President Emeritus

Daniel Barenboim KBE

Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires in 1942, and studied piano under his parents. At age 11, he took part in conducting classes in Salzburg, under Igor Markevich.

In 1954, Daniel began his recording career as a pianist. In the 1960s, he recorded Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with Otto Klemperer, Brahm’s Piano Concertos with Sir John Barbirolli, and the Mozart piano concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra, this time serving both as pianist and conductor.

Ever since his conducting debut in 1967 in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Daniel has been in great demand with leading orchestras around the world. Between 1975 and 1989, he was principal conductor of the Orchestre de Paris, and he held the position of Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra between 1991 and 2006. Since 1992, Barenboim has been General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where he was also artistic director from 1992 to August 2002. In 2000, the Staatskapelle Berlin appointed him Principal Conductor for Life, and in March 2003, he and the Staatskapelle were honoured with the Wilhelm-Furtwängler-Preis.

Beside his great classic-romantic repertoire, Daniel continues to focus on contemporary music.


Tasmin Little CBE

"One of the supremely great violinists of our time" Music-Web International

"Little can justly be regarded as Britain's finest violinist" The Independent

For more than three decades, Tasmin Little enjoyed a multi-award winning and varied career as an international solo concert violinist, touring the globe as soloist with the most acclaimed international orchestras in the top venues of the world. She made 45 commercial recordings, gave many world premiere performances and received numerous accolades, including a Classic BRIT Award, Gramophone Award for Audience Innovation, BBC Music Magazine Personality of the Year Award, BBC Music Magazine Chamber Music Award, Gold Badge Award for Services to Music and a coveted Diapason d’Or.

Renowned for her gifts of communication and presentation, on and off the platform, during the early 1990s she pioneered verbal introductions during performance from the stage to audiences, and in 2008 her ground-breaking project “The Naked Violin” drew a global audience of half a million in a few weeks and resulted in The Southbank Show - the longest-running Arts show on British television – dedicating a full hour’s programme to following the project as she toured. She has appeared on, and made, many television and radio programmes; in February 2021, her 3-week series for BBC Radio 3, “Journeys with my Violin” was widely lauded and was ‘Pick of the Week’ in The Times newspaper. In January 2023, she was commissioned by Radio 3 to make eight programmes which were aired later in the year.

During her 30-year career, she performed 20 times at the BBC Proms, including two concerts at The Last Night of the Proms to a global audience of 100 million, and at Proms in the Park to a live audience of 40,000. She performed twice for HM the Queen and in 2012 was awarded an OBE for Services to Music. In June 2023, she was awarded a CBE in the King’s First Birthday Honours List.

During the pandemic in 2020, Tasmin gave numerous interviews on BBC Radio 4 and was vocal in highlighting the issues faced by freelance musicians, to the extent that she was recently cited as one of the top 10 Classical Music Thought Leaders. She has a consistent track record of advocating music education and has twice been invited to speak in the House of Commons to members of both the Lords and the Commons regarding the importance of education and the Arts in the UK. In 2019 she became Co-President of the Yehudi Menuhin School.

Tasmin is an Ambassador for many charities including Help Musicians UK, Awards for Young Musicians, Youth Music, Trees for Music, (helping to replant and sustain endangered Pernambuco wood, used for making violin bows, in the Brazilian rainforest), and she is Vice President of the Elgar Society. In 2020 she stepped down from the concert platform in order to devote her time to her other passions: broadcasting, presenting, writing, teaching, mentoring, education, moderating and charity work. She gained her Certificate in Mentoring and Coaching from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in January 2021, and has a particular interest in communication, presentation and self-development skills in addition to supporting increased diversity in the workplace.

Tasmin Little is an alumna of The Yehudi Menuhin School.


Barbara R-D Fisher OBE

The Hon Zamira Menuhin Benthall


David Buckley

David holds a number of non-executive board positions and is currently Chairman of Royal Bank of Canada (Europe) Limited, Chairman of Redwood Bank, and Chairman of Archax Ltd. He is a Non-executive Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

David was previously a Director of CIBC World Markets plc, an Independent Non-executive Director for Fullerton Health pte in Singapore, a member of the Manchester University Global Leadership Board and Deputy Chairman, Hon. Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance and Investment Committees for the River and Rowing Museum. Prior to that he was European CFO for Morgan Stanley, Chief Executive of Morgan Stanley Bank International and a member of the Firm’s European Management Committee. Before joining Morgan Stanley, David was International Treasurer and European Head of the Global Banking Group for Goldman Sachs. David has also worked for Coopers & Lybrand and the Plessey Company plc.


Geoffrey Richards

Geoffrey Richards became a governor of the School in 2013 and has been Vice-Chairman since March 2018. He is a retired solicitor, a trustee of various charities, a company director and a regular attender of Showcase concerts. He enjoys music (including opera) and is a note very committed and regularly disappointed supporter of his local football club in Fulham. He is a passionate believer in the value of the exercise by the UK of its soft power and sees our schools (not least those in the MDS) and universities as national assets to be treasured and supported. Geoffrey is a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Governor.


Dominic Benthall

Dominic is a barrister, who acts in cases across the full spectrum of the criminal law. He prosecutes on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service and is also appointed to the Serious Fraud Office prosecution panel. Recent defence cases include allegations of murder, large-scale drug importation and serious firearms offences.

The YMS was founded by Dominic's grandfather, Yehudi Menuhin. Dominic joined the Board of Governors on the retirement of his mother, Zamira Benthall. Dominic's particular interests include twentieth century popular music, playing the guitar, English literature, walking and cooking.

Lord (Norman) Blackwell

Lord Blackwell was Non-Executive Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group plc from 2014 - 2021. He has 20 years’ experience as a Non-Executive Director of major UK companies, and has also served on the Boards of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and OFCOM. In his earlier career he was a partner in the management consultants McKinsey & Co. His public policy experience includes acting as a special advisor in 10 Downing Street from 1985-87 and subsequently heading the No 10 Policy unit for John Major in 1995-97. Alongside his business career he has maintained an active participation as an amateur musician, having studied piano and violin as a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal Academy of Music. As well as his role at The Yehudi Menuhin School he is also a member of the Governing Body of the Royal Academy of Music.

George Bruell

George has more than 30 years’ experience working across business and the arts. With an organ scholarship and a degree in Immunology from Cambridge University he has spent his career pursuing the intersection between the worlds of science, technology, commerce and the creative arts.

After working in investment banking in London and completing an MBA from The Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College in the USA, George worked in a number of strategy and leadership roles at the food and technology multinational, Cargill, based in the USA, Brussels and London.

In 2008 he moved to run the Communications and Media business at Glyndebourne, an Opera House based in East Sussex, with a mandate to diversify its sources of revenue and reach a new generation of audiences, overseeing all brand, audience, digital and content related responsibilities. In 2020 he started his own consulting and advisory business working with organisations across the business, education and creative arts sectors.

George became a governor in 2022 and chairs the Development Committee.

Andrew Butcher

Andrew Butcher is a non-executive director and Chairman of the Risk Committee of Euroclear, a leading global financial markets infrastructure based in Brussels. In an executive career spanning 32 years, Andrew held senior positions at Citigroup, J.P.Morgan and Bank of America in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and London.

In 2019 Andrew was appointed to the board of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he is currently Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee. He is also Chairman of the Sherborne Girls Foundation.

Andrew holds an MA in Music from Cambridge University.

Kate Costeloe CBE

Kate Costeloe is a paediatrician, retired from clinical practice but with continuing research interests at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry where she has been Professor of Paediatrics since 1998, and for a time led the undergraduate teaching of child health. She trained at Cambridge and University College Hospital and completed her postgraduate training in the Oxford region. She was made CBE in 2010 for services to paediatrics in London. She has previously been a non-executive director of an NHS Trust and at the Menuhin School is particularly interested in health and safeguarding. Kate is a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Governor.

Hilary Cowan

Hilary Cowan has had a great love of music from an early age, and played the piano and sang at school. She has a general Arts degree, specialising in art history and modern languages. Hilary worked as a secretary and legal assistant at Macfarlanes, solicitors. In the past she has been a governor of St Andrews School, Cobham, and is now a trustee of Grange Park Opera Surrey. Hilary's family has supported YMS since her parents met Lord Menuhin in the late 1960s. With her husband Michael, Hilary has supported students both at YMS and at the Royal College of Music.

John Everett

John Everett is an economist and accountant. He spent the first ten years of his career working on strategy and finance in the automotive, pharmaceutical and steel industries. He then joined Deloitte as a management consultant with private and public sector clients in North America, Europe, Middle East, Japan and Australia. He was promoted to Managing Partner for the UK consulting practice and on the Board of Deloitte UK and Deloitte Consulting Global. He chaired two of the firm’s pension schemes and was until recently the Independent NED in a technology company purchased by BT.

In the Arts world, he is a Trustee of the Academy of Ancient Music, where he chaired the Finance and Risk Committee. He was Trustee an Chairman of the Friends of the V&A until it fully merged into the museum organisation in 2018. He is also involved and is on the Advisory Board for Youth at Risk.

Andrew Hunter Johnston

Andrew Hunter Johnston has had a career in finance, initially with Price Waterhouse (now PWC) and then with SG Warburg, subsequently Mercury Asset Management, Merrill Lynch and now BlackRock) where he headed teams managing portfolios for pension funds and charities. He now works with CCLA Investment Management, a specialist in investment for charities and other not-for-profit organisations. Andrew studied Music at Cambridge, where he sang in King’s College Choir; he currently sings with the Holst Singers, plays the organ and is a trustee of two other charities.

John Pagella

John Pagella is a Chartered Surveyor and former Senior Partner at Montagu Evans where he specialised in the valuation of commercial property throughout the UK for a variety of purposes. He was a member of the RICS Skills Panel for a number of years advising on the compulsory purchase of land for public purposes including road and rail infrastructure projects.

He is past Chair of Trustees at the Grange Centre for Disabilities in Bookham, is a past Chairman of the Leatherhead Arts Society, and is a Surveyor to the United Grand Lodge of England responsible for Freemasons’ Hall in London.

Alice Phillips

Alice Phillips was educated at Kendal High School for Girls and went on to read English at Newnham College, Cambridge. After ten years as an English teacher, and then Head of English at the Royal Masonic School, Richmansworth, she moved on to Deputy Headship at Tormead School, Guildford in 1993 and has been Headmistress of St Catherine’s, Bramley, an independent school for girls aged 4-18, near Guildford, since 2000. She was President of the Girls’ Schools’ Association (GSA) in 2014 and Vice-Chairman of the Independent Schools’ Council from 2015-2018. She has also chaired GSA committees for South Central Region and Professional Development and been Acting Treasurer. Alice is a member of the Institute of Directors, and chairs the Education and Wellbeing Committee at The Yehudi Menuhin School. Her hobbies include walking the family Labrador, gardening, and choral singing with the Guildford Chamber Choir. Alice is the Designated Safeguarding Governor.

Vanessa Richards

Vanessa Richards started her career as a teacher of modern languages. She joined the European Parliament as a European civil servant in 1973 (on the UK’s accession to the then EEC) and subsequently worked for a French consulting engineering company in charge of their projects in the English-speaking world. She was also a Director of British Wastewater Limited, a co-ordinating company for a major project in Cairo, Egypt (funded by ODA and UK Export Credits) from its inception to completion. She published “Investing in Egypt”, 1993, on behalf of The Middle East Association. From the mid-1990’s she was a Director of two small companies involved in project development work in the UK and continental Europe.

She was a Council Member of the youth charity Fairbridge, which provided developmental courses for inner city young people at risk. The Fairbridge model was later absorbed into The Prince’s Trust. She has also served as a Council member of a major girls’ public school where she chaired the Development Committee, overseeing the completion of a new Performing Arts Centre, and as a member of the PCC of her local church.

Vanessa served for 18 years (including 11 years as Chairman) on the Friends of the School committee, is a member of the Council’s Development Committee and is Chairman of YMS Enterprises, the commercial arm of the School. For over twenty years she has been a Director of the freehold company of a central London block of flats. She was a Trustee of the charity Remembered which commemorated those fallen in battle, educated the younger generation about the horror and futility of war and raised money to heal and help find employment for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other lasting legacies of combat. Remembered has now merged with Royal British Legion Industries who used the iconic Remembered “Tommy” figure to commemorate 75 years since VE Day.

Benedict Vanderspar

Ben is a Partner at McKinsey & Co. He spends his time on strategy and building and scaling digital businesses primarily in media and technology. Prior to his career in management consulting, Ben worked in investment banking and before that he read Politics Philosophy and Economics a t Keble College, Oxford where he was a music scholar. He feels fortunate to be part of a family of musicians and has a strong affinity with the Yehudi Menuhin School, as an accomplished violinist who studied with Natasha Boyarsky. Ben enjoys spending time supporting classical musical organisations on a pro bono basis as well supporting the sector as a trustee of the Continuo Foundation.

Jonathan Willcocks

Jonathan Willcocks leads a busy professional life as a conductor and composer, currently as Musical Director of the professional chamber orchestra Southern Pro Musica and three major choral organisations. He also undertakes extensive freelance work which in recent seasons has taken him to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and China as well as frequent engagements in the USA and Canada, many European countries and throughout UK. Jonathan’s music is published principally by Oxford University Press, Lorenz (USA) and Prime Music/MorningStar and is widely performed and recorded. His music has been performed at the BBC Proms and has been recognised by nomination for the Academy of Composers and Songwriters’ prestigious British Composer Awards. Jonathan also has a strong interest in specialist music education, having previously held the appointment for nearly twenty years of Director of the Junior Academy at the Royal Academy of Music in London, one of the UK’s leading conservatoires.

Musical Patrons

Steven Isserlis CBE

Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a uniquely varied and distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster.

As a concerto soloist he appears with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, including the Berlin Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, London Philharmonic and Zurich Tonhalle orchestras, He gives recitals every season in major musical centres, and plays with many of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras, including the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Australian, Mahler, Norwegian, Scottish, Zurich and St Paul Chamber Orchestras, as well as period-instrument ensembles such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Unusually, he also directs chamber orchestras from the cello.

He works with many contemporary composers and regularly premieres new works on the international concert stage.

Robert Levin

Pianist and Conductor Robert Levin has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. His solo engagements include the orchestras of Atlanta, Berlin, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal, Utah and Vienna on the Steinway with such conductors as Semyon Bychkov, James Conlon, Bernard Haitink, Sir Neville Marriner, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle and Esa-Pekka Salonen. On period pianos he has appeared with the Academy of Ancient Music, English Baroque Soloists, Handel & Haydn Society, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Christopher Hogwood, Sir Charles Mackerras, Nicholas McGegan, and Sir Roger Norrington.

Renowned for his improvised embellishments and cadenzas in Classical period repertoire, Robert Levin has made recordings for DG Archiv, CRI, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, ECM, New York Philomusica, Nonesuch, Philips and SONY Classical. These include a Mozart concerto cycle for Decca; a Beethoven concerto cycle for DG Archiv (including the world premiere recording of Beethoven’s arrangement of the Fourth Concerto for piano and string quintet); and the complete Bach harpsichord concertos with Helmuth Rilling, as well as the six English Suites (on piano) and both books of the Well-Tempered Clavier (on five keyboard instruments) as part of Hänssler’s 172-CD Edition Bachakademie. ECM will be releasing his traversal of the Mozart piano sonatas on Mozart’s piano. He is a regular partner of cellist Steven Isserlis, with whom he recorded the complete piano and cello music of Beethoven, and pianist Ya-Fei Chuang, with whom he appears in recital and with orchestra. Earlier this year he toured Europe and the United States with violinist Hilary Hahn.

A passionate advocate of new music, Robert Levin has commissioned and premiered a large number of works. He has recorded the complete piano music of Dutilleux for ECM and joined pianist Ursula Oppens in a CD of Bernard Rands’ piano music for Bridge. A renowned chamber musician, his completions of Mozart fragments are published by Bärenreiter, Breitkopf & Härtel, Carus, Peters, and Wiener Urtext Edition, and recorded and performed throughout the world.

Sir András Schiff

Having collaborated with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, Sir András Schiff now focuses primarily on solo recitals, play-directing and conducting.

Since 2004 he has performed the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas in over twenty cities, including Zurich where the cycle was recorded live for ECM. Other acclaimed recordings for the label include solo recitals of Schubert, Schumann and Bach.

In recent years his Bach has become an annual highlight of the BBC Proms. Elsewhere, he regularly performs at the Verbier, Salzburg and Baden-Baden festivals; the Wigmore Hall, Musikverein and Philharmonie de Paris; on tour in North America and Asia.

He founded the chamber orchestra Cappella Andrea Barca in 1999, and enjoys a close relationship with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Budapest Festival Orchestra and Orchestra of the Age Enlightenment – becoming an Associate Artist of the latter in 2018.


Stuart Mitchell

Richard Morris

Governors Emeriti

Daniel Hodson

Remuneration Policy

The Governors receive no remuneration from the School for their services.

Chair of Governors, David Buckley, can be contacted at the School address which is The Yehudi Menuhin School, Stoke d’Abernon, Cobham, Surrey KT11 3QQ or via an email directed to Philippa Stanfield, Clerk to the Governors at