Queen Elizabeth II is to bestow her seal of musical approval with a new prize, the Queen's Medal for Music, Buckingham Palace announced today (March 1).

Queen Elizabeth II is to bestow her seal of musical approval with a new prize, the Queen's Medal for Music, Buckingham Palace announced today (March 1).

The medal is designed to raise the profile of music in Britain and to "reward individuals who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation," the palace said.

The prize is open to musicians of any nationality -- and of any genre, from classical to rap -- who have had an impact on music in Britain. It will be awarded on Nov. 22, the memorial day of St. Cecilia, patron saint of music.

Composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who as Master of The Queen's Music will chair the award committee, said the medal was "a concrete symbol of the esteem which most of us feel musical life in Britain deserves."


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