The Queen gives music medal to a NY composer

The Queen gives music medal to a NY composer


norman lebrecht

June 11, 2018

Lovely picture of HM with the New York-based composer Thea Musgrave, who receives the Queen’s Medal for Music for her 90th birthday this year.

Thea says: ‘Although much of my career has been on an international stage, this Medal represents my British heritage. ‘It also recognises the impact my Scottish roots has had on my music – which continue to this day to inform and nourish my work and to anchor my role in the world.’


photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire




  • Nick2 says:

    Congratulations to a lovely lady who has composed some wonderful works. But an “NY Composer”? Surely not! As any who have met her know, she is as Scottish as they come! She may have been based in California and New York for half her life, but she remains as she herself says above British.

    • SVM says:

      Musgrave has also previously been based in Norfolk, Virginia — the Virginia Opera have, to date, given productions of four of her operas (/Mary, Queen of Scots/, /A Christmas Carol/, /Harriet, the Woman Called Moses/, and /Simón Bolívar/), two of which they had commissioned. As for her ties to New York, it is relevant to observe that she was, from the late-1980s to 2003, a Distinguished Professor at Queen’s College, City University of New York.

  • barry guerrero says:

    I never thought of her as an American composer. I would like to get to know her works better.

  • Caroline says:

    Wasn’t the Queen’s Medal awarded to Thea Musgrave in 2017?

  • Karen Fodor says:

    “….NY-based composer” would be a more accurate, but less dramatic headline


    looks like her birthday is being celebrated in Scandinavia with whole concerts of her music; not so much of her music scheduled for the UK though

    • John Borstlap says:

      In the UK, all attention went to the queen’s ‘Trooping the colour’ which provides so much more fun, especially for the queen.

      • Ronnie says:

        Indeed she is only interested in things equestrian, as Prince Philip once remarked, during their 1986 tour of China, “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay then she isn’t interested”.

        • John Borstlap says:

          This does explain E’s sudden 1963 fling with William Courtenay, 15th Earl of Westmorland, who had a reputation of excentricity.

      • Wickham Musgrave says:

        Quite, listening to classical music is not her real pastime. As HRH Prince Philip once remarked during their 1986 tour of China, “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested”
        Elizabeth I on the other hand was fluent in latin, could play the lute and Virginal and liked Tallis and Byrd.

  • Nick2 says:

    There are quite a few more UK concerts of her works including at the Proms and the Edinburgh Festival. You can find them here and on the following page –

  • Rob says:

    What a farce!

  • John Borstlap says:

    Musgrave writes music at the edge of the real:

    I think this is quite beautiful.

  • Sarah Stephens says:

    NY composer? Does living in NYC for the 3 years (of 90!) make her a NY composer? Your impersonal and often inaccurate headlines have always bothered me. Bring more humanity into your reporting, please. A love and respect for the people is sorely missing. It’s felt by so many of your readers.

  • msc says:

    She certainly deserves some public honor and recognition.

  • Sue says:

    Don’t say you love me Mam; just send money!