Former Cheltenham Music Festival artistic director to join House of Lords
A COMPOSER who helped direct and shape Cheltenham Music Festival for a decade will become a Lord.
Michael Berkeley, who was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to music, is due to be made a non-party political peer in the House of Lords.
Mr Berkeley is well known by many for hosting a weekly BBC Radio Three show called Private Passions.
He was artistic director in Cheltenham starting in 1995.
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Jim Harrison, chairman of Cheltenham Music Festival Society, said Mr Berkeley is 'absolutely' deserving of his peerage.
He said: "He has been very vocal in making statements about the need for musical education and over the years he has criticised successive governments for not supporting music enough.
"He was artistic director of the festival. He absolutely did do a great job and that is why he was in charge for such a long time.
"He helped maintain the principles of the festival, concentrating on first class music and first class performance."
Mr Berkeley has written music for the Proms and the Royal Ballet having studied at the Royal Academy of Music.