The Queen’s Medal for Music 2020


The Queen has approved the award of Her Majesty’s Medal for Music for the year 2020 to Thomas Trotter, fifteen years to the day since the very first winner was honoured at Buckingham Palace.

Awarded every year to an outstanding individual or group of musicians, The Queen’s Medal for Music was first presented to Sir Charles Mackerras on November 22nd 2005, the feast day of St Cecilia, Patron Saint of music. The award came at the suggestion of former Master of The Queen's Music, the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Previous winners include the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, jazz musician Gary Crosby and, most recently, pianist Imogen Cooper.

Mr. Trotter is one of the world’s most revered concert organists, and is the sixteenth recipient of the award.  He has been the Birmingham City Organist since 1983, and is also a Visiting Fellow in Organ Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. 

Mr. Trotter has toured on four continents, and is often invited to perform the commissioning recital on new or restored organs, including at the Royal Albert Hall and St. David’s Hall in Cardiff. He has partnered with world renowned conductors, including Sir Charles Mackerras, the Medal’s first recipient.

In recognition of his achievements, Mr. Trotter was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s esteemed Instrumentalist Award in 2011, and was named International Performer of the Year for 2012 by the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In 2016, he received the Royal College of Organists Medal, the institute’s highest honour.

The nominating process for the award is overseen by a committee chaired by the Master of The Queen's Music, Judith Weir. The committee meet annually to discuss their nominees before submitting their recommendation to The Queen for approval. 

Commenting on the award, the Master of The Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, said:

“This year’s medal salutes a world famous organist who has done so much to widen and brighten the realm of this great instrument. Thomas Trotter’s series of regular recitals over four decades as Birmingham City Organist is an inspiring example of civic engagement for all performing musicians.”

On hearing of the award, Thomas Trotter said:

“I am deeply honoured to be awarded The Queen’s Medal for Music for 2020. To have my work recognised in this way is totally unexpected and highly gratifying, and it is a privilege to join the list of distinguished recipients of this award.”


Related content


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Visited the Foundling Museum

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Foundling Museum on Wednesday 19th January

The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Imperial War Museum to open two new galleries

The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Imperial War Museum

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the opening of BAFTA Piccadilly

BAFTA is an excellent British institution, and a unique charity with a truly global reach.

16 September 2019
Press release 25 June 2019

New patronage announced for The Duchess of Cambridge

Read more

A speech by The Duchess of Cambridge at the opening of V&A Dundee

I believe we should celebrate all our leading galleries, museums, and cultural centres playing a greater role in communities, not just in London, but up and down the country...

29 January 2019
Press release 20 December 2016

The Queen's Patronages

Read more
Press release 20 May 2016

The Queen's Medal for Music 2015

Read more

Women Of The World

09 March 2016


Sentebale was co-founded by Prince Harry to help vulnerable children in Lesotho
Press release 21 December 2015

The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2015

Read more
Press release 09 May 2015

Queen's Medal for Music 2014 announced

Read more

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the opening of the GREAT festival Shanghai

This GREAT Festival is a statement from the United Kingdom that we are excited about partnering with China in creativity and innovation.

02 March 2015

A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the Innovation is Great event, Tokyo, Japan

I can barely think of another country on earth which pays so much reverence to its ancient customs whilst also being so outwardly modern.

27 February 2015