Recipients of the honor for outstanding achievement, among the highest available to U.K. and Commonwealth citizens, are named twice a year by Buckingham Palace upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
No date has been set for the investiture, but Freud told The Houston Chronicle that "my HGO duties permitting, I would be very keen to go to receive the medal from the Queen."
Freud, who is just completing his first year in Houston, was honored "for services to Music" — specifically, for his work as general director of Welsh National Opera from 1994-2005. Under his stewardship, WNO became not only Great Britain's most awarded opera company — with two Olivier Awards and four Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, among others — but also its hippest. And no, with the WNO, "hip opera company" was not an oxymoron.