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ISM tribute to Her Majesty The Queen

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a public servant like no other. During her long reign she touched the hearts of musicians at home and abroad. The thoughts and condolences of the ISM are with the Royal Family at this time. She will be missed by many in the music community, and below we detail how you can send in your memories of playing for the Queen as part of our tribute.

From our archive

HRH The Queen ISM event

Her Majesty the Queen had a great enjoyment of music. This picture from our archive shows the Queen meeting artists at a Royal Concert in the late 1970s, which benefitted the ISM Benevolent Fund (now the ISM Members Fund), amongst other charities.

Member tributes

Over her 70-year reign, a large part of the Queen’s role was meeting musicians on royal visits. As a tribute, we are giving you the opportunity to share your stories of performing for The Queen and King Charles III. Send your story (50 words) and images to [email protected] and we will select some to publish below.

Jeremy Huw Williams w HM Kind Charles

The photo above shows ISM Past President (2019-20) Jeremy Huw Williams and composer Paul Mealor presenting an award to His Majesty King Charles III for his patronage of Welsh composers during the past 50 years, on behalf of the Welsh Music Guild.

'I sang at the Royal Opera House gala where Princess Diana danced. Having starred in Paris as Rose Marie, I chose the Indian Love Call in French and a Gershwin song. I recall my first impression of the wonderful acoustic, like the inside of a great violin, and being told to bow first to the royal box where King Charles was watching. The King met our cast in the crush bar where he chose to speak a few words to me, and to my surprise, a year later on the same spot: a treasured memory.'

Rhonda Bachmann
, FISM

'In November 1972 I was asked to take part in a concert at the Royal Festival Hall to celebrate the Queen’s 25th Wedding Anniversary. A piece, Capriccio, was commissioned from Sebastian Forbes, which made full use of the resources of the RFH organ. Afterwards I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Her Majesty, though gracious, didn’t say very much, but the Duke obviously enjoyed the kaleidoscopic nature of the piece, and remarked on the way in which my hands constantly jumped rapidly between the four manuals of the organ.'

Margaret Phillips, FISM