NEW YEAR HONOURS: Alston leads arts list

Choreographer Richard Alston has crowned his 70th birthday with a knighthood in the New Year Honours List.

Alston, who has been creating dances for 50 years, is to close his company, Richard Alston Dance, in 2020 after 24 years. He has been a leading advocate for learning and dance in education and will be the subject of the AI Profile in January.

Other major recipients of honours from the arts and heritage sector include knighthoods for the Science Museum director Ian Blatchford, the novelist Philip Pullman and the comic actor and TV documentary maker Michael Palin.

Dance is particularly well represented in this list, with CBEs for the former joint principal of the Conservatoire for Dance, Veronica Lewis, and the choreographer Anthony Van Laast; OBEs for the dance producer Farooq Chaudhry, Xander Parish for his work in cultural relations with Russia and Darius James for services to community dance; MBEs for the choreographer and dancer Pratap Pawar, the Royal Ballet School teacher Anita Young and Sujarta Bannerjee; and BEMs for Irene Hayes for her work in Southwark and the teacher Babette Langford.

Novelist Margaret Atwood is to become a Companion of Honour, and there are CBEs for the virtuoso violinist Nicola Benedetti, the artist Tacita Dean, and Julia Donadson, the  children’s writer.

Others honoured from the arts and heritage sector are:

CBE: The Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason; the literacy expert Ruth Miskin; the chair of Arts & Business Scotland, Diana Murray; the actor Sophie Okenedo; the architect John Pawson; the musician Nitin Sawhney; and the artists Yinka Shonibare and Gillian Wearing.

OBE: The artist and academic Sonia Boyce; Bunny Christie, the designer; Tate’s director of partnerships and programmes Caroline Collier; Lady Lucy French for leading First World War education programmes; Malcolm Hay, curator of the Parliamentary Art Collection; the film producer Alby James; the designer Tom Karen; Helen MacLagan, UNESCO’s UK director of culture; Sam Mullins, director of the London Transport Museum; Andrew Nairne, director of Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge; the actor Thandie Newton; Mike O’Connor, deputy director of the National Army Museum; the historian, writer and TV presenter David Olusoga; the illustrator Chris Riddell; Tom Smith, head of jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; the composer and teacher Shirley Thompson; Stephen Trow, for services to heritage in Hampshire; the sculptor Alison Wilding.

MBE: Stanley Beckensall for his work on prehistoric rock art; John Bennett, former chair of Guildhall School of Music and Drama; , the magician David Berglas; the pianist Christian Blackshaw; Natasha Bucknor, executive director of Talawa Theatre; the choral director Stephen Darlington; Ann Dumas, curator at the Royal Academy; the founder of Theatre Pweckham, Mary-Teresa Early; Stephen Foster, former director of the John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; the musician Gordon Giltrap; the songwriter David Grant; Sharon Granville, executive director of the Museum of Liverpool; the portrait painter David Griffiths; David Hill, musical director of the Bach Choir; music teacher Karen Humphreys; film producer Paul Jackson; the sculptor and teacher Bryan Kneale; the Leicester poet and playwright Carol Leeming; Margaret McLellan for services to highland dancing; Andrea Nixon, former executive director of Tate Liverpool; the head of production at the British Film Commission, Samantha Perahia; Wilfred Pyper for services to music in Northern Ireland; film producer Lisbeth Savill; Jacqueline Tyler for music education in Birmingham; the painter Barbara Walker; Vivien Wallace Coleman for services to theatre; music impresario Neil Warnock; teacher Elizabeth Weir; Buxton Museum curator Rosalind Westwood; and Tim Yealland, head of education at English Touring Opera.

BEM: Elizabeth Asprey for services to museums in Saltash; Janice Ball, musician; Clive Boursnell, photographer; Rachel Copley for services to music in South Yorkshire; James Davies for work on the coal mining heritage of East Kent; William Espie, curator of the RAF Regiment heritage centre; Anne Furbank, services to fashion; Elizabeth Glass, Cynthia Gomme and Jeffrey Howard for services to music; David Johnson, drama in Oldham; Andrew McCormack, music in North East Scotland; Gillean McNab of the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band; Eileen Pike, music in Aberdeen; Colin Pratt, music in South London; Mary Robinson, music in Blockley, Gloucestershire; Anne Speirs, Bute Museum curator; Tracey Walsh, culture in the community in Manchester; Edwin and Veronica Willis, handbell ringers in Devon.


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