New head of music at swing-door music school

New head of music at swing-door music school


norman lebrecht

July 04, 2018

The Purcell School has named conductor Paul Hoskins as head of music, a post abolished by the school’s last principal but one – or possibly the last but two, we’ve lost count.

Hoskins, 37, is music director with Ballet Rambert.

His appointment, together with a tenor as head of school, is being hailed as a new era for the swing-door school. Let’s hope so.



  • Oliver says:

    “Hoskins, 37…”? He’s been music director of Rambert for 22 years, so – no.

  • ExPupil says:

    Is Mr Hoskins being appointed as HeadMaster ( as reported here last month) or Director of Music of The Purcell School?

    Either way, he will need all the help of the Gods, and luck of the world considering the post of Director of Music (DoM) was deleted five years ago and the school has become legendary for losing three Headmasters since.

    In 2013, the Governors of this former leading specialist music school decided to run without a DoM, citing the need to reduce spending as a result of a frozen grant from the Government funded Music and Dance Scheme, lower pupil numbers, and a reduced senior management team to save money.
    This bizarre decision coincided with a member of staff trying a case for unfair dismissal in Court, which would have exposed the huge cover up and speculated reasons for a unexplained sudden departure of it’s then HeadMaster surrounding allegations (oddly, unsubstantiated) of his predatory history of behaviour with sixth form boys.

    Several other brave staff members tried to blow the whistle on this outrageous cover up, which cost the school over £300k in litigation & gagging agreements to suppress the scandal following a wave of spurious disciplinary procedures towards whistleblowers designed and executed by the ‘retiring’ bullying Bursar, Aideen Macnamara.

    Claiming there was no money to suddenly fund the crucial DoM post, the school still found money at the same time to continue to fund expensive projects including creating new management and teaching posts in other non musical departments. whilst falling pupil numbers remained up, and the Goverment grant remained the same.

    Time does not always heal, and elephants never forget the destruction of dedicated teachers being shoddily and unfairly dismissed by the Governors attempts to cover up their mismanagement led by their loud spokeswomen, Bursar Aideen MacNamara, who has cost the school dearly in their combined attempts to bury the truth surrounding the dismissal of former Head, Peter Crook, whose unacceptable predatory behaviour caused tremendous distress and brought the school into disrepute several years ago.

    Let us hope it’s a case of third time lucky with the latest choice of headmaster.
    The Purcell School Governance have certainly miscast the top mans job of recent years to the detriment of the school and it’s reputation in the music educational world.

    • Insider says:

      No not Headmaster but Director of Music. The new Headmaster is Paul Bambrough Vice Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire. And the Bursar is retiring to be replaced as well. There really is a sense of positivity about the place despite whatever issues there may have been in the past. Also there are no financial problems and further major building works are being considered.

  • Patrick Brompton says:

    Interesting to see a conductor making use of a vintage (1951) Penguin miniature score: ‘Siegfried Idyll’ judging by the distinctive pattern on the cover. A feature of the edition is that the parts of transposing instruments are printed at actual pitch. This is extremely helpful for the general reader, but possibly a source of awkwardness for those accustomed to the usual layout.

  • Benjamin Hebbert says:

    I had the pleasure of knowing Paul for his work with Kent’s Lydian (youth) Orchestra as an inspiring conductor. What an outstanding appointment – delighted for him, and delighted for the Purcell School.

  • steven holloway says:

    RE “…a tenor as head of school”, an interesting insinuation, let us be clear that Paul Bamborough is a tenor and organist and harpsichordist, and also, until he assumes the Purcell position in September, Vice Principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Or that is at least what you (aka ‘we’) wrote in an earlier post.

  • Eric says:

    Rambert (formerly Rambert Dance Company) hasn’t been called Ballet Rambert since 1987!

  • Anon says:

    For the love of God, Lebrecht. It’s Rambert, not Ballet Rambert. And Paul is not 37. Age is hardly relevant anyway. Do you ever proofread or fact check anything?!? Sloppy, lazy writing!