Lady Rose Cholmondeley awarded 'Gloria Artis' Gold Medal for Merit to Culture

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:54 20 February 2013

Lady Rose Cholmondeley awarded 'Gloria Artis' Gold Medal for Merit to Culture

Lady Rose Cholmondeley awarded 'Gloria Artis' Gold Medal for Merit to Culture

Chester's Lady Rose Cholmondeley has been granted the highest Polish cultural award for her work as President of the Chopin Society WORDS BY GEORGIA SMITH

The Gloria Artis Gold Medal for Merit to Culture has been awarded to Chesters Lady Rose Cholmondeley in recognition of her 25 years service to the Chopin Society. It was given to her on behalf of the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, by HE Barbara Tuge-Erecinska, the Polish ambassador, at a ceremony at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London.

Founded in 1971, The Chopin Society UK celebrates the life and works of Fryderyk Chopin, and holds regular Sunday recitals. Lady Cholmondeley, who now lives in London but regularly returns to her family home in Cholmondeley, has fostered a passion for the Polish composer and pianist throughout her life.

I grew up in a musical family. My great-great-great-grandmother knew Chopin very well, and she dedicated his music to her daughter. For me, the passion just happened. I joined the Chopin Society, and my teacher at the time was President. I was asked to be chairman, and accepted, thinking it wouldnt be too much work then I found that my life fitted in with it. As with anything, the more you know, the more interesting you find something. She was later made president.

During her time in that role, Lady Cholmondeley encouraged Anglo-Polish relations, and as a pianist herself, has performed Chopins music worldwide. She has also devoted much of her time to encouraging young pianists, something she feels is incredibly worthwhile: Its so important to offer young pianists a platform. We often establish friendly relations with the players and their families, and if they need opportunities to play in concerts, we are happy to help them. We cant help young people enough. Its a difficult profession as it is, with very few successful pianists.

The Society has strong ties with Cheshire and the surrounding area. Chopin himself performed in Manchester: Theres a strong musical tradition in this part of the country, said Lady Cholmondeley.

The Chopin Society has another link to Cheshire: the patron is no less than Sir Bernard Lovell OBE FRS of Jodrell Bank fame. The telescope is, of course, the Lovell Telescope.

The Chopin Society UK has recently been enjoying high profile events to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Concerts and talks by distinguished musicians and Chopin experts were held in or near places where Chopin stayed, visited or performed. These included a gala concert at Lancaster House where Chopin played to Queen Victoria.

The print version of this article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Cheshire Life

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