Ballet and opera figures recognised in honours list

Christopher Hampson of Scottish Ballet and Peter Lawson of Scottish Opera have been made CBEs.
Christopher Hampson of Scottish Ballet and Peter Lawson of Scottish Opera have been made CBEs.

Leading figures from the arts world in Scotland have been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours list.

Christopher Hampson, chief executive and artistic director of Scottish Ballet, becomes a CBE for services to dance.

Peter Lawson, chairman of Scottish Opera, is also made a CBE for services to the arts in Scotland.

Mr Hampson trained at the Royal Ballet School, where he began his choreographic work which continued while he danced with English National Ballet.

PoW annual visit to Scotland 2014
Christopher Hampson, centre right, with Charles and Camilla at the Scottish Ballet headquarters in Glasgow in 2014 (Danny Lawson/PA)

He joined Scottish Ballet as artistic director in 2012, and was appointed chief executive/artistic director in 2015.

Commenting on his royal honour, he told the PA news agency: “I do feel very honoured and I think it’s wonderful to share the recognition with my family, friends and colleagues, and for me the real honour is the opportunity to share all the amazing work we do at Scottish Ballet, so that’s really wonderful too, it helps me shine a light on all the creativity and work we do to make sure the dance world is a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.

“I think coming out of lockdown and getting back into theatres and reconnecting with all of our audiences and the wider community in Scotland, that’s just been amazing and that’s really what keeps me going and what keeps the company going, so I feel like this particular recognition really helps me to shine a light on all that we’re doing around Scotland and internationally.

“It does give us that opportunity to just really celebrate what we’re doing at Scottish Ballet.

“I’m in my 50th year this year so it’s been a lovely year to receive it as well.”

Mr Hampson, who lives in Glasgow, is renowned for championing female choreographers, driving diversity in the ballet world, and commissioning ground-breaking films and digital dance forms, reaching huge international audiences during lockdown and beyond.

As well as his own works, such as The Snow Queen and Cinderella, Scottish Ballet’s repertoire includes new versions of classics such as The Crucible and Coppelia, as well as new commissions by emerging choreographers.

One of Mr Hampson’s key focuses is developing in-house talent through choreographic initiatives.

Scottish Ballet recently won the award for outstanding company at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards in London.

Peter Lawson
Peter Lawson has been made a CBE (Julie Howden/PA) (JULIE HOWDEN)

Mr Lawson is a lawyer and has been involved in a number of arts organisations and trusts, both as legal adviser and as a board member, over several decades.

He is a past chairman of both the Tron Theatre Company and Glasgow Unesco City of Music, and a former committee member of Bafta Scotland.

Mr Lawson, who lives in Glasgow, said: “I am honoured and delighted to accept the CBE in the 2023 Birthday Honours list.

“I have been very fortunate to have been able to contribute to the cultural scene over the past 40 years, particularly with my chairmanships of the Tron Theatre and currently with Scottish Opera.

“I consider the honour as a recognition of the importance of culture in bettering everyone’s day-to-day life, and also honouring the wonderfully dedicated and talented people with whom I have worked in the arts in Scotland.”