All change again at Yehudi Menuhin School

All change again at Yehudi Menuhin School


norman lebrecht

December 09, 2019

The school, which has a checkered past, has made a clean sweep at the top.

The pianist Ashley Wass is to be head of music, replacing Oscar Colomina i Bosch who lasted just two years.

The new head teacher is Ben Gudgeon.

The violinist Tasmin Little will be joint president, together with the absentee Daniel Barenboim.




  • Esther Cavett says:

    == joint president, together with the absentee Daniel Barenboim.

    I remember DB giving a Berlin concert to commemorate the death of Menuhin, but I can’t remember hearing about a single case of them ever performing together. I believe that as both pianist & conductor – Barenboim totally kept himself separate from YM.

    So this is a strange presidency, maybe just a name like the Queen Mother used to be. With his E/W Divan group, surely there’d be little time for him to offer much to the YM school.

    Would be interested to hear though if anybody thinks I’m wrong here.

    • Alexander Tarak says:

      Barenboim seems to have had his fingers in many pies over the years.

    • fflambeau says:

      Google is a wonderful thing. Use it.

      If you do, you’ll find that B and M performed and in fact made a cd together; it features music of Bach on the Seraphim label. He also recorded Bartok with Menhuin on EMI.

      You might also note that there was a significant age difference between the two men making playing together not all that easy. Menhuin died in 1999; he was born in 1916. Barenboim was born about 3 decades later in 1942.

      • Andy says:

        Do they play together on that Bartok recording? I found a CD with Menuhin playing Bartok, and Barenboim playing Bartok, both with Pierre Boulez conducting, but recorded in different years?

  • KingFerdinandofmyhome says:

    No doubt Bexit will have an impact on the prestige, and the number and quality of students at MS… it is time to leave the ship!
    Oscar Colomina has recently been appointed director of the super-elitist Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid. That job in Madrid is, I am pretty sure, much better paid that the MS.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    If memory serves, Rostropovitch used to be “president” too. Did Slava or Barenboim ever have any active involvement in the Yehudi Menuhin School?

    • Tasmin Little says:

      Yes, Slava was quite active at the school. He also did fundraising concerts for the school and I participated in a big concert at Royal Albert Hall, playing Bruch concerto which he conducted. RIP, Slava. What a character!!

  • Mis says:

    Slava and Menuhin were good friends. They worked together to bring peace to troubled parts of the world. They worked together to help Gorbachev bring new freedoms to Russia, and Slava sent students of his to Menuhin’s school in England.

  • Andy says:

    Tasmin Little seems like a great choice. A wonderful violinist retiring from the concert platform, who went to the school when Menuhin was still around, and is passionate about it.