Music Center (1986-93), Principal Guest Conductor of the Hague Residentie Orchestra (1993-97), Music Director of the London Sinfonietta (1998-2002), and Artist-in-Association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (2009-2014). He was appointed a CBE in 1994 and received the Queen’s Medal for Music 2015. Together with Colin Matthews he founded the Composition and Performance Courses at the Britten-Pears School in 1992 and in recent years has been invited for residencies at the Royal Academy of Music, the New England Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, and the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Among his best-known works are the operas Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop!, written in collaboration with the late Maurice Sendak, as well as three symphonies, concertos for horn and violin, and smaller-scale works including Ophelia Dances, Coursing, Flourish with Fireworks, Songs without Voices, Two Organa and Songs for Sue. His 60th birthday was celebrated with special events in Aldeburgh, Amsterdam, Birmingham, London and Tanglewood and he has recorded more than 50 CDs for labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Virgin and NMC.
About the ISM
The Incorporated Society of Musicians is the UK’s fastest growing professional body for musicians and a nationally recognised subject association for music. We were set up in 1882 to promote the art of music and to protect the interests of all musicians. Today we support nearly 8,000 members with unrivalled services and expert advice, from study up until retirement and beyond. We have always been a wholly independent, not-for-profit organisation, allowing us to lobby Government as a united voice for music. We welcome musicians from all areas of the profession including thousands of performers, composers, educators, sound engineers, producers, industry professionals, academics, music therapists and administrators from all genres and musical backgrounds.