Prince of Wales presents Queen’s Anniversary Prize

Queen's Anniversary Prize

Thu, 25 Feb 2016 13:13:00 GMT

‌The University receives the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for “world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience”

HIS Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, accompanied by his wife, The Duchess of Cornwall, has conferred a Queen’s Anniversary Prize on the University of Huddersfield.

The coveted distinction – a component of the country’s official honours system – is awarded every two years to a small number of Higher Education institutions and it recognises innovation across many different disciplines.  The University of Huddersfield’s award is for its work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience.

A party of staff and students attended the Buckingham Palace ceremony at which The Prince and The Duchess bestowed the prize.  It was headed by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan, CBE, and Mr Chris Brown, who is Chair of the University Council.  They were joined by the Dean of the School of Music, Humanities and Media, Professor Martin Hewitt; Professor Rachel Cowgill, who is Head of Music and Drama; plus Professor of Composition Aaron Cassidy.  A group of music and composition students also joined the University’s Palace party.  

This was the 11th round of Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, which were first bestowed in 1992, to mark the 40th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne.  The prizes are the most prestigious national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution and they are a reward for universities and colleges who submit work judged to show excellence, innovation, impact and benefit for the institution itself and for people and society generally in the wider world.      

A panel of 350 experts, drawn from a wide range of professions and disciplines, examines submissions and then a report is compiled for to the Royal Anniversary Trust, which then makes recommendations to the Queen, advised by the Prime Minister.  The University of Huddersfield submitted a 5,000-word document outlining its work in the field of contemporary music.

In 2016, 21 UK universities and colleges have been awarded Anniversary Prizes.  On the evening before the Buckingham Palace ceremony, there was a formal reception at London’s Guildhall.  At this, the Huddersfield party consisted of Professors Hewitt, Cowgill and Cassidy, plus Emeritus Professor Richard Steinitz, who was the founder of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, which was also represented at the event by the current Artistic Director Graham McKenzie and Festival Manager Roisin Hughes.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize

THE official verdict on the University of Huddersfield is that “through a long-term commitment it has built a world leading position in the promotion, production and presentation of contemporary music. It has created state-of-the-art facilities through investment in its new Creative Arts Building, organises two highly regarded annual international music festivals and developed a wide range of partnerships and collaborations.

“In addition to its pioneering work in composition, performance and music technology the University carries out innovative applied research in audio technology and acoustics.  Some of this has industrial application, for example it has carried out work contributing to the tuning of BMW cars. In music it works in a range of ground-breaking areas including new music notation systems and experimental aesthetics, illustrated by its “HlSSThols” system, and new reverb devices.

Queen's Anniversary Prize “Its annual Festival of Contemporary Music, the largest international platform for contemporary music in the UK and widely considered one of the most important new music festivals on the international scene globally, has been broadcast by the BBC since 1982.Its “Electric Spring” Festival has a twenty year history of profiling experimental electronic music and has featured 381 world premieres of works.

“The University’s British Music Collection, supported by the Heritage lottery Fund, is a unique archive of scores and recordings going back to 1900.  All these programmes and activities, combined with the University’s music education outreach to Australia, Mexico and Singapore among others, and underpinned by the interdependence of the University and its festival programme, contribute substantially to its international profile, support the local economy and attract investment from within and outside the UK.”

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