Shearing and Holroyd join knighthood
Pianist George Shearing, who composed the iconic jazz standard “Lullaby of Birdland,” and writer Michael Holroyd received British knighthoods in the New Year’s Honors List published today.
Shearing, 87, a London native who was born blind, led the George Shearing Quintet and other notable combos in the 1950s and 1960s. He has entertained Queen Elizabeth II and was invited to play for U.S. Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan.
“Lullaby of Birdland” is one of his 300 compositions.
Speaking from New York on Friday, Shearing said it was “amazing to receive an honor for something I absolutely love doing. Receiving such an honor as a knighthood might also show young people what can be achieved in life if one learns his craft and follows his dreams.”
Holroyd, 71, has established a stellar literary reputation with a five-volume biography of George Bernard Shaw, two volumes on writer Lytton Strachey (best known as the author of “Eminent Victorians”) and a two-volume set on painter Augustus John.