Two composers, a maestro and a music boss in Queen’s birthday honours

Two composers, a maestro and a music boss in Queen’s birthday honours


norman lebrecht

June 13, 2015

Sir Neville Marriner, 91, is appointed to one of the highest honours in the Queen’s gift, the Companion of Honour.

neville marriner 90


There are knighthoods for the Welsh composer Karl Jenkins and the pro-union Scot, James MacMillan.

james macmillan no

Max Hole, chairman and CEO of UMGI (international division of Universal Music Group) is appointed CBE,


Max Hole with a recovering tenor

as is the composer Mark Anthony Turnage and the chorus conductor Simon Halsey.

The gloriously unretiring Sally Groves, champion of living composers, is made MBE,



along with the clarinettist Michael Collins.

David Whelton, manager of the Philharmonia Orchestra for the past 30 years, becomes OBE.


Our congratulations to them all.



  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    All icons in their fields of distinction. Well deserved.

  • Dave GS says:

    As a member of one of the smaller, professional UK orchestras, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the orchestra for Birmingham Royal Ballet, it is definitely worth adding that the outgoing chief executive of BRB has, also, received an honour.

  • Alexander Platt says:

    Neville Marriner, a Companion of Honour — really? An appointment for the likes of Britten, Elgar, Auden, T.S. Eliot…..REALLY?

    • Robert Kenchington says:

      Yes, really. And why not? The Companion of Honour was also awarded to previous British conductors Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Thomas Beecham and Sir Adrian Boult.

    • Alexander says:

      Of those you list only Britten ever received the CH (and he later received the OM and was created a baron of the United Kingdom). Elgar was a knight bachelor, a baronet, a GCVO, and a member of the Order of Merit. T.S. Eliot received no UK honours other than the Order of Merit, and Auden received no UK honours at all.

      • Andrew Condon says:

        I’m afraid you are not correct. I quote from page 263 of Michael Kennedy’s excellent biography of Sir Adrian: “The year 1969 began with the announcement in the New Years Honours List that Boult had been appointed a Companion of Honour, as Wood and Beecham had been as Barbirolli was to be six months later.”

        • Andrew Condon says:

          Apologies – I think I have been confused by the chronology of these various posts. I had assumed Alexander was responding to Robert Kenchington but on reflection I think he is responding to Alexander Platt, and in that context he is of course correct.

        • Alexander says:

          I was replying to Alexander Platt (“likes of Britten, Elgar, Auden, T.S. Eliot”), not Robert Kenchington.

      • DESR says:

        Colin Davis was a Companion of Honour until his death in 2013, so there was space for a grand old man of British conducting here, which has duly gone to the grander, older Neville Marriner!

  • Alexander Platt says:

    — and to think that Heather Harper, that indispensible British artist of the middle 20th century, never received a knighthood? And Sally Groves, equally essential, just gets an MBE? Ugh, what a joke.