Yehudi Menuhin founded his famous school in England to provide the environment and tuition for musically gifted children from all over the world to pursue their love of music, develop their musical potential, and achieve standards of performance on stringed instruments and piano at the highest level.
Lord Menuhin had seen, during thirty years of travelling the world, the difficulties which children often face when studying music and having to attend normal schooling. He recognised the need to provide musically gifted children with excellent instrumental teachers, adequate time for practice, frequent opportunities for performance, ensemble work with other gifted children, a broad range of other music study and activity, together with a stimulating and creative academic programme. All this was to be undertaken within a family community in which every individual could fully develop musical, intellectual, artistic and social skills.
Since 1963 the School has expanded and now educates more than sixty musically gifted boys and girls between 8 and 19.
In 1973 the School was accorded special status as a Centre of Excellence for the Performing Arts, and since then has been supported by the Department for Education. All UK pupils are supported by the Music and Dance Scheme and parents pay a contribution to the cost of their child's education according to their ability to pay.
We were delighted when Daniel Barenboim agreed to become the President of the School in succession to the late Mstislav Rostropovich. Daniel Barenboim's great work in bringing together the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, which unites Israeli, Palestinian and Arab musicians, has brought him worldwide attention. His recent Reith lectures on BBC Radio 4 expounded a philosophy which echoed so many of Yehudi Menuhin's own thoughts.