Simon Rattle and Peter Maxwell Davies lead New Year Honours list

The New Year Honours List has been announced with a number of classical musicians receiving special recognition.

A host of classical music talent is recognised in the list, led by the conductor Sir Simon Rattle and the Master of the Queen's Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Sir Simon joins the Order of Merit, an Order of 24 members chosen by H.M. the Queen herself. There are presently no other musicians in the Order.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies is made a Companion of Honour, an order for outstanding achievers in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry, or religion. Other present Companions of Honour include the mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker and the composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle. Sir Peter was named Master of the Queen's Music in March 2004, a 10-year appointment which is due to end in two months time.

Other classical music figures receiving honours this year include Colette Bowe - who chairs the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) examinations board and the media regulator Ofcom. She becomes a Dame. 

The pianist Stephen Hough is named a Commander of the British Empire. His recent recordings of the Brahms Piano Concertos won particular acclaim during the past year. He's currently in the USA preparing for a concert tour. 

Classic FM's Sam Pittis asked Stephen Hough how he found out about his CBE.

The 80-year old veteran opera and theatre director John Copley also receives a CBE while OBEs have been given to the English National Opera's Chief Executive Loretta Tomasi and soprano Katherine Jenkins

"I am incredibly humbled to receive this great honour," Katherine Jenkins said. "To accept such an award after only a decade of service to music and charity, comes as a wonderful surprise. I share this award with the charitable bodies I am so privileged to work with, especially to those brave service men and women who risk so much for us all on a daily basis."

Gillian Humphreys, who set up the music charity the Concordia Foundation, and David Sulkin - the Chief Executive of the Musicians Benevolent Fund - also receive OBEs.

Classical music philanthropist Doreen Tabor receives an MBE, as do Angela Kay - the Artistic Director of education charity Music for Everyone - and Marios Papadopoulos, the founder and artistic director of the Oxford Philomusica.

Elsewhere in the arts world, the sculptor Anthony Gormley becomes a Knight and actresses Penelope Keith and Angela Lansbury and the choreographer Gillian Lynne all become Dames; actress Lynda Bellingham receives an OBE; suspense writer Anthony Horowitz has been honoured with an OBE; and Gavin and Stacey's Ruth Jones is named an MBE.