YMS Annual Scotland Trip 2024

The Yehudi Menuhin School recently returned from its annual trip to Scotland, where four pupils from the school performed three concerts in Lanark, Edinburgh, and Blair Atholl Castle. The group, consisting of three pianists and one violinist, received rave reviews for their wonderful performances throughout Scotland, gaining praise for their high standards and ability to connect with their audience.

Our host Lavinia, spoke about the tour saying: More than 30 years ago, a mutual friend of Ruth Nye’s and mine - Sally Mellor, pianist and originator of the Clementi Trio, mentioned that she had a friend who was professor of piano at the Yehudi Menuhin School, who might be interested in bringing a group of young pianists to perform in the Ballroom at Blair Castle.

A conversation with Ruth established that this was the case, and there began a friendship with Ruth and the school that has continued for 32 years. Stephen Potts, head of music, and Ruth would drive 4 to 6 students the 400+ miles North in the school minibus in mid-February. It rapidly became the favourite concert of our audience - so much so that there would be two concerts and then a Scottish Tour, to include Berwick, Eyemouth, New Lanark and now Edinburgh.

These concerts have shown the remarkable capacity of the Menuhin students aged between 10 and 18 to introduce and to play a varied repertoire to an extremely high standard - but also to be lovely guests. The weekends now take place in May and are the highlight of Music in Blair Atholl’s concert series.

Sadly, Ruth could not be with us this year, but Tom Yang brought with him everything that she taught: the highest standards combined with a lively sense of occasion and an understanding of how to be a good guest.

We will be indebted to Ruthie forever and will carry on exactly as she would like us to.

We send many thanks to all the pianists, violinists, cellists and a very few guitarists who have entertained us over the years.

The trip was led by Keelan Carew, who expressed his gratitude to the hosts and organizers who made the trip possible saying:

I was privileged to lead the YMS Scotland Tour 2024, alongside my colleague Rosie, and four outstanding pupils. This year's trip was particularly heartfelt: it was the first Scotland Tour since the retirement of our dear colleague and Professor of Piano, Ruth Nye, who pioneered the trip as a performance opportunity for pianists some 25 years ago. We made our way through Lanarkshire, Edinburgh and Blair Atholl, concluding the tour in the spellbinding ballroom of Blair Castle. Pupils Tom, Kenza, Deva and Robbie had all prepared brilliantly, and performed a range of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Schumann, Ravel and Kapustin. The tours have been a life-affirming experience for many pupils over the years - my sincerest thanks to hosts and organisers Chrissy, Lavinia, Henrietta and more, who all make these marvelous opportunities possible.

The Yehudi Menuhin School's Scotland Tour is a cherished tradition that has been going strong for over three decades. The school's commitment to providing performance opportunities for its students is truly remarkable, and it's clear that this trip has been a life-affirming experience for many pupils over the years.

29 May 2024