Nicola Benedetti, David Hill and composer Nitin Sawhney honoured in New Year Honours 2019

28 December 2018, 22:30 | Updated: 28 December 2018, 22:31

Jim Carter, Nicola Benedetti and Nitin Sawhney are recognised in the New Year Honours 2019 list
Jim Carter, Nicola Benedetti and Nitin Sawhney are recognised in the New Year Honours 2019 list. Picture: Getty

By Elizabeth Davis

Musicians are among the 1,148 people to be given honours this year in a list which also includes authors Philip Pullman and Margaret Atwood and Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter.

Violinist Nicola Benedetti has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list 2019. She’s joined by a pair of choral conductors – David Hill and Stephen Darlington, who are both given MBEs – composer Nitin Sawhney (who is made a CBE) and pianist Christian Blackshaw, made an MBE.

Nicola – who was awarded an MBE in 2013 and the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2016 – said:

“I am very grateful to receive this honour. Thank you. This meaningful public recognition encourages me to deepen my commitment to music, to playing and to providing enrichment, inspiration and variation to the education system that serves communities throughout the UK. I am more resolved than ever to reinforce my advocacy for arts and culture, and to challenge what it means to teach music well.”

From the world of ballet Xander Parish – the first British dancer to join the Mariinsky Ballet – is recognised with a CBE, not only for services to dance but also to ‘UK/Russia cultural relations’.

The choreographer Anthony van Laast – who choreographed the West End musical Mamma Mia! as well as the 2017 live-action Beauty and the Beast film – is made a CBE.

Elsewhere Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter – who plays the Butler Mr Carson in the blockbuster TV series – is made an OBE, while actor Sophie Okonedo is recognised with a CBE. The film director Christopher Nolan also receives a CBE and Thandie Newton is made an OBE.

Other familiar names featuring this year include Michael Palin, who is made a knight, the model Twiggy, who is made a Dame, the authors Philip Pullman and Margaret Atwood, who are given a knighthood and a Companion of Honour respectively.

The cave divers Joshua Bratchley, Lance Corporal Connor Roe and Vernon Unsworth, who rescued a young football team from a cave in Thailand earlier this year are also recognised with MBEs.

England’s impressive football World Cup performance is recognised with an OBE for Gareth Southgate and an MBE for Harry Kane.