2019 Cobbett Medal awarded to John Gilhooly OBE
John Gilhooly OBE, Artistic and Executive Director of Wigmore Hall and Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society, has been awarded the 2019 Cobbett Medal, an annual award given by the Musicians’ 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.
John Gilhooly received the Cobbett Medal at the Court & Livery Dinner on Wednesday 10th April at Skinners’ Hall, from the Master, Michael Lewin FRAM. Acknowledging the award, John said: “I am very pleased to accept the Walter Wilson Cobbett Medal from Musicians’ Company , especially as this award puts a spotlight on chamber music. The Musicians’ Company 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.”