A richly deserved honour for Sir Simon

A richly deserved honour for Sir Simon


norman lebrecht

June 10, 2018

In the Queen’s birthday honours list Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is made a Companion of Honour. She has long been a royal favourite.

Loud applause, too, for the baritone Simon Keenlyside who receives a knighthood for a career studded with brilliance and adversity. This will be a much acclaimed honour for a brave and resourceful artist who has unflappably taken the rough with the smooth.

Other musical gongs:

CBE for the composer Thomas Ades

OBEs for marvellous mezzo Alice Coote, composer Debbie Wiseman and jazz pianist Julian Joseph.

CBE for Southbanker Gillian Moore.

MBEs for Susanna Eastburn, Barry Farrimond and Rosemary Johnston.

Congrats to all.




  • Una says:

    How lovely for them all! Many congratulations particularly to Simon whom I known and followed from all those years ago at the RNCM. His teacher, John Cameron, whom we all loved, was always very proud of Simon. John would have been thrilled at this.

  • Mavisp says:

    Simon Keenlyside deserves acknowledgement and so do the others you list but you should not imagine that these baubies arrive quite by chance. In the end it’s largely down to who lobbies hardest. Very many talented performers get ignored because nobody influential is arguing their case or increasingly because they really don’t care, Bizarrely labelled layers of awards tied to the British Empire (CBE, OBE, etc) seem hideously out of date.

    • Hilary says:

      “Bizarrely labelled layers of awards tied to the British Empire (CBE, OBE, etc) seem hideously out of date.”


  • Rob says:

    ‘I don’t believe in honors – it bothers me. Honors bother: honors is epaulettes; honors is uniforms. My papa brought me up this way.’

    Richard P. Feynman

    • Zelda Macnamara says:

      I totally agree that the honours system should be abolished in its current form, but on the other hand, given that it exists, it’s good that serious musicians are being recognised..

  • Marg says:

    Great to see these fabulous artists recognised esp Simon K.

  • Dave Gordon-Shute says:

    Don’t forget Dennis Rollins (jazz trombone) and Julian Joseph (pianist and broadcaster) too. Both awarded gongs.

  • Jackyt says:

    Isn’t Barry Farrimond Ed Grundy from the Archers?

  • Dave Gordon-Shute says:

    Don’t forget Julian Joseph (pianist and broadcaster) and Dennis Rollins (jazz trombonist).