Menuhin Foundation Holds Annual Concert

June 26, 2023 | 0 Comments

The return of Menuhin Foundation’s end of year Annual Concert on June 11, at the Ruth Seaton James Auditorium, showcased more than 140 students from nineteen of Bermuda’s government and private schools, including students graduating from The Menuhin Foundation’s Primary School Programme which has provided free weekly group lessons to students in Primary 4 for the school year.

A spokesperson said, “The concert also featured The Menuhin Foundation’s three graded orchestras [First Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra, and Youth Orchestra] together with two wonderful quartets comprising their more advanced students.

“The Annual Concert was a celebration of the 47th year that The Menuhin Foundation has delivered on its vision to ensure that all children have access to the unique social, emotional and intellectual benefits of learning to play a stringed instrument. It is the annual highlight for the Menuhin Foundation and provides a wonderful opportunity for students to develop confidence, discipline and showcase how music has taught them how to work together, listen to each other, take pride in their accomplishments, and see what they can achieve if they work hard and believe in themselves. This event is an inspiring reflection of the cross-section of our Bermuda community – bringing together families, friends and educators.

“Since 1976 The Menuhin Foundation has built a tremendous legacy through its free teaching programmes in Bermuda’s schools and has touched the lives of thousands of students and supported the development of a diverse and vibrant artistic community. Since its formation, The Menuhin Foundation has not only celebrated many milestones but faced a number of challenges, the latest of course being the recent pandemic.

“During the pandemic, The Menuhin Foundation’s core programmes in the primary schools were halted, and this year marked the start of rebuilding programmes and student numbers. With the generous support of numerous private foundations, corporate and individual donors, and the Bermuda Government the future looks bright, and The Menuhin Foundation is looking forward to celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2026.

“Yehudi Menuhin was a child prodigy and began playing the violin at 3. After a 1929 concert in Berlin when he was 13, Albert Einstein went backstage, kissed him and said: “Today Yehudi, you have once again proved to me that there is a God in Heaven.”

The spokesperson said, “He was good friends with former Bermuda Governor Sir Edwin Leather, a music lover.

“Together, they hatched plans for the Bermuda Festival and Lord Menuhin performed at the first, in January 1976. He decided to establish the Menuhin Foundation after watching a string orchestra at Warwick Academy. It was his thought that Bermuda’s isolated geography limited students’ access to string instruments. Lord Menuhin made a point of performing before non-white audiences during segregation.”

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