MAGNIFICENT SEVEN - Whitburn claims historic seventh consecutive Scottish Open title

Issue 6119

SIX IN A ROW - Valaisia victorious at Swiss Championship

FOUNTAIN OF KNOWLEDGE - Brett Baker meets American music dynamo, Lee Harrelson

John Wallace CBE to receive Queen’s Medal for Music

Thursday 25 November, 2021

Internationally-renowned brass soloist, composer and educator, John Wallace CBE, is to be the seventeenth recipient of the Queen’s Medal of Music, for the year 2021.

John, a former principal trumpet of the Philharmonia and formerly principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, will follow the celebrated organist Thomas Trotter, who received The Queen’s Medal for Music 2020.

On hearing of the award, John Wallace said: “I am honoured and humbled to accept this award. I work with many teams of inspiring musicians across every genre of music and aspect of music education in Scotland. I just light the touch-paper and stand back. This award is recognition of the indomitable spirit of those musicians.”

John’s musical roots lie in the brass band heartland of Fife, with his early years spent with the Tullis Russell Mills Band. At 16, he toured Europe with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. His professional career spans over five decades, playing with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra.

John has dedicated much of his career to the promotion of arts education. He served as head of the brass faculty at the Royal Academy of Music in London, before becoming principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Leeds Conservatoire, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

A spokesperson for Foden’s Band, with which John enjoys close ties, said: “Foden’s is thrilled to join the wave of congratulations for Professor John Wallace CBE in being awarded the 2021 Queen’s Medal for Music. This is a richly deserved award for John, who has dedicated much of his career to promoting arts education.”

John is the founder of the Wallace Collection, a brass ensemble currently based in St Andrews. The Wallace Collection has toured all over the world, and is now based in Scotland as a partner of the St Andrews Music Participation (StAMP) Project, which has given 150 youngsters across Fife the opportunity to start learning a brass instrument since the start of the pandemic.

John also convenes the Music Education Partnership Group, which worked to secure free instrumental tuition in Scottish state schools. Ian Mills, chairman of the MEPG board, added: “John, with his accustomed modesty, is keen to acknowledge the contribution made by the wide group of people he engages with.

“However, there is no doubt this is a well-deserved honour in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of music and music education and I am sure MEPG colleagues will join with me in offering our congratulations.”

The Queen’s Medal for Music was established in 2005 at the suggestion of former Master of The Queen’s Music, the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. The medal is awarded annually to an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation.

The nominating process for the award is overseen by a committee chaired by the Master of The Queen’s Music, Judith Weir. The committee meet annually to discuss their nominees before submitting their recommendation to The Queen for approval.

Commenting on the award, Judith Weir said: “Following his stellar career as a trumpet player, John Wallace transformed arts education during his stewardship of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. His creativity and energy remain an inspiration and example to everyone in the musical world.”