Since 1921 we’ve enjoyed and benefitted from the patronage of the Royal Family. King George V and King George VI were both our Royal Patrons. We are very proud that, today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is our Patron.
In Memory of Our President
Celebrated composer, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CH, CBE, was our President from 2010 - March 2016. He followed in the footsteps of our first President, Sir Edward William Elgar OM, GCVO, who helped set up the charity in 1921.
Sir Peter was a prolific composer who wrote music in a wide variety of styles throughout his career, most well-known for his modern, avant-garde works. His inspiration to compose came from an early production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, and at aged 14 he submitted his first composition for the radio programme, Children’s Hour.
Highlights of Sir Peter’s career include the role of Musical Director at Cirencester Grammar School, Composer in Residence at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Australia, founder of the acclaimed St Magnus International Festival and one of the first composers to open a music download website, MaxOpus.
Sir Peter received a CBE in 1981, was knighted in 1987 and in 2004 was appointed Master of the Queen's Music. More recently, he became a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to music in 2014 and in February 2016 received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal, the highest accolade the society can give, in recognition of outstanding musicianship.