Robert Waddington, Former Dean of Manchester Cathedral, and Chetham’s School of Music

One of the most important stories to have appeared in the last few days concerns Robert Waddington (1927-2007), Dean of Manchester Cathedral from 1984 to 1993, about whom serious charges of sexual abuse of boys have been brought to light through a sustained investigation by The Times and The Australian newspapers.

Waddington took a very active part in cathedral life during his tenure, and attended most daily services. He made some significant changes to strengthen the administration and the nature of the liturgy, and was also chairman of the diocesan education committee. Obituaries from 2007 draw attention to his great interest in the choirs at the cathedral and in Chetham’s School. He was also close to Archbishop of Canterbury (1980-1991) Robert Runcie.

Chetham’s School lies just on the opposite side of the road from Manchester Cathedral, and the connections between the two institutions are strong. During the time when I was at the school (1978-1986) weekly services took place in the cathedral, and as described below, the school provided all of the statutory choristers, who would sing at the cathedral practically every day and often over holidays. The annual ceremony of Founder’s Day (for which boy pupils wore an extremely cumbersome Tudor uniform), celebrating the founder Humphrey Chetham, also took place in the cathedral, as did some other concerts.

Reports (some of them behind pay walls) describe how in 1999, David (now Lord) Hope, then Archbishop of York, was informed about Waddington’s abuse of a pupil when he was headteacher of St Barnabas boarding school in Ravenshoe, north Queensland, Australia during the 1960s. Here Waddington is said to have beaten and sexually abused at least three boys; furthermore, two teachers hired by both Waddington and his 1970 replacement as headmaster, Barry Greaves, were later themselves convicted of child abuse at other Australian schools and parishes. In one case, the teacher, Peter Gilbert, also faced an allegation that he himself abused whilst at St Barnabas. In 1999, Queenslander Bim Atkinson, now 59, complained about Waddington’s abuse between 1964 and 1968, when he was both a boarder and choir solo soprano. This was forwarded to Lord Hope, who claimed at the time to be shocked but would not take action on the grounds that Waddington was then suffering from throat cancer, and was near death (which did not actually occur until 8 years later). A call for an investigation was rejected in 2005 by Australian church officials, and Atkinson accepted a $75,000 ex-gratia payment.

Eli Ward, now 40, who joined Manchester Cathedral Choir at age 7 (thus in 1979 or 1980), has described how he was groomed from the age of 11 (so just around the time when Waddington became Dean), then persuaded to participate in sexual acts, with Ward sleeping in Waddington’s bed from the age of 13. By his mid-teens he was spending almost every weekend and many nights at Waddington’s house, and went on holidays with him to various places in England and France. Waddington employed various clever but malicious strategies: he knew how to use Ward’s break-up with his girlfriend as a catalyst for exerting his influence at a vulnerable time and would place a terrifying painting of Hieronymus Bosch in Ward’s room, to give him nightmares, so that Ward would wish to stay in Waddington’s room instead. According to Ward, Waddington told him that if a member of the press were to approach him, to tell them that the Dean was helping him with his GCSEs and was his godfather. Eventually Waddington made Ward leave the choir, still remained close, but incidents of abuse diminished. At the age of 21, Ward called the now-retired Dean, who told him to ‘Forget those memories and push them to the far reaches of your brain and never tell anyone again and come and see me’. Waddington would go on to lead Ward’s own marriage ceremony in 1999.

Ward’s lawyers have made a personal injury compensation claim against the Dean and Chapter of Manchester. Also, as reported in an article in today’s Observer here – – the CoE plans to set up their own inquiry into allegations of abuse by Waddington.

Manchester Cathedral has two choirs, the statutory choristers (known colloquially as the ‘stats’), all of whom come from Chetham’s School (many boys are admitted on this basis, and often would stay at the school just until the age of 13), and a voluntary choir (the ‘vollies’), from outside. Eli Ward was a vollie, but the stats are the mainstay of music-making at the cathedral. An article in the Guardian in March 1986 (‘Monday People: Acts of good faith/Focus on Manchester Cathedral congregation’, 13/3/86) confirms that the three individuals most directly responsible for music at the cathedral then were precentor Gareth Turner, organist Gordon Stewart and choir master Stuart Beer. Both of the latter two also taught at Chetham’s.

Waddington was thus in direct regular contact with a whole range of boys at Chetham’s. I have spoken to one boy at the school during Waddington’s tenure who alleges that he was sexually touched by Waddington, during a period following the latter’s retirement.

Waddington was also a close personal friend of John Vallins, Headmaster of Chetham’s School from 1974 to 1992 (thus during the period of some of the worst allegations, involving Michael Brewer, Chris Ling, Malcolm Layfield, Ryszard Bakst and others). Vallins was previously an English teacher and housemaster at Cranleigh School, where one of his pupils was later Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger. He also continued to teach English at Chetham’s, and was known for rather pompous teaching on Shakespeare, urging uncritical reverence for the great bard, and according to several former pupils (I personally never studied English with him) prone in his teaching to assign blame for the downfall of most male characters on devious and untrustworthy women. He was a religious man – not a born-again fanatic (like then Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, James Anderton, incidentally a classical music lover who was made an Honorary Member of the RNCM in 1984), but still one for whom this was fundamental – and would sometimes (in a way which is almost unthinkable in education today) practically foam at the mouth with anger at some of those who rejected religion. In the weekly services in Manchester Cathedral, he would be furious at some who would refuse to sing or pray, pointedly casting our eyes towards the ceiling of the place when others had their head stooped, gazing to the floor to pray. Though, rather amazingly for the Head of a music school, he was quite unsympathetic to musicians, especially those of a certain type who he perceived as arrogant, narcissistic, oblivious to other world concerns, and so on, which he associated above all with string players, talking about ‘string players’ syndrome’ (in at least one assembly). At one point several boys were called into his office after acting irreverently in the cathedral service, and he fulminated to them ‘You….you…..MUSICIANS!!!!’, associating lack of respect for religion with the artistic temperament. His attitudes in this respect towards the preciousness and arrogance of the music world did bring some respect from some of us who recognised clearly to what he was referring, though this did not sit comfortably with his blind canonical attitude towards the study of English.

I remember Waddington coming to talk to my year, when we were in the sixth form (1984-1986, so just after he had taken up the position), invited by Vallins. We were informed by a teacher of the high esteem in which Vallins held Waddington, and told to be extremely respectful. Being a confirmed atheist, and as belligerent then as I perhaps still remain, I put a provocative question to him about whether the idea of heaven gains its power primarily in terms of being some sort of mythical five-star hotel packed with fun and amusements (not unlike in the final scene of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life). Naturally this caused some ire from both staff and other pupils for talking so disrespectfully towards this revered Dean.

According to my source, during the period of his tenure as Dean of Manchester Cathedral, Waddington was both a Governor and a Feoffee of Chetham’s (the Governors are the body responsible for the school, the Feoffees for the wider Foundation of Chetham’s Hospital School and Library. Details of the current Feoffees can be found here – ). Lists of previous governors are not generally available, but likely to be accessible within the minutes of their meetings from 1985 to 1997, which are housed in Chetham’s Library (see under ‘Special’ on this page – ). At the time when the violin teacher Chris Ling left the UK for the US, never to return, and awful allegations began to emerge about his abusing of female students, the Chair of the Governors was lawyer Paul Lee, a Partner (and from 1997 to 2010 Senior Partner) at Addleshaw Goddard (who have acted for the school) – see for more details on Lee, who is still today a Feoffee [Edit: I had heard he was Chair of the Feoffees, but am not absolutely sure if this is correct]. Also on the Board of Chetham’s Governors was Sir John Manduell, then Principal of the RNCM, a position he held from the establishment of the institution in 1973 until 1996, during which time the late Ryszard Bakst, who has been named as a serial abuser – – was the most influential piano teacher at both there and Chet’s. Also on the board during some of the same period as Waddington were Ewart Boddington, Director of the infamous Boddington’s Brewery, the 18th Earl of Derby, Edward John Stanley, and a couple by the name of Barraclough, who owned a carpet firm who fitted out Waddington’s retirement home in York.

A statement is required from the governing body of Chetham’s as to whether one of their former Governors and Feoffees was indeed Robert Waddington, and thus whether their governing bodies, at the time when some of the worst abuse is alleged to have gone on at the school, contained someone who has been outed as an abuser himself. [EDIT: Chetham’s have now confirmed that Waddington was indeed both a Governor and a Feoffee, from September 1984 to September 1993 – see below. However, the speed at which the Church of England has commissioned their own independent inquiry contrasts very strongly with the relative silence, minimisations of the scale of problem, denial of any culpability and more of Chetham’s and other specialist music schools.]

[ADDENDUM: More has now been published on the relationship between Waddington and Chetham’s. See the articles by Sean O’Neill in The Times here (behind a paywall), that by Paul Gallagher in The Independent here, and those by Michael McKenna and Amanda Gearing in The Australian here and here. I quote here the most important parts of the first article:

‘New evidence from abuse victims suggests that the Very Rev Robert Waddington, a former Dean of Manchester Cathedral, was still pursuing young boys at the time the Church decided that he was too ill and frail to pose a threat to children.

One of Waddington’s victims said that the priest was “as fit as a fiddle” in 1999 — the year that the then Archbishop of York, Lord Hope of Thornes, declared in a letter to an Australian bishop that the former dean was “severely debilitated”.

The victim, a former Chetham’s pupil who is now in his 30s, said that he wanted to give evidence to an independent inquiry being set up by the Church to examine the Waddington case after an investigation by The Times and The Australian newspapers.’
‘Chetham’s School, which is at the centre of a criminal investigation by Greater Manchester Police into sex abuse claims, confirmed last night that Waddington had been a school governor and a feoffee, or governor, of its charitable foundation between September 1984 and September 1993.

The police investigation into the school, Operation Kiso, which began after the conviction in February of Michael Brewer, a former Chetham’s music director, for sex abuse, has not previously looked at Waddington.

The former pupil, who asked to be identified only as P, said that he was one of several boys who attended Chetham’s and sang in the cathedral choir who were targeted by the priest.

P met Waddington in 1993 and was subjected to frequent indecent assaults over a period of years when he regularly visited Waddington, who retired from Manchester to live in York.’

Another article in The Australian here details how a convicted cleric, Peter Gilbert, claims that Waddington prescribed him the drug stilbestrol in order to control his libido, but this had unfortunate side-effects:

‘In the statement to the victim, obtained by The Weekend Australian, Gilbert claims Waddington, headmaster between 1961 and 1970, took him to a doctor and had him put on the synthetic oestrogen stilbestrol after he complained of having sexual thoughts about women.

He says Waddington had told him the drug would “control his libido”. Instead he was turned into a “semi-transvestite”, growing breasts and developing an attraction for his young male students.

“Prior to joining St Barnabas, I hadn’t the slightest interest in children … now they were the centre of my life,” he wrote. “He misled me about the dangers and propriety of romantic love for children while being in a position of special power and influence.

“He encouraged and facilitated my romantic love for children directly and indirectly through ideology, through literature, by example and through specific guidance and advice in response to my concerns.”’

There is also an article from The Church Times on Waddington here . A document on the organisation of celibate priests with which Waddington was involved can be found here .

Updates on new articles relating to Waddington can be found on the website of Australian journalist Amanda Gearing here. ]

Contact Details for Surrey Police, in relation to the Yehudi Menuhin School

Anyone who has information concerning abuse at the Yehudi Menuhin School, at any time during the school’s history, should contact Detective Constable Paul Thomas at Surrey Police, on +44 (0)1483 632196 or . Those with information will be able to speak in complete confidentiality, and if so desired can be used purely for background intelligence rather than to be used in the event of a prosecution.

Re-opened until May 31st, 2013 – Petition for an Inquiry into Abuse in Specialist Music Education

Following widespread media coverage of cases of abuse in specialist music schools, I have decided to re-open the petition for an inquiry into sexual and other abuse at these places, until May 31st, 2013. After this date, I will send the then-list of signatories once more to all head teachers and principals of music colleges, and to all relevant politicians and other interested parties, as I did previously in February. I received notification in an e-mail from the Department for Education on April 11th that they could ‘now confirm that the Department has no current plans to commission a public or independent enquiry into independent specialist music education in England. When inspection or other evidence suggests that a school is not fully meeting the required standards for continued registration, regulatory action may be taken against the school. The particular risks posed by the nature of music education (eg arising from 1:1 tuition) can be addressed by inspectorates in assessing safeguarding procedures and practice at schools.’ Others who have contacted the Department via their MPs have received similar responses. I am hoping that recent revelations will provoke a rethink of this issue.
In order to sign the petition, please either leave a message on here or e-mail me privately at . If you studied at a specialist music school or music college, please let me know your dates of attendance. Names will be added to the list below at periodic intervals. Please do urge all potentially sympathetic parties, whether musicians or not, to add their names, and feel free to circulate this more widely.

Earlier blog posts with hundreds of comments can be viewed here and here. Important recent articles include those linked to here in the Guardian, Telegraph and Independent, as well as an article for Channel 4 News’ blog here; my own article, written for the Times Educational Supplement about how the culture of musical education allows many opportunities for abuse, can be read here, with an article about it here. Most importantly, the pioneering news item from Channel 4 News, the result of several months’ investigation, can be viewed here, and an important report from ITV here, with a distinct report for Granada here . A series of blog posts about abuse in music education and the responses from institutions can be found at the blog of Norman Lebrecht. A documentary about Chetham’s made in 1987 can now be viewed or downloaded online here.

[ADDENDUM: A new article is out in the Independent here, in which Michal Kaznowski speaks about the terrible abuse of cello teacher Maurice Gendron at the Yehudi Menuhin School]

In recent weeks, the ongoing allegations of historical sexual abuse at Chetham’s School of Music have put many aspects of music education under intense public scrutiny. Following the conviction of the former director of music, Michael Brewer, the tragic death of Frances Andrade, and extensive testimonies in the press of other abuse, it is clear that there should now be a full independent inquiry into the alleged sexual and psychological abuse by Chetham’s staff since the establishment of the institution as a music school in 1969. Such an inquiry would ideally extend to other institutions as well, some of which have also been the subject of allegations of abuse.

Recent press reports have suggested that during this time many students complained to senior members of staff about the sexually abusive behaviour of a number of Chetham’s teachers, but that no satisfactory action was taken. While it is of primary concern that those who stand accused should be investigated as soon as possible, if these allegations are shown to be correct it will be important to understand the wider implications of a school culture which facilitated such abuses of trust, and afforded alleged offenders long-term protection. For this reason, we ask senior members of staff from that time to account for what appears to be the severe failure of the school system to protect its pupils from those who exploited their positions of power. The prevalence of sexual abuse which appears to have continued unhindered over many years suggests an alarming lack of responsibility and competence in the management of a school which had, above all, a duty to protect the welfare of its students and to nurture the artistic potential of every pupil. That Chetham’s appears to have failed in this respect, and with such devastating consequences for the personal and professional lives of the alleged victims, now requires some considerable explanation from those who held senior positions of authority.

Greater Manchester Police are conducting an investigation into a variety of complaints of sexual abuse related to Chetham’s School of Music and a dedicated Operation called “Kiso” has been established to support this. As an organisation, we recognise that reporting sexual abuse, which occurred some time ago is an incredibly difficult thing to do and we will afford anyone who comes forward, all the appropriate support to discuss events in their own time. We would urge anyone who wishes to report abuse or with information, to contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 856 6777 or via email, Alternatively, persons who wish to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 .


Chet’s: Chetham’s School of Music
YMS: Yehudi Menuhin School
Purcell: Purcell School
Wells: Wells Cathedral School
RNCM: Royal Northern College of Music
RMCM: Royal Manchester College of Music
RCM: Royal College of Music
RAM: Royal Academy of Music
GSMD: Guildhall School of Music & Drama
TCM: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
RCS: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, RSAMD)
St Mary’s: St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh
Junior: Junior College

Ex-Chetham’s Students

Paul Lewis (1986-1990)
Tim Horton (1983-1992)
Ian Pace (1978-1986; The Juilliard School, 1991-1992; Lecturer in Music, City University London)

Rebekah Abramski (1994-1996)
Ron Abramski (1990-1996)
Elaine Ackers (1981-1983)
Victoria Acres (1991-2000)
Robert Agnew (1982-1989)
Colin Akers (1982-1984)
Julie Alderton (1974-1979)
Chereen Allen (1991-1994; RNCM 1994-1998)
Claire Louise Allen (1988-1993)
Lucian Amos (2005-2007)
Bernadette Anguige (1989-1996)
Mark Ashford (1984-1990)
Leanne Ashmead (2004-2006)
Virginia Astley
Sara Avent (1980-1986)
Nadine Bacon, nee Wiltshier (1980-1990)
Alicia Bailey (1985-1995)
Phil Bailey (1989-1993)
Brendan Ball (1981-1984; trumpeter, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra)
Richard Bamping (1979-1987)
James Banbury (1984-1986)
Sophie Barber (1978-1980; RNCM 1980-1983)
Sarah Barnes (1980-1987)
Matthew Barley (1981-1983; GSMD, 1983-1987)
Patrick Bennett (1985-1988)
Jamie Bergin (2003-2007)
Jonathan Best (1986-1988)
Nick Bhattacharjee (1989-1991; RCS, 1991-1994)
Helena Bidder, nee Brewin (1986-1988)
Nicky Bingham
Benjamin Birtle (1992-1999)
Lisa Bittles (2000-2004)
Emma Black (1983-1987)
Natalia Bonner (1981-1988)
Ruth Boulton (1977-1986)
Marcus Bousfield (1979-1985)
Mark Bradbury (1980-1990)
Rebecca Brand (1986-1988)
Emily Braverman (2005-2009; RNCM, 2009-2013)
Catherine Briggs (1982-1990)
Jessica Briggs (1993-1996; RNCM, 1998-1999)
Rob Brophy (1994-1997; RNCM, 1997-2001)
Harvey John Brown (1984-1989)
Stephen Brown (1985-1987)
Mandy Bryne
Felicity Bryson (1981-1988)
Alison Bullock (1982-1990)
Catherine Bullock (1984-1994; RAM 1994-1998)
Andrew Bullough (1981-1988)
Sarah Burnett (1983-1989)
Cassandra Burt (1986-1991)
Sarah Button (1987-1990)
Lyndy Byrt-Mayle (1973-1981)
Simon Callaghan (2000-2002)
David Campbell (1975-1985)
Fiona Campbell, nee Vaughan (1985-1987)
Jocelyn Campbell (1982-1984)
Rachel Castleden (1989-1992)
Deborah Catterall (voice tutor at Chet’s 2000–2003; Musical Director – National Youth Training Choir of Great Britain and voice tutor to all NYCGB choirs 1997–2006)
Meara Cavanagh (1986-1989)
Roderick Chadwick (1983-1992)
Robert Francis Chalmers (1959-1968)
Rebecca Chambers (pianist, 1987-1991; RNCM, 1991-1997)
Rebecca Chambers (viola player, 1991-1996)
Andy Chapman (1985-1989)
Rachel Chen (1994-1999)
Emma Chesters (1982-1984)
Emma Christian (1985-1990)
Judith Christian (1969-1973; RNCM, 1973-1977)
Jon Christos ((John Christodoulou) (1985-1994)
Freda Cleaver (house parent, 1976-1985)
Deborah Clifford (1974-1982)
Elaine Cocks (1989-1991;, 1984-1989)
Phillippa Cole (1989-1993)
Peter Collis (1955-1967)
Gemma Connington (1993-2000; RNCM, 2000-2004)
Ali Conway (1992-1995)
Sarah Coogan, nee McGrath (1980-1988)
Helen Cooke (1980-1987)
Anna Cooper (1982-1984)
Jane Cooper (RNCM 1978-1983; worked at Chets 1983-mid 1980s)
Rebekah Cope (1994-1996; RNCM, 1996-2000)
Caroline Costello (1975-1980)
Steve Costello (1975-1982; RNCM 1982-1986)
John Crawford (1986-1988)
Pamela Crawford (1983-1987)
Anna Croad (1993-1995)
Anna Crookes (1974-1983)
Michael de Csilléry (1984-1986)
Alison Cullen (1983-1990)
Michael Cunningham (1989-1991)
Rachel Curtis (1987-1996)
Alexine Cutting (1993-1995)
Rachel Cutts, nee Maisey (1982-1989)
Angela Dally, nee McCabe (1975-1986)
Debbie Darby, nee Elsdon (1988-1991)
Olivia Darlington (1997-1999)
Rosalyn Davies (1990-1992)
Mark Day (1995-1997)
Graham Anthony Devine (1985-1988)
Scott Dickinson (RNCM 1989-1093; Tutor, Chets and RNCM, 2000-2002)
Peter Donohoe (1964-1971; RNCM, 1972-1976)
Hilary Duncombe
Dorcas Eatch (1969-1971)
Catherine Edwards (1969-1975; RCM, 1975-1976)
Walid El-Yafi (2004-2008)
Charlotte Elkins (1991-1993)
Simon Ertz (1987-1989; RNCM, 1989-1993)
Jacqueline Esquivel, nee Jackson (1988-1990)
Katharine Evans (1982-1989)
Miranda Farrell (1986-1993)
Marina Finnamore (1983-1985)
Sally Flann (1983-1989)
Jillian Fogden (1980-1987)
William Fong
Euan Forrester (1985-1992)
Kerena Fox (1985-1990)
Marc Fraser (1970-1973)
Paul Fretwell (1988-1990)
Rachel Fulgoni (1991-1994)
Wendy Gadian (1971-1978)
Claire Gainford (1989-1991)
Paul Galbraith (1978-1982; St Mary’s Music School, 1975-1978; RNCM, 1982-1986)
Ruth Garrett (former housemistress, junior school teacher)
Deborah Gewirtz (1975-1977)
Councillor Susan Gibbs (1998-1999)
Claire Gobin-Taubitz (1985-1992)
Nicola Goldscheider, nee Burton (1981-1986)
Stephen Gosling (1982-1989)
Christian Grammar (1975-1981)
Victoria Grantham, nee Jackson (1986-1993)
David Greed (1971-1973)
Jane Griffiths (1985-1992)
Sally Anne Griffiths (1987-1994)
Hannah Louise Groarke (1996-1998)
Jessica Groarke (1994-2000)
Catherine Haggo (1987-1995)
Laura Hall (1976-1983)
Andrea Hallam (1985-1992)
Tony Halstead FRMCM, FGSM (1956-1962)
Alex Hamilton (2003-2010)
Andrew Hamilton (1993-1995; RNCM, 1998-1999)
Emma Hannon nee Clarke (1993-1995)
Julia Hanson (1983-1985)
Daniel Harding (1988-1993)
Rosie Harding (1989-1991)
Colin Harrison (St. Marys, 1973-1977; Chet’s, 1977-1978)
Rachel Harwood-White (1995-1997)
Sharon Haslam (1978-1982)
Chris (Featonby) Hayes (1984-1987)
Faith Hellier, nee Hayward-Brackenbury (1988-1992)
Peter Herron (taught at Chet’s, 1978-1982)
Justine Hewson (1980-1987)
Fran Hey (1983-1985)
Jo Hicks (1994-2000)
Tom Hicks
Tobias Hilton (1986-1991)
James Hinton (1973-1979)
Matthew Hodge (1984-1986)
Noel Holburn (1970-1977)
Simon Holliday (1975-1981)
Julian Horton (1985-1988)
Penny Housley, nee Hewitt (1990-1994)
Adam Howard (1988-1992)
Owen Hubbard (2005-2010)
Eleanor Hudson (1978-1980; RNCM 1980-1984)
Joel Hunter (1991-1993)
Emma Hutchinson (1973-1980)
Nicola Jackson, nee Hall (1982-1987)
Gaynor James (1984-1986)
Catherine Jefferson (1982-1990)
Caroline Rogers Jones (Assistant Houseparent, Palatine House 1982-1985; Head of Victoria House 1985-1990)
Dilwyn Jones (Assistant Houseparent, Boy’s House 1982-1985; Head of Victoria House 1985-1990)
Graeme Jones (1976–1985)
Patrick Jones (1981-1986)
Rebecca Jane Jones (1989-1998)
Jane Kärner (1978-1985)
Judith Kelly (1974-1981; RNCM, 1981-1984)
Deborah Kemp (1987-1989)
Susannah Kemp (1981-1985)
Charlotte Kenyon (1986-1991)
Ian Kimber (1980-1986)
Zoe Kitson (1993-1995)
Chloe Lander (1981-1986; GSMD (junior), 1986-1988; RAM, 1988-1989)
Sophie Langdon (visiting music teacher at Chet’s, late 1980s)
Natalie Langford (1998-2004)
Vicky Laws (1990-1993)
John Leach (former head of academic music)
Alice Leaver (2002-2006)
Hae-a Lee (1979-1987)
Song-a Lee (1979-1988)
Su-a Lee (1979-1988)
Rebecca Leyton (1991-1995)
Jacob Lund (1982-1987)
Omar Lyefook
Ruth Lyon (1975-1981; RNCM 1981-1986)
Viv MacLean (1989-1992)
Leon McCawley (1984-1991)
Ann McClaren (1970-1974)
Margaret McLay (former teacher of academic music at Chet’s)
Laurie McNamee
Claire Madin (1988-1995)
Catherine Maguire (1988-1990)
Russell Makinson (1987-1991)
Abbie Marsden (1988-1996; RNCM, 1996-2000)
Ellen Louise Marsden (1978-1982)
Mary Martens (1991-1993)
Jessica Matthews (1979-1981)
Vicky Matthews (1990-1994)
Richard Meier (1986-1988)
Daniel J. Melder (2001-2008)
Faye Mercer, nee Williams (1990-1994)
Eleanor Meynell (1985-1992)
Maxin Molin Rose (1986-1989)
Josephine Montgomery (1987-1992)
Dittany Morgan (1969-1974)
Frances Morrison (1980-1982; RNCM 1982-1987)
Harriet Mossop (1988-1991)
Mark R. Mottram (1984-1986)
Benjamin Nabarro (1989-1994)
Deborad Nicklinson (1981-1983)
Leo Nicholson (Purcell, 1999-2001; Chet’s, 2001-2002)
David Owen (1963-1975)
Gareth Owen (1991-1995)
Ian Palmer (1990-1999)
Samantha Palmer (1986-1992)
Geraint Parfitt (1981-1987)
Victoria Parkins (1988-1990)
Carol Pendelbury (1974-1978)
Sally Pendlebury
Stella Pendrous (1989-1991)
Tamasine Plowman (1990-1994; RNCM, 1994-1996)
Heather Powell (1983-1990)
Jane Rainey (1979-1983)
Roy Raby (1981-1986; RNCM, 1986-1991)
Catherine Ramsden, nee Ashton (1981-1988)
Judith Rees Souter (1983-1989)
Helen Reid (1992-1996)
Emma-Ruth Richards (works as practice supervisor, Chet’s)
Lynda Ricketts
Lisa Ridgway (1989-1993)
Anne Richards (1988-1989)
Anna Ritchie (1985-1995)
Emma Roberts (1982-1984)
Rachel Roberts (1987-1989; RNCM, 1989-1993)
Lindsay Robinson, nee Wood (1993-1997)
Philip Robinson (1991-1995; RNCM, 1995-1996)
Tom Roff (1982-1994)
Francesca Rogerson (1989-1992)
Sarah Roper (1983-1988)
Susannah Ross (1982-1993)
Sara Rowbotham
Helena Rowe (1994-1999)
Alyson Rutter (1987-1989)
Chris Schmidt (1987-1989)
Ruth Schulten, nee Williams (1986-1993)
Jacqui Scott, nee Crichton (1973-1979)
Lauren Scott (1983-1985)
Cari Searle (1986-1988; RNCM, 1992-1996)
Justin Seldis (1978-1986; RNCM, 1986-1990)
Nikki Sellers (1990-1996)
Sarah Semmens, nee Vallance (1992-1996)
Clara Sheldrake (1991-1995)
Helen Sherrah-Davies (1972-1983)
Sally Simcox, nee Dover (1988-1997)
Mandy Simpson (1975-1984)
Abigail Smith, nee Leigh (1987-1995; RCM 1995-1999)
Diana Smith, nee Swinstead (1993-1996)
Fran Smith (1974-1979)
Howard Smith (1984-1988)
Jia Southall, nee Chong (1997-2000)
Kirstin Spencer (1982-1991)
Katie Stables (1997-1999; RNCM 1999-2002)
Nicholas Staines (1981-1987)
Andrea Stanbridge (1985-1990)
Clive Stapley (1980-1982)
John Stead (1978-1986)
Beth Super (1980-87; RNCM 1987-1991)
Sam Sutton (1986-1988)
Chris Swaffer (1994-1996)
Sarah Swailes, nee Clark (1984-1988)
Gabriella Swallow (1990-1999)
Judith Swan (1972-1980)
Paul Taylor (1969-1979)
Judith Templeman (1989-1995; RNCM 1995-1999)
Kathryn Templeman (1988-1990; RNCM 2000-2002)
Jenny Terras (1974-1977)
Nicola Thomas (Chets, 1974-1979; RNCM, 1979-1983)
Arthur Thompson (1986-1988)
Fiona Thompson, nee Tate (1982-1990; RNCM 1990-1994)
Marisa Thornton (1982-1990)
Olivia Naomi Timms (1986-1991)
Joanna Tomlinson, nee Cobb (1975-1982)
Andrew Tovey (1983-1988)
Jo-Anne Trevenna (1986-1988)
Kathryn Turner (1969-1980)
Rachel van der Tang (1982-1985)
Elena van Lieshout (1982-1987)
Shahram Varza (1978-1982)
David Valentine (1983-1989)
Natassa Varka (1998-2005)
Janice Veals (1977-1984)
Trevor Vivian (1988-1990)
Lindsay Wagstaff (1975-1981)
Rachael Wallach (1994-1999)
Heather Wallington (1986-1988)
Martin Wallington (1976-1979)
Katie Walton (2001-2003)
Karin Wanambwa , nee Webster (1989-1994)
Jennifer Ward (1981-1983)
Vicci Wardman (1982-1986, tutor at Chet’s, 1990-1995)
Caroline Waters (1979-1984; RNCM, 1984-1988)
Rebecca Watson (1986-1992)
Richard Whilds (1980-1983)
Andrew Whitaker (1993-1993, as staff 1998-2006)
Kathy Whitaker (1988-1992)
Bob Wild (1977-1988)
Andrew Wilde (1979-1982; RNCM, 1982-1987)
Lucy Wilkins (1988-1990)
Sharon Wilkinson (1981-1989)
Bronwen Williams (1982-1989)
Hefina Williams (1985-1987)
Paul Wingfield (1972-1980)
Jane Winstanley (1991-1993)
Shih Wei Wong (1990-1994)
Rosie Wetters (1979-1988)
Liz Woodington (1991-1995)
Maureen Wray, nee Allt (1983-1985; RNCM 1985-1989)
Simon Wright (1958-1967; RNCM 1967-1971)
Alison Wyld (1975-1981)
Liz Wyly (1979-1981)
Julie Wynne (1975-1980)
Matthew Young (1983-1989)

Other Signatories

Philippa Abrahams (Wells, 1985-1990)
Richard Abram (Deputy Editor, Early Music Magazine, 1981-1984)
Rebecca Agnew
Pablo Aharonian
Jim Aitchison (composer)
Patricia Alessandrini (Lecturer in Music, Bangor University)
Fiona Alexander (RNCM, 1985-1989)
Leon Alexander
Helen Alipaz
Liesbeth Allart
Bryan Allen (Former Head of Brass, RCS)
Pauline Allies (teacher)
Alvaro Alonso (architect)
Emma Alter (RNCM, 1993-1997)
Evie Anderson (Purcell, 1988-1992)
Leonie Anderson (RCM Junior Department, 1979-1981; GSMD 1984-1986; GSMD Junior Department staff, 1986-1990)
Rebecca Anderson
Francis Anthony
Howard Anthony
Pavlos Antoniadis (pianist and musicologist; PhD candidate, Hochschule für Musik Dresden)
Hannah Appleyard
Joanna Archard (YMS, 1983-1984)
Panayotis Archontides (pianist)
Warwick Armstrong
Tamara Arom-Hobbs (City University/GSMD)
Marina Ascherson (viola player)
Bob Ashworth (principal horn, Opera North; RNCM, 1973-1977)
Maruxa Baliñas
Lizzie Ball
John Banbury
Maureen Banbury
Jacqueline Barclay
Jake Barlow (Student at Oxford University; Freelance Countertenor; Fellow of the Academy of Saint Cecilia; Fellow of the Guild of Musicians and Singers)
Sacha Barlow (YMS, 1982-1989)
Henrietta Barnes Brougham
Bernadette Barrett
Jonathan Barrett
Mark Barrett
Richard Barrett (composer)
Fenella Barton (Wells 1975-1982; RNCM 1982-1986; RCM, 1986-1987)
Charlotte Bassett-Chan (Junior GSMD, 1990-1993; RAM 1997-1999)
Lisa Batiashvili
Juliette Bausor (Purcell, 1993-1997)
Sally Beamish (composer)
Maria Beattie (GSMD, 1981-1984)
Kath Becker
Adam Bell (composer)
Sally Bell (RAM)
Sian Bell {Wells, 1979-1985)
Justin Benz
Donna C. Bergen
Michael Berkeley (composer, broadcaster, presenter, Private Passions, Radio 3)
Val Berry
Thomas Besnard
Sarah Beth Briggs (pianist)
Louise Bevan
Jeremy Bines
Heather Bird (RNCM, 1994-1997)
Clara Biss (Wells, 1991-1997)
Ishani Bhoola (Purcell, 1981-1984; GSMD, 1984-1988)
Penelope Bisby (RNCM, 1972–1976)
Professor Roger Bisby (University of Salford)
Sara Bitlloch (YMS, 1987-1992)
Martin Bloor (RNCM, 1989-1994)
Russell Bloor
Lucy Bloore, nee Turnbull (TCM, 1990-1994)
Philipp Blume (composer, USA & Germany)
Ann Bolt (Wells, 1983-1990)
Rachel S. Bolt (Trinity College of Music Junior Department, 1976-1982; RAM, 1982-1986; University of Southern California, 1987-1988)
Fiona Bonds
S. Bordoli
Andrew Bottrill (pianist)
Tim Boulton
Deirdre Bowers-Broadbent (Former Head of Music, Hampstead School, London Borough of Camden)
Andrew Bowie (saxophonist, Professor of German and Philosophy, Royal Holloway College, University of London
The Rev Professor June Boyce-Tilman
Douglas Boyd (oboist)
Martin Boyer
Anna Bradley (RNCM, 1990-1994)
Gail Brand (trombonist; Lecturer, GSMD)
Chris Brannick (percussionist)
Karan Braun (Dartington College of Arts, 1988-1991; University of York, 1991-1992)
Katie Brett (harpist/pianist; RNCM Junior, 1983-1987; RNCM, 1987-1991)
Robert Bridge (RCM, 1977-1982)
Juliet Brien (RNCM, 1982-1986)
Eric Brierley (jazz trombonist)
Helen Briscoe (Violinist)
Jenni Britton (musician, peripatetic teacher of children)
Sam Brooks
Dearbhla Brosnan (RAM, 1994-1996)
Eileen Broster (RCM, 1951-1956)
Andrea Brown (GSMD, 1997-1999)
James Brown (Artist Manager, Hazard Chase)
Mariko Brown (GSMD)
Morven Bryce (RAM, 1988-1993)
Leilani B’Smith
Caroline Buckley (singer)
Ian Burdge (University of Surrey, 1990-1993
Rebecca Burnham
Sarah Burrell
Sheva Burton
Judith Busbridge
Professor Martin Butler (RNCM, 1978-1982; Fellow, RNCM)
Helen Butterworth, nee Stapleton (RCM, 1970-1974)
Peter Byrom-Smith (composer)
Rachel Byrt
Liam Cagney
James Calhoun
Andrew Callister
Margaret Callister
Fiona Campbell (St Mary’s Music School, 1985-1989; RNCM, 1989-1994)
Matthew Campbell
Meghan Campbell
Helen Cannell (AGSM)
Sarah Carling, nee Marsh (Kent Music School, 1984-1990)
Gary Carpenter (composer)
Debbie Carson
Professor Nicholas Carthy (Opera music director, Colorado University)
Alan Cassar (composer)
Gemma Casey
Derek Castle (Friend of National Youth Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra)
Justine Catterall
Simon Chalk (violinist, conductor)
Michael Chance
Alexander Chaplin (conductor, organist, RAM, Oxford University, RCM)
Stephen Chase
Aniela Emma Chaudhuri
Rebecca Chaudhuri
Christopher Cheatle
Julia Chellel (RAM, 1982-1985)
Robert Chew (Violinist)
Joanna Chiang
Mark Chivers (RNCM)
Sarah Chown (ESL teacher, coach, examiner)
Carole Christian
Peter Cigleris
Catherine Clark (RCS, 2011-present)
Philip Clark (musician and writer)
Raymond Clarke (RNCM)
Jon Clifford (trombonist; RAM, 1983-1987)
Christopher Clift (GSMD 1958-60; Northern School of Music 1964-68)
Régis Cochefert
Tom Collingwood
Amy Collins
Paula Collins
Peter Collyer (RCM, 1980-1984)
Margaret Coltman (Cellist and Founding Manager, The Arundel Ensemble)
Elizabeth Coningsby
Corrina Connor (practice supervisor, house mistress, academic music teacher, Purcell School, 2008-2010)
Saskia Constantinou
Ruth Contractor (RNCM, 1984-1989)
Imogen Cooper (pianist)
Andrea Cornejo (psychologist)
Diane Costello, nee Stewart (RNCM, 1982-1987)
Janice Coulburn
John Cowin
Edmund Coxon (St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, 1972-1983)
Chris Craker (RNCM, 1977-1981)
Andrea Creech (musician, psychologist, mother of a former specialist music school student)
Brian Crook (retired class music teacher and ex peripatetic teacher for upper strings)
Siobhain Crosbie (APS Psychotherapy)
Ruth Crouch (RAM, 1973-1977)
Gillian Crow
Simon Crow
Margot Cruft
Francis Cummings (worked at Chet’s, early 1980s; Director of Music, St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, 2007-2011)
Joe Cutler (Head of Composition, Birmingham Conservatoire)
Chaya Czernowin (Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music, Harvard University)
Nikhil Dally
Fiona Dalzell (pianist, teacher)
Nicholas Daniel (Purcell, 1972-1980)
Michael d’Arcy (RNCM, 1986-1990)
Philip Davey
Sue Dawson
Caroline Dearing
Claire Debenham (Wells, 1975-1982)
Frances Dewar (RCM, 1989-1993; RNCM, 1993-1996)
Scott Dickinson (RNCM, 1989-1993; Tutor, RNCM and Chetham’s, 2000-2002)
Ximena Di Vanni
Alison Dixon (St.Mary’s, 1989-1993)
Iain Dixon (saxophonist, instrumental teacher)
John Tyler Dodge (hornist)
Lori Dolloff (Faculty of Music, University of Toronto)
Steve Doman (Wells, 2005-2007; GSMD, 2007-2011; RAM, 2011-2012)
Lis Dooner
Mark Doran (critic)
Laurie Dover
Suzanne Doyle
Danny Driver
Michael Druiett (opera singer)
Jessica Duchen (critic)
Fiona Duncan (RAM, 1981-1985)
Roderick Dunk (conductor)
Chris Dunlop
Olivia Duque
Sophia Durrant (YMS, 1983-1989)
Edward Dusinberre (first violinist, Takács Quartet)
Liz Dux (Practice Group Leader (Partner), Personal Injury, Slater & Gordon (UK) LLP)
Mary Eade (YMS, 1963-1967)
Karen Eaves (violinist, early years music specialist)
Jane Ebel
Lindsay Edkins (solicitor)
Lucy Edkins (teacher)
Elin Edwards
Juliet Edwards (RAM, early 1980s)
Sebastiaan Eldritch-Böersen
Helen Ella (St. Mary’s School, Edinburgh, 1991-1997)
Joyce Ellis (RNCM, 1973-1975)
Shane S. Ellis
Giles Enders (Chair of Music, Conway Hall, London)
James Erber (composer)
Nega Esfandiary
Nancy Evans (RNCM, 1991-1995)
Richard Evans (RNCM, 1998-2002)
Suzanne Evans
Craig Ewens (GSMD, 1984-1990)
Andrea de Fammineis (bassoonist)
Matt Farrow
Anni Faulkner
Julian Faultless (RAM 1982-1985)
Kate Fawcett
Joseph Fazakas
Leia Fell-Murray
Veronica Fell
Paul Fensom
Jane Fenton
Ruth Ferreira (violist; RCM 1988-1993)
Neil Ferris (conductor)
Margaret Fingerhut (pianist; former Tutor in Piano, RNCM, 1998-2002)
Deborah Fink (TCM, 1990-1991; National Youth Choir under Michael Brewer, 1986-1987)
Gillian Fisher
Suzy Fisher (Purcell, 1984-1989)
Helen Flack
Colin Fletcher
Richard Fletcher
Cheryl Forbes (GSMD, 1992-1995; RSAMD, 2003-2004)
Andrew Ford (Bass trombone, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra)
Cindy Foster
Elaine Francis (Wells, 1985-1990)
Clare Fraser
Sylvia Fraser
Vicky Freeman, nee Hemmings (RNCM, 1992-1996)
Elaine Freitas
Peter Furniss
Emily Gadd (TCM, 2008-2012)
Billie Ganendran
Ian Gardiner (Senior Lecturer in Music, Goldsmiths, University of London)
Patricia Garner
Helena Gaunt (Assistant Principal (Research and Academic Development), GSMD)
Andrei Gavrilov (pianist)
Alison Gee (RNCM, 1982-1987)
Susie Gibbon (RNCM)
Persephone Gibbs (violinist; GSMD, 1998-2000; Juilliard pre-college division, 1984-1986)
Ian Gillan (lead singer, Deep Purple)
Cathy Giles
Isabel Giles (violinist)
Jane Ginsborg (GSMD, 1976-1978; Associate Dean of Research, RNCM)
Stephane Ginsburgh (pianist)
Ernst Simon Glaser (Wells, 1986-1991; Purcell, 1991-1993; RNCM 1993-1999)
Alexis Gledhill (GSMD 1974-1978, Law Society Children’s Panel)
Gregorio Godoy
Miles Golding
Lauren Goldthorpe
Debbie Golt (Chair, Women in Music UK (signing here in personal capacity); MD,
Alex Gordon (GSMD Junior; RAM, 1999-2009)
Alison Gordon
Elizabeth Gordon (TCM, 1975-1978)
Geraldine Gordon
Julie Gordon
Diana Goss (psychotherapist)
Steve Goss (Wells, left 1982, taught at Menuhin School, 1994-2000)
Howard Gott
Elizabeth Gould
Katharine Gowers
Donald Grant (St. Mary’s Music School 1992-1998; RNCM, 1998-2003)
Timothy Grant (RAM, 1974-1979)
Elaine Sapier Green (violinist; RNCM, 1964-1974)
Owen Green
Elaine Greene
Sharron Griffiths (RNCM, 1991-1995)
Anthony Gritten (Head of Undergraduate Programmes, RAM)
Margaret Groarke
Don Groarke
Donald Grossi
Michael Grossi
Alan Gruner
Aessi Gunawardhana
Elanor Gunn
Jason Hadland (Care Manager and safeguarding specialist)
L.R. Hamblett
Marc-André Hamelin (pianist)
Gareth Hamil
Carl Hammond
Suzie L. Hammond
Julia Hampson
Lisa Hannigan
Elspeth Hanson
Jenny Hanson (RSAMD 1995-99; RCM 1999-2000)
Simon Haram
Amy Harman (RCM, 2005-2009)
John Harborne
Diane Harper (RNCM)
Sylvia Harper (Junior RAM, 1975-1981; RCM 1984-1985)
Jeffrey Harrington (composer)
Jane Harris (RAM)
Steven Harrold (tenor)
Dr. Joe Harrop (violinist; RAM, 1999-2000; Programme Director, Sistema Aotearoa)
Jackie Hartley (RAM, 1978-1982)
Waka Hasegawa (pianist)
Michael Haslam (musician)
Micaela Haslam
Marilyn Hawes
Steve Hawker (Wells, 1987-1989)
Kendra Hawley
Sam Hayden (composer)
Morgan Hayes (composer)
Sara Hayes
Lou Hayter
Michael Heald (RNCM, 1985-1989)
Stefanie Heichelheim (RAM, 1976-1981)
Björn Heile (Senior Lecturer in Music, Glasgow University)
Struan Hellier (Head of Sixth Form, Shrewsbury School)
Dorothy Henson
Sally Herbert (GSMD, 1982-1986)
Emily Hester (Wells, 1999-2005)
Margaret Hewitson (mother of 2 RNCM students)
Andrew Hewitt
Anthony Hewitt (YMS, 1985-1988)
Della Hickey (TCM, 1982-1986)
Alan Hicks (RNCM, 1988-1991)
Suzanne Higgins
Fiona Higham
Sarah Hill
Alex Hills (RAM, 1996-1998; Lecturer, RAM, 2006-present)
Rolf Hind (RCM, 1982-1987)
Alistair Hinton (Curator, The Sorabji Archive)
Nina Hirsch
Piaras Hoban
Nicolas Hodges (Christ Church Cathedral School, 1977-1983)
Adam Hodgkins
Linda Holt
Ann Hooley (violinist)
Leslie Howard (pianist)
Simon Howard (poet)
Luci Howarth
Tom Howe (RCM, 1969-1973, former instrumental teacher in private and state schools)
Corin Howitt (parent of child currently at Chetham’s)
Nick Howson (RNCM, 1985-1989)
Eleanor Hudson
Nick Hughes
Andrew Hugill
Thomas Hull
John Humphries (Assistant Head of Keyboard Studies, Birmingham Conservatoire, 1982-2009)
Colin Hunt (Bath College of Higher Education, 1986-1989)
Matthew Hunt (Lichfield Cathedral School, 1980-1985; GSMD, 1990-1994)
Amanda Hurton (YMS, 1972-1982; RCM, 1982-1987)
Philippa Ibbotson
Catherine Impett (RNCM, 1986-1990)
Audrey Innes (former member of staff, St Mary’s)
John Irving (Associate Fellow, Institute of Musical Research)
Ben Isaacs
Steven Isserlis (Cellist)
Patrick Jackman
David Jackson
Sarah James (RAM, 1994-2000; Tutor: GSMD Junior Dept)
Ed Jefferies
Rachel Jeffers
Abigail Johnson
Celia Johnson (RCM, 1971-1974)
Nancy Johnson
Patrick Tapio Johnson (RSAMD, 2003-2007; GSMD, 2009-2012)
Pauline Johnson
Tom Johnston (RNCM, 1993-1994)
Frances Johnstone
Suzanne Jolley (Purcell School 1992-1994; RNCM 1995-99; RAM 1999-2000)
Andrew Jones (RAM, 1980-1984)
Cath Jones
Victoria Jones (Wells, 1988-1990)
Seth Josel (guitarist)
Laurence Joyce
Jozef Kaputska (The Juilliard School, up to 1992; RAM, up to 1997)
Anna Kauer
Alison Kay (TCM, 1982-1985; GSMD, 1985-1986)
Graeme Kay
Michal Kaznowski (YMS, early 1970s)
Sue Keegan von Allmen
Carolyn Kelly
Francesca Kemp (RCM Junior College, 1976-1978)
Nigel Kenyon
Bill Kerr (RCM, 1972-1976)
Glenn Kesby (counter tenor)
Gabrielle King
George King
Tierney Kirby
Tina Kisella (Lecturer, PhD Candidate, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Mother)
Kirsten Klingels (RAM, 1981-1985)
Vanessa E. Klink
Mollie Koenigsberger (RCM, 1969-1972)
Margarita Kourtparasidou (percussionist; MMus, Amsterdam Conservatory)
Ivan Kushlick
Irita Kutchmy (formerly spelt Irrita Kuchmy) (YMS, 1965-1968)
Jason Lai
Mary S. Laing (GSMD, 1971-1974)
Tristram Lake (RNCM, 1988-1990)
Katharine Lam (piano tutor, Birmingham Conservatoire)
Simon Lane (RNCM, 2000-2008)
Paul Lanfear
Valerie Langfield
Jerry Lanning (arranger, conductor, GSMD, 1966-1971)
Fiona Lau
Chris Lawry
Sandie Leaver
Norman Lebrecht (author, critic)
Kate Ledger (University of Huddersfield)
Helen Leek
Katharine Leek
Belinda Lefevre
Jacqueline Leighton-Jones
François Leleux
Rebecca Lenton
Sarah Leonard (singer)
John Less (Lay Vicar, Chichester cathedral choir, 1983-1989; Minor canon, St. Paul’s Cathedral, 1993-1998; Precentor of Wakefield, 2006-2009)
Gaby Lester (YMS, 1971-1973)
Zoe Lethbridge
Catherine Lett (Purcell, 1989-1991; GSMD, 1991-1996)
Sophia Levene
Bjørg Lewis
Carolyn Liefkes-Skinner (Wells, 1974-1976)
Adam Lindsley
Alexander Lingas (Senior Lecturer in Music, City University London)
James Lisney
Joy Lisney
Sally Lisney
Gabielle Burgin Lister (RMCM, 1965-1969; Vocla/choral adjudicator of British and International Federation of Festivals; voice teacher and consultant)
Tasmin Little (violinist)
Rosy Liu (RAM, 1976-1979)
Josephine Lively (GSMD, 1976-1980)
Rachel Lockwood (RNCM, 2008-2010)
Jane Lomax (TCM, 1969-1973)
Gemma Long (Wells, 1984-1991)
Natascha Loresch
Anne Loughran (musician,teacher,parent)
Amy Loveday-Hu (teacher)
Dr. Carol Lovelidge (parent of two ex-Purcell School pupils)
Chloe Lovelidge (psychotherapist)
Pauline Lowbury (violinist)
Cathy Lowe
Cora Venus Lunny
Graham Lynch
Nigel McBride (composer)
David McCallum
Richard A. McCready (RNCM, 1985-1989)
Alice McDermott
Andrew MacDonald
Moira Macdonald
Sue Macdonald (Oboist and teacher , ex Purcell parent)
Alexandra Mackenzie (cellist)
Dr. Christine Mackenzie (Parent of children at RAM)
Harriet Mackenzie
Laura McGowan (barrister, founder ‘All our daughters’ campaign)
Marion McGowan (violinist)
Yvonne McGuinness (violinist)
Elizabeth Macintosh (RCS, 1974-1977)
Helen McGee
Ed McKeon
Linda McLaren (teacher, Centre for Young Musicians)
Crisetta MacLeod
John McLeod (composer)
Ian McMillan (Conductor, Accompanist and Keyboard Skills Tutor, The Purcell School, 2002-2011)
Peter McMullin (Oxford University, 1982-1985)
Jo McNally
Beth McNich
Gordon Macpherson
Bridget MacRae
Alice McVeigh
Dr. John Madden
T.A. Madden
Edward McGuire (composer)
Richard Mander (RNCM, 1990-1994)
Jane Manning (singer; RAM, 1956-1960)
Rita Manning (RAM, 1979-1983)
Mimia Margiotta
Francesco Mariani
Dennis Marks (Former Director, English National Opera)
Wendy Marks (GSMD, 1980-1984)
Barry Marsh (Freelance music writer and researcher)
Jacqueline Marshall
Elizabeth Mason (RNCM: 1977-1983)
Madeleine Mattar (GSMD)
Janet Marsden (GSMD, 1985-1989)
Jacqueline Marshal
Melanie L. Marshall (Lecturer in Music & Marie Curie Fellow, University College Cork; Visiting Scholar, NYU Music Dept)
Emma Martin (Purcell, 1983-1992; GSMD, 1992-1996)
Kirsty Matheson (Wells, 1991-1994)
Sandy Matheson (Music therapist, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland)
Jo May (percussionist)
Lizzy May (YMS, 1992-1999; RNCM)
Judy Mayhew (Violinist)
Liz Melville
Miguel Mera (Composer; Head of Centre for Music Studies, City University London)
Max A. Midroit (pianist, NYC)
Hilary Michael (St Mary’s, 1999-2002; RAM 2002-2008)
Robin Michael
Sophia Miettunen (RNCM, 1989-1993)
Geoff Miles
Jacqui Miles (Purcell School, 1977-1978)
Tom Millar (RAM, 2010-2012)
Amos Miller (trombonist)
Janey Miller
Rachael Mills (RAM, 1987-1991)
Monzerrat Miranda
William Alberto Penafiel Miranda
Graham Mitchell
Madeleine Mitchell (violinist; professor, RCM)
Priya Mitchell (YMS)
Chi-Yu Mo
Noriko Moffat
Hugh Molloy
Alison Moncrieff-Kelly (freelance cellist and teacher)
Rebecca Money Kyrle (Purcell School, 1982-1986)
Ann Monnington (GSMD, 1986-1987)
Roger Montgomery (horn player)
Sylvie Montgomery
Nicolette Moonen
Darragh Morgan (violinist, Fidelio Trio)
Sarah Morgan
Paul Morgan
Alexandra Morphet (Wells, 1970s)
Gavin Morrison (GSMD, 1986-1989)
Marilyn Morton
Gwen Mtambirwa (St Mary’s, 1992-1997)
Lindsay Mulgrew
Daniel Mullin (BBCCO)
David Munn (RCS, 2011-present)
Malcolm Munro (St Mary’s, 2002-2005)
Jenny Murphy
Kim Murphy
David Murray
Gemma Murray
Jean Murray (taught at St Mary’s School, 1978-1999)
Kate Musker
Jennie Muskett (composer; RCM)
John Myerscough (cellist)
Peter Nagle (composer)
Rosemary Nalden
Uchenna Ngwe (oboist and teacher)
Anna Nicole
Lisa Nelsen (Flute teacher, Wells)
Jennifer Nickson (violinist)
Tanya Nienaber
Sarah Nixon (RNCM, 1997-2003)
Sam Thi Nguyen
Heather Nicholl (Head of Woodwind, RCS)
George Nicholson (composer)
Peter Noke (former teacher, RNCM Summer School, Chetham’s Summer School; current teacher, Sedbergh School; ABRSM examiner)
Laudan Nooshin (Senior Lecturer in Music, City University, London)
Chi-chi Nwanoku (double bassist; RAM, 1977-1981)
Elisabeth Nygård-Pearson
Karen O’Connor (RNCM 1974-1978)
Marie O’Connor
Heather O’Donnell (pianist)
Deirdre O’Leary (RNCM, 1990-1994)
Gary O’Shea
Martin Offord
Huaginn Oliver
Patricia Oliver
Professor Philip Olleson (Emeritus Professor of Music, University of Nottingham, Immediate Past President, The Royal Musical Association)
Marianne Olyver (violinist; mother of former Purcell School pupil)
Debbie Orriss
Karen Orriss
Michael Orriss
Stephen Orton (cellist, GSMD, 1966-1970)
Steven Osborne (pianist)
Charles Owen
Tom Owen (Purcell School, 1994-1998; RAM 1998-2001)
Anne Ozorio (critic)
Nicola Padel (psychotherapist)
Mark Padmore (tenor)
Gabrielle Painter
Settimio Palermo
Claire Parfitt (LSO)
Harry Parham-Connolly
Stephen Parham-Connolly
John Parsons (RNCM, 1989-1994)
Julie Partridge (Junior Exhibitioner, RAM, 1968-1975)
Pippa Patterson
Yvonne Patterson (flautist)
Fali Pavry (Professor, Keyboard and Collaborative Piano, RCS)
Anthony Payne (composer)
Richard G. Pearce (retired Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician)
Liz Peecock
Judith Pendrous (RNCM, 1986-1989)
Eleanor Percy
J. Penn
Glyn Perrin (composer)
Lola Perrin (composer, piano teacher)
Lis Peskett (GSMD, 1986-1989; RNCM, 1989-1990)
Catherine Pestano (community musician and music teacher)
Jeremy Peyton Jones (composer, Goldsmith’s College, University of London)
Ruth Philips (YMS, 1975-1981)
Professor John Pickard (Composer; Head of Music, University of Bristol)
Chantelle Pike
Andrew Piper (RNCM 1999-2001)
Jessica Pitt-Molloy
Marinela Potor
Francis Pott (composer)
Sarah Potter
Eleri Angharad Pound (harpist, composer)
Jonathan Powell (pianist)
Steph Power (Junior Exhibitioner, GSMD, 1980-1983)
Gily Poznansky (Flautist, educator)
John Pratt (RNCM, 1997-2001)
Oliver Preece (RAM, 1985-1989)
David Price OBE (Senior Associate, Innovation Unit)
Amber Priestley
Gordon Pringle (cello teacher Junior Trinity College of Music, parent of two ex-Purcell School pupils)
Seona Pritchard (RNCM, 1988-1990)
Becky Proctor
Irena Pryma-Percy (RNCM, 1973-1975)
David Quigley (pianist, piano tutor, Birmingham Conservatoire)
Gary Randall
Chrissie Ranson
Thomas Raskin
Annie Ray (RNCM, 1997-2001)
Clare Raybould (Wells, 1985-1991; RAM, 1992-1996)
Emma Rea
Kate Read
Lauren Redhead (composer)
Revd. Val Reid
Cecily Rice (RCM, 1971-1974)
Sam Richards (Lecturer in Music, University of Plymouth)
Julia Riley (RAM. 1999-2003)
Catherine Rimer (cellist)
Nicholas Rimmer (pianist; RNCM Junior, 1990-2000)
Diane Rivaud (Head of Leicestershire Schools Music Service; RWCMD 1978-1981)
Daniel Roberts
Sylvia Roberts (RNCM, 1994)
Michelle Robinson (RNCM, 1999-2003)
Rachel Robson
Niamh Roche
Simon Rogers
Ben Rogerson (cellist)
Paul Rogerson
Ronit Ronen (RCM, 1986-1989)
Martin Roscoe (RMCM, 1968-1972; RNCM 1972-1974)
Catherine Rose (RCM, 1984-1986)
Gemma Rosefield (Purcell, 1996-2000)
Deian Rowlands (Wells, 1995-1997; Guildhall, 1997-2002)
Miriam Roycroft (RNCM, 1981-1985)
Allyxa Ruby
Stephen Rumsey (musician, teacher)
Julian Rushton (Emeritus Professor of Music, University of Leeds)
Fiona Russell
Rebecca Russell (Purcell, 1986-1990)
Tim Rutherford-Johnson (writer and critic)
Louis Rutland (violinist)
Dr. Julie Anne Sadie (cellist, musicologist)
Simon de Saint Jorre
Helen Sanders-Hewett
Jody Sapsard
Stephen Saunders (GSMD, 1969-1972)
Martin Saving
Julian Saxl (RNCM, 1980-1984)
Martin Scaiff (Wells, 1995-1997)
Catherine Schofield
Neil Schofield
Clare Scholtz (oboist)
Colin Scobie (violinist, RCM)
Annelies Scott
Beverley Scott (RNCM, 1986-1990)
Frazer Scott (Music School of Douglas Academy, 2001-2005; GSMD, 2009-present)
Fred Scott (RAM, 1979-1985; Director, Soundpractice Music Ltd)
Professor Derek B. Scott (Professor of Critical Musicology, University of Leeds)
Melissa Scott
Mary Scully (Guildhall, 1979-1983)
Judith Serota
Liz Sharma
Helen Sharp, nee Cole (RCM Junior, 1982-1991; RCM, 1994-1996)
Kay Sharples
Jacqueline Shave (violinist)
Amanda Shearman (RAM, 1982-1986)
Emma Sheppard
Bernie Sherlock (Choral Conductor and Lecturer in Music, DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama, Dublin)
Andre Shlimon
Matthew Shlomowitz (Lecturer in Music, University of Southampton)
Aaron Shorr (Head of Keyboard, RCS)
Moeidur Anna Sigurdardottir
Jeremy Silver
Sally Silver
Helen Simons (Purcell, 1990-1992)
Julia Singleton (RNCM, 1980s)
Sophie Sirota (Wells, 1986-1992)
Kate Skeet
Marsha Skinns
Sandi Skipper (Junior RNCM, 1977-1983; GSMD, 1983-1988)
Jessamy Skrimshire (YMS, 1983-1992)
Lucy Slane
Paula Sloan
Shirley Smart (GSMD, 1991-1995)
Colin Smith (GSMD, 1982-1986)
Dave Smith (composer, pianist)
Kai Smith (MD, Ridley Scott Associates)
Kathryn Smith
Martin Smith (RCM Junior, 1974-1980; RAM, 1980-1985)
Moira Smith (former Chairman of Trustees, Pro Corda Trust)
Peter Smith (RNCM, 1992-1994)
Tim Smith (school music teacher and church choir director)
Andrew Snell (CEO, Wollongong Conservatorium of Music; President, Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums)
Sophie Solomon (violinist, composer)
Clare Southworth (Professor of flute, RAM; studied at RNCM, former teacher at Junior RNCM, Chet’s, Purcell School)
Jacquie Speirs, nee McCreadie (St Mary’s, 1976-1981)
Vanda Spence (RNCM, 1986-1990)
Adam Spiers (RAM, 1998-2000)
Thea Spiers (RNCM, 2000-2004)
Jessica Standley (Slater & Gordon Lawyers)
Rick Standley (RAM, 1978-1982)
Amy Stanford
Suzanne Stanzeleit (violinist)
Rachel Steadman (violinist, GSMD)
Sarah Stephenson (chef)
Christel Stevens, nee Adamczyk (RCM, 2003-2007)
Clare Stevens (Former editor, Music Teacher magazine)
Carol Steyn (musicologist, South Africa)
Jennifer Stinton
Alex Stirling
Caroline Stone
Elizabeth Stone (Purcell, 1994-1996)
Kathryn Stott (YMS 1967-1975, RNCM 1975-1979)
David Stowe (head of service, Wandsworth Schools’ Music Service)
Laurie Stras (RCM, 1981-1984; Senior Lecturer in Music, University of Southampton)
Nina Stubbings (RCM, 1992-1996)
Shirley Stump
Chris Sutcliffe
David Sutton
Gemma Sutton
Mark Sutton
Katherine Svistoonoff (pianist)
Diana Swann (Bell) (ABRSM examiner(retired); ISM Private Teachers’ Warden 1999-2000)
Adam Swayne (pianist + composer; RNCM 1998-2003)
Elizabeth Sweet
Joyce Tammo (Purcell, 1986-1988)
Satoko Tanigawa
Dilly Taylor (RMCM/RNCM, 1971-1975)
Jennifer Taylor
Jill Taylor
Clara Tchotoeva (piano teacher, California)
Penny Terry (peripatetic music teacher of children and young people)
Naomi Thomas
Philip Thomas (Senior Lecturer in Music, Huddersfield University)
Rebecca Thompson (RNCM, 1981-1985)
Alex Thorndike (RNCM, 1990-1995)
Jason Thornton (conductor, faculty member, Bath Spa University Music Department)
Julia Thornton
Marianne Thorsen (Purcell, 1983-1984, 1987-1989)
Sylvina Tilbury, nee Wood (RCM, 1996-1997)
Katharine Tindall
Mikel Toms (conductor)
Joan Trainor, LTCL, FTCL (music teacher)
Megan Tress (music course organiser)
Henry Tricks
Fiona Troon (Birmingham Conservatoire, 1997-2001; RCM, 2001-2003)
Anne Trygstad (St.Mary’s Music School, 1996-1997; RCM, 1997-2002)
Natalie Tsaldarakis (pianist)
Jessie Tucker
Natalie Twigg (RCM, 1987-1993)
Katharine Tylko-Hill (RCM, early 1970s)
Katharine Tyrell (artist and writer)
Charlie Usher
Richard Uttley (GSMD, 2008-present)
Luk Vaes (pianist)
Asidis Valdimarsdottir
Nick van Bloss (pianist)
Olive van Lieshout
Ian Verchere
Vivien Vernede
Emma Vidgeon (cellist; Wells, 1983-1985; RCM,1985-1990)
Jon Visanji (RNCM, 1998-2003)
Clare Volante
Elisabeth Wagner
Lucy Wakeford (harpist)
Alex Walker
Charles Walker
Elizabeth Walker
Victoria Walker (Wells, 1990-1995; RNCM, 1995-1999; RCM, 1999-2000)
Katie Walsh
Caitlin Walter (pianist)
Cam Walter
Becky Walters (GSMD 1990-1994; RAM 1994-1995)
Tim Warburton
Adi Ward
Patrick Ward
Christine Warden (RNCM, 1984-1988)
Ann Warner (Purcell, 1984-1992)
Valerie Warr, nee Coghlan (clarinettist, saxophonist)
David Watkin (Wells, 1979-1983, taught at RNCM, 1999-2002)
Jean Watkins
Andy Watts
Penelope Wayne-Shapiro (RAM, 1974-1979)
Alison Wells (Wells, 1977-1981)
Pippa Wells (violinist)
Joanna Wesling (RNCM, 1993-1997)
Jonathan West
Rachael Western (RNCM, 1984-1988)
Caroline Westoby
Rebecca Whettham (Wells, 1978-1982; RNCM, 1982-1986)
Lisa Whistlecroft (freelance sound artist)
Miranda Whitmarsh (violinist; Douglas Academy, Scotland, 2006-2012)
Trevor Wiggins (Director of Music, Dartington College of Arts, 1991-2010)
Emily Wignall
Angela Willes
Anna E. Wilson (amateur musician, PhD candidate, Queen Mary College, University of London)
Stephen Wild (Head of Music, ArtForms, Leeds City Council)
Chris Wiley (Senior Lecturer, City University London)
Margaret Lucy Wilkins (composer; Principal Lecturer in Music, University of Huddersfield, 1978-2003)
Rachel Wilkins
Professor Alan Williams (composer, University of Salford)
David Carlston Williams (RNCM, 2000-2004)
Jeremy Williams (Wells)
Louise Williams
Stephen Williams (double bassist)
Yuen Yum San Williams (Wells)
Bryony Williamson
Phill Willcox (Purcell, 1996-2001)
Joanna Willey nee Madin (CSM, 1993-1997; St Mary’s, 1997-1999)
Sarah Willson
Adrian Wilson (RAM, 2000-2002)
Jeremy Wilson (RNCM, 2006-2010)
Julia Wilson (RCM, 1987-1992)
Professor Rachel Beckles Willson (Royal Holloway College)
John Winfield (GSMD, 1985)
Mari Winkelman
Susie Winkworth
Karen Wise (RNCM, 1997-2000)
Michael Wood (singing teacher)
Marc Woodhurst (music teacher)
Catherine Woodman
David Wright
Fran Wright (RNCM, 1990-1994)
Janet Wright
Lucy Wright (RNCM, 1973-1978)
Mike Wright (RNCM, 1973-1977)
Lesley Wynne (RAM)
Simon Wynne
Marc Yeats (composer)
Temirzhan Yerzhanov (pianist, conductor, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory graduate 1989-1996; faculty member 1997-2001)
Andrew Yorke
Justine Yorke
Dr Susan Young
Alistair Zaldua (composer)
Miranda Zwalf (RCM, 1982-1986)

Enough Abuse UK (organisation)
Women in Music (UK) (organisation)

Marcel Gazelle and the Culture of the Early Yehudi Menuhin School

[To view or sign the re-opened petition for a public inquiry into abuse in musical education, please click here ]

The recent broadcast from Channel 4 News, following a painstaking investigation, has resulted in the late Belgian pianist Marcel Gazelle (1907-1969), the first Director of Music at the Yehudi Menuhin School, being named as a serial abuser of young girls. In particular, the brave testimony of Irita Kutchmy, who chose to allow herself to be filmed and named, brings home the horror of this. No criminal charges are possible since Gazelle died in 1969, but the ease with which he appeared to be able to continue his activities unchecked, and the length of time during which they have remained secret, should give room for reflection.

But who was Marcel Gazelle? His is not a particularly familiar name today, and plenty of musical dictionaries omit him. Yet he was of very great importance both to Menuhin himself and to the school he founded; Menuhin described Gazelle as ‘among the dearest and most valued of my friends and colleagues’, and wrote in his autobiography that ‘few men have played a greater part in my history than Marcel’. Gazelle also played a pivotal part in the whole ethos of the school at which he worked; Menuhin described him as ‘the school’s foster father’. As no book, article or website appears to give a particularly comprehensive view of his life and work, here I draw upon a range of sources in an attempt to provide such a thing and explain his crucial role in the early years of the school, and a wider picture of the culture of the place at this time.

Marcel Gazelle was born in Ghent in 1907. He studied at the conservatory in the city, working with Marcel Ciampi (who also taught Menuhin’s sister Hephzibah) from 1928, after finishing his Premier Prix. Gazelle at this stage already developed serious problems of tendonitis, which may have affected his inability to sustain a solo career. He appears to have first met Menuhin around 1933, when they began to play together. In autumn 1934, Menuhin undertook a major twelve-month tour of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, before returning to Europe. For this tour Menuhin replaced his sister Hephzibah as his pianist with Gazelle, cementing their working relationship. Clearly Menuhin enjoyed the practicalities of playing and touring with Gazelle, later writing that he found him from the beginning ‘a born solver of difficulties, painlessly dispatching in the early days the problems of travel, luggage, timetable, rendezvous’.

At some point in the late 1930s, Gazelle married the French violinist Jacqueline Salomons, a childhood friend of Menuhin who had worked together with him and George Enesco in chamber music sessions from 1931, though according to Yaltah, the younger sister of Menuhin, this was a rather forced marriage brought about by match-making activities on the part of their mother Marutha Menuhin. Gazelle’s first major teaching position was at his own alma mater, the Ghent Conservatory, where he began at some point before the war. He was now playing and recording regularly with Menuhin; by 1939 their recordings including works of Sarasate, Dvorák-Kreisler, and Brahms-Joachim.

According to the account by Menuhin, Gazelle was caught in Belgium at the time of the German invasion of May 1940, but managed somehow to smuggle himself out as part of the retreat from Dunkirk, escaping to London where he joined the Free Belgian forces. Jacqueline escaped the occupation independently and found her way to Lisbon, only managing to become reunited with Marcel in London in 1942. During the war years Gazelle played various concerts in the UK, including an appearance with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Anatole Fistoulari in December 1943, a concert with Jacqueline at the Wigmore Hall on February 12th, 1944, and a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall on September 30th, 1944. Gazelle also played in a piano quartet in London during this period, together with Maurice Raskin and Rodolphe Soirin and Léonard Ardenois. His playing was described in 1944 as demonstrating ‘an ease and a coolness which nothing can disturb’; another critic wrote that ‘his technique was equally polished’ as that of Menuhin.

Gazelle and Menuhin were reunited in the spring of 1943, after Menuhin had travelled back to London, and the two performed all over Britain soon afterwards, including concerts at factories, at military installations, at concert halls for wartime charities, and for Free French forces in the Royal Albert Hall. They also produced a series of 78 rpm records, including Bach’s Air on a G String and Schubert’s Ave Maria, for wartime listening.

A few days after Gazelle’s Wigmore recital, Menuhin and Gazelle travelled to Europe (where the Allied landing had taken place earlier that year), reaching Brussels on October 2nd. They gave concerts in both Brussels (at the Palais des Beaux-Arts) and Antwerp, and were invited to a dinner in the latter city. in a building close to the vacated Gestapo headquarters. After Antwerp was deemed unsafe, the two returned to Brussels, then hitchhiked their way on an American plane to Le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris, before being taken in a jeep to the centre of the city. Here the two booked into the Ritz and were reunited with old musician friends including Gazelle’s old teacher Ciampi. They made it back to London (in a plane which had to make a forced landing in a field in Kent due to electrical failure) in time for Menuhin to make it to the BBC wartime studios in Bedford to broadcast the Bartók Second Violin Concerto.

Two days after VE Day Gazelle performed in the National Gallery together with violinist Maurice Raskin. Menuhin and Gazelle continued to perform and record together regularly in the post-war era (Gazelle generally undertaking Menuhin’s European tours, with Adolph Baller accompanying the violinist in America), including a trip to South Africa in 1950, and of India in 1952. Gazelle continued to teach in Ghent; one of his students then was American pianist and teacher Phyllis Bergquist Billington, who was in Belgium as a Fulbright Scholar in the early 1950s. Gazelle and his wife gave the world premiere in 1958 of the Violin Sonata No. 2 by the Polish-born, Dutch-naturalised composer Ignace Lilién (1897-1964), and Gazelle himself premiered the Piano Concerto of Jules-Toussaint de Sutter in 1960.

During a concert tour of the Soviet Union in 1962, Menuhin visited the Central School for Young Musicians in Moscow; his wife Diana would come to write:

‘However the morning we spent there held a current of anonymity and drill that was disturbing. Dear little monsters aged four or five or six, their pigtails pinned to the crowns of their heads, whipped their way through Chopin and Liszt and all the showy composers with a cool competence that was at once admirable though alarming. Later we heard older boys and girls who had grduated to more serious but still dramatic works, showing their paces with a skill and perfection of execution that also left one baffled. Especially perplexing was the weird withholding of all names either of the performer or – particularly – of the teacher. These were gifted and well-tooled machines, part of the state’s organization and property for home consumption and export. Hephzibah remained silent; Yehudi was obviously more determined than ever to bring to the West his own version of such training.’

Menuhin believed that up until the 1970s ‘the Soviet Union led the world’ in terms of musical education, despite his having been fiercely critical of Soviet musical policy in the early post-war era and had some altercations with Russian and Czech military policy in the same era. In the spring of 1963, he sent Gazelle, together with violinist Alberto Lysy (1935-2009) to visit the Moscow school, in order to bring back an impression of how the children’s days were organized in a manner which could provide a blueprint for their own plans. Menuhin said that the Moscow Central School was the ‘working model’ for his own, but in his autobiography described the differences between the two as follows: in Moscow there were 300 students, whereas he began with 15 (this would grow to 32 in 1965, 36 in 1969, 38 in 1972, 62 by 1983); Moscow trained soloists, whereas Menuhin wanted to produce musical all-rounders who could also work in teaching, chamber groups or orchestras – he noted that a society supposedly so founded upon the collective geared its musical education towards producing individual performers.

The Yehudi Menuhin School was the second such specialist music institution in the UK, the Central Tutorial School for Young Musicians (later to become the Purcell School) having opened in 1962 (Chetham’s would become a specialist music school in 1969, Wells’ Cathedral School in 1970, and St Mary’s Music School in 1972, with Menuhin as patron). The Menuhin School was opened in September 1963, using premises in London acquired by pedagogue Grace Cone for her Arts Educational Trust; music lessons and all bedrooms were at the Prince of Wales Hotel (now destroyed), whilst academic lessons were held at the Trust’s classrooms near Piccadilly. The first committee included the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, Lady Fermoy, Sir Miki Sekers, the Countess of Strafford, Lord Mottistone, Mr Paul Paget and others. In 1964 the school transferred to new premises within a fifteen-acre parkland in Stoke d’Abernon, twenty-five miles south-west of London. Charitable donations and proceeds from auction of various donated works of art by the likes of Oskar Kokoschka and Henry Moore enabled the mortgage on the property to be almost completely settled within seven years. In the autumn of the second year a BBC2 masterclass featured a lesson with a seven-year old Nigel Kennedy, who had just joined the school that year.

Menuhin himself initially selected many of the stuents himselves, of which around a third were girls. The initial fees were £450 per year. The school taught just five instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano. Menuhin called upon Frederick Grinke, who was a professor at the Royal Academy of Music for recommendations for teachers. The early teachers included Gazelle and Barbara Kerslake on piano, George Malcolm on harpsichord, Grinke himself, Robert Masters, Alberto Lysy, Jacqueline Gazelle and Margaret Norris on violin, Lionel Tertis on viola, Christopher Bunting, Maurice Gendron and Myra Chahin on cello. Peter Norris (who remained at the school for a long period), husband of Margaret, taught chamber music and worked on aural training. Visiting teachers would include Marcel Ciampi and Nadia Boulanger, and others who came to visit included Stéphane Grappelli and Ravi Shankar. The first headmaster was Anthony Brackenbury, who had come from teaching classics at Bryanston, then as head of sixth form studies at a London comprehensive for two years.

Gazelle not only taught piano and co-ordinated musical activities in the school, but also, according to the book Menuhin’s House of Music, took charge of solfège, sight-singing, transposition, theory, harmony and even some musical history, though one former student does not recall him giving lessons in any of these himself. He would spend about four days of each week during term time at the school, the remainder being spent at Ghent. His piano students at the school included Ronan Magill, Jacqueline Cole, Mike Stanley, and briefly Menuhin’s own son Jeremy, who stayed at the school only for a short while before being despatched to Eton. Other students from the first year of the school’s existence included violinists David Angel (now a member of the Maggini Quartet together with later student Michal Kaznowski), Mary Eade, Rosemary Furniss and Elizabeth Perry. In the second year they were joined by various others including Marcia Crayford (who would come to teach at the school by 1969), Levine Andrade, Catherine Stevens (daughter of composer Bernard Stevens and violinist Bertha Stevens), Nigel Kennedy and then in the next few years by Colin Carr, Irita Kutchmy, Kathryn Stott, Michal Kaznowski and others. Various individuals have spoken about how they were made to feel that it would be an incredible honour to be studying piano with Menuhin’s accompanist; Gazelle would be friendly and charming towards parents.

The daily schedules were gruelling. All students had to put in at least three hours’ practice per day, and for their more regular education were divided into three age groups. Daily activities would start at seven o’clock each morning for the younger children, 6:30 for the over-twelves at least twice a week. Classes on general musicianship, including ear tests, dictation, identifying chords and modulations, and so on, would take place before breakfast. Then the youngest pupils would have lessons whilst older ones practised their instruments under adult supervision, followed by a mid-morning break in which Brackenbury would lead the older children in ‘physical jerks’. There was a short but compulsory twenty-minute rest on beds after lunchtime, then the school day proceeded up until 6pm. Events happened practically every evening, which could be students playing, singing or acting, puppet plays, or once every week a concert given by teachers. Yoga teaching, and later t’ai chi, were prominent at the school due to Menuhin’s enthusiasm for these practices; an Indian Mr Iyengar visited in the first year on three occasions to give yoga classes to the children.

Gazelle would allegedly enter the younger girls’ rooms to wake them up and would touch them under their bed clothes as they lay there. The older girls suffered an even more intrusive wake up call. Several girls at the school during the 1960s have claimed that he groomed them and then sexually abused them repeatedly over several years, leading to lifelong severe mental and sexual problems and often an inability to go near the school again (an attitude shared by many others claiming to have suffered non-sexual, but severe psychological and emotional abuse at the same school). His activities were not talked about leading many to believe that they were the only ones to suffer that fate, only discovering relatively recently that others had also been abused. In lessons he would sometimes have his arm placed continuously around some girls, the smoke from his Gitane cigarettes wafting into their nostrils. He also instilled fear in many due to his temper, leading some to feel they needed to feign enjoyment of his ‘attentions’ in order to avoid his anger.

Gazelle is also alleged to have employed a technique which is eerily near-identical to that of which I have heard from other teachers in other institutions. This involved reducing students to tears regularly at the beginning of lessons, by cruelly berating them for how they played, completely undermining their confidence (obliviously to whether they might be ill or anything else), so as then to be able to take them on his knee to comfort and cuddle them, thus exploiting vulnerability as a strategy for control.

Mental and emotional cruelty and manipulation were allegedly equally common from other teachers there. The cello teacher Maurice Gendron is claimed to have systematically reduced students to tears in practically every lesson, whilst projecting outwards the symptoms of his morphine addiction, and would quiz students on their sex life and masturbation habits (Kaznowski’s account of Gendron’s activities can be found here). Jacqueline Gazelle was remembered as pointedly staring at the floor when students would make the slightest slip in a concert, then refusing to say a word to them afterwards. Boys would queue up at the toilets before her lessons out of fright. She is remembered to have had ferocious tantrums and would throw their music on the floor and insult them mercilessly, almost taking pleasure in causing them distress – students would emerge from her lessons crying and shaking. Barbara Kerslake is recalled to have had a characteristic trick of slamming the piano lid down on children’s hands whilst they were playing. Others’ teaching would simply consist of picking up their instrument and playing something perfectly so as to shame the child by comparison. Humiliation of pupils was common, and they were made to think that those who had left because of the pressure were merely failures, an epithet they themselves dreaded. On the other hand, the school liked to parade those it saw as its successes in front of the media and visiting royals – there was even a point where students regularly appeared on Savile’s Jim’ll Fix It. The idea that children need reassurance and help, rather than just criticism, appears to have passed various teachers by, though some have spoken fondly in particular of Margaret Norris.

The tortuous environment caused children to run away, be expelled, shoplift, or even set the building on fire deliberately. Some children claimed to be being abused by a parent, and no-one believed them or cared. One member of staff is alleged to have had a public affair with another whilst the former’s spouse and children were living on campus; another, whose family also lived on the premises, had an relationship with a young student on and off campus. Empty beds were the tell-tale sign that pupils were being ‘tended to’ elsewhere.

As mentioned above, Gazelle continued to teach at Ghent alongside his activities at the Menuhin School. The student of his during this time who would go on to achieve greatest prominence was the conductor Philippe Herreweghe who studied piano with Gazelle. Herreweghe would in a 2011 interview list his work with Gazelle as amongst the most important encounters in his life, alongside those with Gustav Leonhardt, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Christoph Prégardien. Other of Gazelle’s Belgian students in the late 1960s were the pianists Roland de Munck and Jan Rispens, pianist and composer François Glorieux, and Abel Matthijs, professor at the Brussels Conservatoire. He made a recording on HMV in 1968 with violinist Robert Masters (to be his successor as Director of Music at the school) and cellist Derek Simpson of Nikos Skalkottas’s Eight Variations on a Greek Folk Tune. Gazelle died from lung cancer in February 1969, having smoked since the age of six or seven.

Menuhin’s own knowledge of the activities of Gazelle and others at his school remain an open question – perhaps some further information could be found through research into correspondence at the Yehudi Menuhin Archive housed at the Royal Academy of Music. The school had been designed so as to function without his presence, and he was listed simply as a visiting teacher, though his influence was widely felt at all levels; when he would visit once or twice a term, all other activities were suspended so he could spend time with each pupil.

Menuhin said of Gazelle that ‘from the beginning he fitted so easily into my family it was as if I had suddenly been given an older brother’. The 1969 book Menuhin’s House of Music, with text by Delius’s collaborator Eric Fenby, provides today for a grim read for those with some knowledge of what else was going on. Fenby wrote of Gazelle: ‘Dedicated absolutely to his profession, he gives himself unsparingly in his teaching, expecting nothing but the best response; implanting disciplines where needed and imbuing confidence in all. Clearly he earns his pupils’ trust and personal regard in return’. All of these comments need to be re-interpreted and re-assessed in light of the ominous allegations now coming to light.

The violinist Nigel Kennedy said ten years ago (quoted in ‘Kennedy reveals abuse at music school’, The Observer, Sunday September 28th, 2003) that young girls were sexually abused during his time at the school, pointing out that he himself at age eight would be at the receiving end of a teacher’s disaffections for being perceived as a rival for a girl. Kennedy did not name any perpetrators or victims, but carefully pointed out ‘Maybe it’s very close to religion, music. If you’ve got someone who’s like a guru figure, you probably might think what they’re doing is right’. Various of Kennedy’s contemporaries from the time read this and were immediately aware to whom he was referring. Now Kennedy has been prepared to name Gazelle and make public his very mixed feelings about the school he attended.

As with the case of Michael Brewer, and allegations about Malcolm Layfield, Ryszard Bakst and Chris Ling at Chetham’s, it is maybe to be anticipated that we will hear about how these are ‘historic’ cases, which could never happen today. I very much hope this is indeed the case, but from former pupils at the Menuhin School alone I have heard a range of disturbing allegations about various types of abuse during the 1980s and 1990s. All allegations do need to be treated as such and properly investigated, and all alleged perpetrators should rightly be considered innocent until they are proved guilty. But overwhelming numbers of allegations point to a situation whereby children at specialist music schools are in a position of high vulnerability to abuse and cruelty, in which this is often accepted as being par for the course within such training, and in which such abuse is covered-up, or pressure put on victims to stay quiet, in order to protect the reputations of both teachers and institutions. All aspects of the working, teaching and administration of these institutions needs urgent investigation and reappraisal. Major studies of musical education were produced for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 1965 (‘Making Musicians’) and 1978 (‘Training Musicians’). Another thorough survey taking seriously everything else which has transpired or is in the process of transpiring is needed as soon as possible.

With immense thanks to all of those who have spoken to me about abuse at the Menuhin School and elsewhere, some of which (with permission) has informed the above, and others who looked at this piece before publication. And to everyone working for change in musical education.

[Some small edits made, 9/5/13 and 11/5/13. With many thanks to several former YMS students, and also to Didier Gazelle, who sent me corrections of a few factual matters]

[UPDATE: Michael Kaznowski has spoken at length about Maurice Gendron in a powerful article in the Independent, which can be read here. A documentary about Gendron can be viewed here. ]