John Gilhooly OBE, Artistic and Executive Director of Wigmore Hall and Chairman, Royal Philharmonic Society, has been awarded the Musicians’ Company Cobbett Medal, an annual award given by the Company to recognise outstanding contributions to chamber music.
The Cobbett Medal was inaugurated by the Company in 1924 and previous winners have included Edward Elgar, Frank Bridge, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arnold Bax, John Ireland, Pablo Casals, Myra Hess, William Walton, Michael Tippett, Yehudi Menuhin, the Amadeus Quartet, Peter Maxwell Davies, Julian Bream, Graham Johnson and John Gilhooly’s predecessor as Director of the Wigmore Hall, William Lyne.
John Gilhooly became Director of Wigmore Hall in 2005, making him, then, the youngest leader of any of the world’s great concert halls. He had been Executive Director of Wigmore Hall since December 2000 and has overseen the artistic, financial and administrative transformation of the Hall over the past 16 years. His tenure has produced record box office returns and the Hall’s highest-ever membership levels and annual fundraising. As Artistic Director of Wigmore Hall, he programmes the largest chamber music and song series in the world, and he is noted for his commitment to outstanding emerging artists, diversity and contemporary music.
Each year the Musicians’ Company, one of the oldest and most respected charitable companies in the City of London, donates over £250,000 in scholarships and awards in support of young musicians at the start of their careers across all musical disciplines. Associated with its widespread support for young musicians across all musical genres, the Musicians’ Company has a long tradition of recognising creative talent and the contribution that distinguished artists have made to the music profession. John Gilhooly received the Cobbett Medal on Wednesday 10th April from the Master of the Musicians’ Company, Michael Lewin FRAM.
John Gilhooly says: “I am very pleased to accept the Walter Wilson Cobbett Medal from The Worshipful Company of Musicians, especially as this award puts a spotlight on chamber music. The Worshipful Company of Musicians also does wonderful work in bringing music making to 10,000 young people, often in deprived schools, through its Yeomen Programme and it’s a huge honour to receive any award from such an important institution.”