Yehudi Menuhin honoured by English Heritage
Our Founder, violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin, has been honoured with a blue plaque by English Heritage. Menuhin’s plaque will mark 65 Chester Square, in Belgravia; a six-storey house, built by Thomas Cubitt in 1838, that Menuhin lived, worked, and entertained in for the last 16 years of his life. The lower-ground-floor vaults provided space for his expansive archive and collection of violins while a single open space on the fourth floor served as a studio. Much of Menuhin’s teaching and mentoring took place in the studio and he also practiced yoga there.
Professor William Whyte, Architectural historian and Chair of the Blue Plaques Panel, said: “Yehudi Menuhin was perhaps the most famous violinist of the 20th century. He was a child prodigy who began playing the violin at the age of five and didn’t stop for the next 80 years. He was also an impassioned humanitarian and idealist who believed that music was for everyone and that it had the power to transform lives. Through his recordings and his educational foundations, his legacy lives on and he is undoubtedly a worthy recipient of this blue plaque.”
Solo Cellist and Music Educator, Julian Lloyd-Webber, said: “Playing and recording Elgar’s Cello Concerto with Yehudi Menuhin conducting was one of the greatest privileges of my life and I am honoured and delighted to be unveiling this plaque in his memory.”
Ben Gudgeon (Headmaster), Tasmin Little CBE (Co-President), Boris Kucharsky (Professor of Violin and former student of Menuhin) and Marco Galvani (Deputy Director of Music) were also amongst those who witnessed the unveiling of the plaque yesterday (6 July). Some of our pupils also performed in his house.
Menuhin continued to be one of the most active musicians in the world as a performer, conductor, and teacher, as well as contributing to religious, social and environmental causes, up until his death from a heart attack in Berlin on 12 March 1999 at the age of 82, five days after giving his last concert.
Menuhin founded the Yehudi Menuhin School in 1963 to provide a place for musically gifted children from around the world to develop their talents to the highest level within a nurturing and stimulating academic environment, regardless of their economic background.
Watch the ITV feature on Yehudi Menuhin's blue plaque below.