The Walter Willson Cobbett Medal

Established in 1924 and endowed by W.W.Cobbett (Master 1928-1929 and a well-regarded amateur violinist), a silver gilt medal is presented annually to a distinguished musician in recognition of services to Chamber Music. A list of winners is shown below.

 

Walter Willson Cobbett CBE (1847-1937) was also connected with, and gave his name to a number of competitions for Chamber Music composition. Two of these were conducted under the auspices of the Musicians' Company (1905 and 1907) and in 1955 there was also a Memorial Competition in Cobbett's name to celebrate 50 years since the original Phantasy Prize. Details of these competitions are presented in the Manuscripts section of this website.

 

Here are links to those pages, which also include many of the submissions:

1905 Phantasy Prize

1907 Phantasy Prize No. 2

1955 The Cobbett Memorial Competition

Shown right is a 1929 painting by Frank Owen Salisbury (1874-1962) called The Concert Party. It was commissioned by Cobbett in 1926 and shows him playing the Chausson Concerto for piano and violin with his own string quartet. It featured as the frontispiece of Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music, London, OUP, 1929.

Hanging from the top arch is a scroll that reads "Music of the nobler kind is the soul of things expressed in sound".

The painting is oil on canvass 40.5"x30.5" and was sold in 2017 at an auction in Surrey. Click the image to expand.

The Musicians' Company Archive Project

Past winners:

 

1924 - Thomas Frederick Dunhill

1925 - Mrs. Frederick Coolidge (USA)

1926 - Alfred J Clements (see also here)

1927 - Harry Waldo Warner

1928 - Sir Edward Elgar

1929 - Frank Bridge

1930 - Ralph Vaughan Williams

1931 - Arnold Bax

1932 - John Ireland

1933 - Prof. Charles Wood (awarded posthumously)

1934 - Cecil Armstrong Gibbs

1935 - Richard Watkins

1936 - Sir Donald Tovey

1937 - Pablo Casals

1938 - Ivor James

1939 - Herbert Withers

1940 - Isolde Menges

1942 - Ernest Walker

1943 - Sidney Griller

1944 - Dame Myra Hess

1945 - Herbert Walenn

1946 - Lionel Tertis

1947 - William Walton

1948 - Michael Tippett

1949 - Gordon Jacob

1950 - Denis Brain

1951 - Gerald Moore

1952 - Frederick Thurston

1953 - Sir Arthur Bliss

1954 - Leon Goossens

1955 - Edmund Rubbra

1956 - Arthur Benjamin

1957 - Thurston Dart

1958 - Kathleen Long

1959 - Yehudi Menuhin

1960 - George Malcolm

1961 - Lennox Berkeley

1962 - Anne Macnaghten

1963 - Norbert Brainin

1964 - Emmanuel Hurwitz

1965 - Joan Dickson

1966 - Howard Ferguson

1967 - Kenneth Leighton

1968 - Elizabeth Maconchy

1969 - Hugh Bean

1970 - Cecil Aronowitz

1971 - Watson Forbes

1972 - Denis Matthews

1975 - Janet Craxton

1976 - Gordon Crosse

1977 - Ivor Newton

1978 - Wilfrid Parry

1979 - Edwin Roxburgh

1981 - Hugh Maguire

1985 - Christopher Hogwood

1986 - Philip Jones

1987 - Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

1988 - Lady Evelyn Barbirolli

1989 - Jack Brymer

1990 - Sidonie Goossens

1991 - Eileen Croxford

1992 - Elgar Howarth

1993 - Nona Liddell

1994 - Irvine Arditti

1995 - Levon Chilingirian (see also Here)

1996 - Amelia Freedman

1997 - Prof. Yfrah Neaman

1998 - David Takeno

1999 - Richard Sotnick

2000 - Christopher Rowland

2001 - William Lyne

2002 - Julian Bream

2003 - John Woolf

2004 - Sigmund Nissel

2005 - Peter Cropper

2006 - John Underwood

2007 - Martin Lovett

2008 - Joseph Horovitz

2009 - Graham Johnson

2010 - Stephen Dodgson

2011 - Stephen Kovacevich

2012 - Malcolm Singer

2013 - Susan Tomes

2014 - Richard Ireland

2015 - Trevor Pinnock

2016 - Steven Isserlis CBE

2017 - Kenneth Sillito

2018 - William Bennett OBE

2019 - John Gilhooly OBE

2020 - Emma Johnson MBE

2021 - Corina Belcea

 

The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

Both sides of the Cobbett Medal. This one is inscribed to the Winner in 2009 - Mr Graham Johnson.

The inscription reads:

"For Services to The Art of Chamber Music"

Here is the actual medal awarded to Sir Edward Elgar OM in 1928, which is held by the Elgar Birthplace Museum.

The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project
The Musicians' Company Archive Project

Two pages from the Court Minutes of 8th July 1924, recording the original £50 endowment by W.W.Cobbett and an original design drawing of the Medal.

The Musicians' Company Archive Project

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