Out of the blue has come a letter from the Worshipful Company of Musicians, telling me that I have been awarded the 2013 Walter Wilson Cobbett Medal for distinguished services to chamber music.
WW Cobbett was a successful businessman whose true passion was chamber music. Groves’ Dictionary observed that he ‘gave to commerce what time he could spare from music’. His book, Cobbett’s Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music, is still a classic. In 1924 he established an endowment to enable the Worshipful Company of Musicians to present the Cobbett Medal annually.
With my letter was a list of previous winners who included Edward Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Yehudi Menuhin, Pablo Casals, Dame Myra Hess, Gerald Moore, the members of the Amadeus Quartet, and many other fine musicians – composers, performers, animateurs, educators – who have contributed to the well-being of chamber music. I feel very honoured indeed.
The 2013 Cobbett Medal is to be presented at a dinner in Stationers’ Hall in the City of London in April.