Baritone Sir Thomas Allen has been awarded The Queen’s Medal for Music 2013.
Awarded annually since 2005, the medal is given to ‘an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation’. Sir Thomas will be presented with the award by The Queen at an audience later this year.
Sir Thomas said he was ‘surprised and thrilled’ to receive the award. ‘This very special award means so much to me and I’m very proud to have been selected.’
Sir Thomas will be 70 this year and continues to perform in Britain and abroad. He is chancellor of Durham University since 2012 and patron of the Samling charity, which runs masterclasses, an academy and outreach work for young professionals and young people.
He directed his first opera production at the Royal College of Music in 2003 with Albert Herring and most recently directed Scottish Opera in Don Giovanni late last year to solid reviews.
The departing master of the Queen’s music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, called Sir Thomas ‘a top opera singer who has become not only a top opera director but also a major force in outreach and musical education’.
‘Through the Samling Foundation, he has carried out utterly selfless work for charity and, above all, for young people, and it is for this achievement of a lifetime that The Queen’s Medal for Music Committee felt so strongly persuaded to award him the Medal.’