Judith Weir is widely expected to be the next Master of the Queen’s Music, with an official announcement due next month.
Weir would be the first woman to hold the post since its creation in 1626. Its current incumbent is Peter Maxwell Davies, who became the first composer to hold the position on a 10-year, fixed-term basis when he was appointed in 2004.
Previous holders of the role include Sir Edward Elgar, Arnold Bax, Arthur Bliss and, serving for nearly 30 years immediately before Maxwell Davies, Malcolm Williamson.
No statement has been made by Buckingham Palace or by Weir herself.
Weir’s appointment would follow that of Carol Ann Duffy, who became the first woman to hold the position of Poet Laureate in 2009.
In 2007, Weir was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music, which is presented once annually to a UK or foreign national who has ‘had a major influence on the musical life of the nation’. She is the only composer to have received the award since its institution in 2005.
The Sunday Times quotes unnamed ‘friends’ of Weir’s, reporting one as saying she ‘had to be dragged almost kicking and screaming to accept’.