Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has awarded the 2010 Queen's Medal for Music to Dame Emma Kirkby. Dame Emma, who along with Kathleen Battle remains one of my absolute favourite singers, is an English soprano specialising in Baroque and early music and who is renowned for her the otherworldly, bell-like purity of her tone. Dame Emma, 61, is the sixth recipient of the prize which was inaugurated in 2005 and is awarded annually to those who have significantly contributed to the musical life of Britain.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen's Music and chair of the Medal's nominating committee, said "I think it's marvellous that the world of early music has been recognised in this year's Queen's Medal for Music, particularly that the award is going to Dame Emma Kirkby, who has done more than anybody to put this music in the centre of our musical consciousness."

Among my favourite of her albums is her 2009 recording of Handel's Chandos Anthems. Below is a clip of her sining "Aus liebe will mein heiland sterben" from Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

7 years ago |
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