Cambridge University


A couple of years ago, Cambridge University very graciously awarded me an honorary Doctorate of Music. After the usual Covid delays, finally the day arrived when a live graduation could take place in the Senate House. During this ceremony, I felt rather as I did when I studied music at Cambridge fifty years ago - surrounded by people who were much more advanced in their own subjects than I was. In the slowly moving crocodile up King's Parade my walking partner was Wole Soyinka, the pair in front of us were Ali Smith and Simon Schama (alphabetical order) with Roger Penrose just ahead of them...and so on.


However, it was generally agreed that I, as the sole MusD recipient, had been given the best gown, this lovely 'cream damask and dark cherry satin' construction (pictured). The beautiful room I am in is the Parker Library in Corpus Christi College. The case behind the group of people on the left contains one of the world's two existing copies of the 11th century Winchester Troper. One of the things I love about Cambridge is that no-one seemed greatly fussed by having this fabulous object lying around in the background.


For those who enjoy Slow TV, a film of the event is available. The c90 minute ceremony is in Latin (with some throwaway quips in Greek.) As someone has posted in the YouTube comments, "I don't remember subscribing to this channel, but cool" !


autumn.jpg

JUDITH WEIR

Composer