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Elgar Society Medal Conferred on Michael Kennedy CBE  

In a presentation at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on 24 February, the music critic, author and journalist Michael Kennedy CBE was presented with The Elgar Society Medal in recognition of his role in furthering the legacy of Sir Edward Elgar through scholarship and publications over the last 40 years.
The medal was conferred upon Mr Kennedy by Andrew Neill, a Vice-President of the Elgar Society, on behalf of Steven Halls, the Society’s Chairman, during a concert by the Hallé conducted by Sir Mark Elder. The presentation took place on the platform at the Bridgewater Hall just before the performance of Elgar’s First Symphony.
The Elgar Society Medal is the society’s highest honour and recognises performers or scholars who have contributed significantly over the last decade or more to the wider appreciation of Elgar and his music. The award was originally open only to nominees from outside the United Kingdom. However, the Elgar Society widened the criteria last year to embrace citizens of the UK, and Michael Kennedy is the first British-born recipient. His citation was reproduced in the evening’s concert programme and pays tribute to his body of published work, which includes Portrait of Elgar (1968), Elgar Orchestral Music (1970) and The Life of Elgar (2004) together with numerous articles, reviews, programme notes and contributions to films.
Michael Kennedy, who was 85 on 19 February, joins a select assembly of previous Elgar Society Medal recipients, including conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Leonard Slatkin, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Tadaaki Otaka, Andrew Litton and Sakari Oramo, together with the Danube Symphony Orchestra and Elgar biographer Jerrold Northrop Moore.
‘No-one has done more to promote the Elgar cause over such a long time and contributed so much to Elgar appreciation and scholarship than Michael Kennedy,’ says Elgar Society Chairman Steven Halls. ‘He combines the highest level of scholarship with musical sympathy and a warm humanity.’ Geoff Scargill, the chairman of the Society’s North-Western Branch said: ‘All of us in the Society thank Michael Kennedy and hope that he will continue to champion Elgar’s cause for many years to come.’
Formed in 1951 to encourage the study, performance and appreciation of the music of Sir Edward Elgar and to foster research into his life and works, the Elgar Society brings members together at branch, national and international levels through meetings, lectures, recitals and visits, with members' individual and collective research contributing significantly to a greater understanding of Elgar and his legacy. For information on Elgar Society membership, events and resources, visit or e-mail
Michael Kennedy will be talking about his life and work to Dr John Harcup, Chairman of the West Midlands branch of the Elgar Society, on the afternoon of Saturday 2 July at the Elgar Birthplace Museum in Lower Broadheath, near Worcester. This is a fund-raising event for the museum, and tickets (a minimum donation of £4 for Elgar Society members and £7 for non-members) are available from Richard Smith via  

The presentation of the Elgar Society Medal to the music critic, author and journalist Michael Kennedy CBE by Andrew Neill, a Vice-President of the Elgar Society. Photograph courtesy of Malcolm Bourne.   
Michael Kennedy joined The Daily Telegraph at the age of 15 in 1941 and started contributing to the paper’s music columns in 1950. Subsequent posts included Northern Editor (1960-1986), Joint Chief Music Critic (1986-1989) and Chief Music Critic of The Sunday Telegraph (1989-2005). He was on the Board of Governors of the Royal Northern College of Music from 1971 to 2006. As a writer, Michael’s main interests are the music of the late Romantic period, the life and works of 20th century English composers and music-making in Manchester since the 19th century. He was appointed OBE in 1981 and CBE in 1997.  

Issued by Principal Communications on behalf of The Elgar Society 
Press Enquiries: Jill O’Sullivan
UK Tel: 01949 860126
Ref: ES/PR/017
Date: Mar 2010




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