After weeks of speculation, Judith Weir has been officially confirmed as the next Master of the Queen's Music, replacing Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Weir said, 'I hope to encourage everyone in the UK who sings, plays or writes music, and to hear as many of them as possible in action over the next 10 years. Listening is also a skill, and I intend to uphold our rights to quietness and even silence, where appropriate. Above all, our children deserve the best we can give them, and that includes access to live music, whether as learners, performers or listeners.'
Weir, who is the first female Master of the Queen's Music in history, would seem to be perfectly suited to the job, with an eye for communicating clearly with a large audiences. As she said of her approach to opera in Gramophone in 2008: 'In opera I just feel that the complications for the audience of receiving the art work are so great anyway that the text needs to have a particular baldness, or bareness, and that's just what a lot of libretti don't have. So the more documentary, the more almost everyday things that people say on the stage, the better. It's not just a question of verbal clarity but of the information coming from the stage.'
In additional to the Royal appointment, Weir has been named Associate Composer of the BBC Singers from 2015-18.