Internationally-renowned violinist Lizzie Ball and restauranteur and chef Max Fischer will receive honorary degrees from the University of Derby on Saturday 10 November.
Lizzie, born in Hathersage, in the Peak District, attended Lady Manners School in Bakewell before winning an instrumental scholarship to read Music at St. John’s College, Cambridge University. She has since developed a unique brand called Classical Kicks to promote classical music to wider audiences across the world.
She has collaborated and toured around the world with some of the biggest names in the music business, including Nigel Kennedy, as his concertmaster for more than eight years, as a solo member of the bands of both Jeff Beck and Brian Wilson, and Ariana Grande, as leader of the recent BBC Film Special.
Lizzie also delivers classical music workshops to young people in the UK and abroad. She has worked in partnership with the Sheffield Music Hub on a range of projects for schoolchildren and is an ambassador for PRISMA, a charity providing art workshops for children in rural Mexico.
Mexico is the inspiration for her latest project, ‘Corrido: A Ballad for the Brave’. The show, co-created with producer Emily Blacksell, is based on the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and her peers and will premiere in November at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, as part of a major Frida Kahlo exhibition.
Max Fischer moved to Derbyshire from his native West Germany in 1980, having already worked in Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe. Following his dream of opening his own restaurant, he took over a café in Bakewell and quickly earned a national reputation for excellence, from even the harshest of food critics.
Relocating his business to the nearby village of Baslow in 1989, Fischer’s restaurant went on to earn its first Michelin Star in 1994 and has retained it ever since. Max now focuses on gardening and growing the produce which is used in his acclaimed restaurant at Baslow Hall.
The University is presenting Max with an honorary Master of Arts degree in recognition of his services to the hospitality industry and the impact of his Michelin-starred restaurant in Derbyshire and nationally.
Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “The presentation of an honorary degree to someone from within our community who has made such an important contribution to their field of work is always a wonderful occasion.
“Lizzie and Max can both call Derbyshire and the Peak District ‘home’, and they have enjoyed great success because of their devotion to their crafts. They also exemplify two of the University’s values: being bold and striving for brilliance.
“I am delighted that they will join us at our awards ceremony at Buxton to receive their honours. I very much hope that their stories will inspire our students, graduates and others to go on and achieve great things in their lives and careers too.”
Lizzie and Max will receive their honorary degrees at the University’s Awards Ceremony, taking place in the Devonshire Dome, Buxton, on Saturday 10 November.
Lizzie Ball photograph by Simon Bull Images.