Children of 10 ‘abused at music schools’

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Sexual abuse and inappropriate behaviour took place at five of the UK’s specialist music schools over a 40 year period, it was claimed last night.

The allegations – including claims children as young as 10 were abused – implicates five elite music schools.

The Channel 4 News investigation follows recent revelations of historic sexual abuse at the world-renowned Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, police investigations into which are ongoing.

The other school named was the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, and Surrey Police said they have been contacted about the allegations which include claims the founding music director, who set up the Surrey school with Menuhin, sexually abused pupils as young as 10 in the 1960s.

Violinist Nigel Kennedy, who was a pupil at the school at the time, told the programme he was “appalled” by the allegations.

The Menuhin School was founded in 1963 by Menuhin with the help of his friend, the pianist Marcel Gazelle.

Channel 4 News said they received allegations that Gazelle sexually abused girls at the school’s bedrooms with one of them saying she reported his behaviour at the time and was told to avoid being on her own with him.

Gazelle died in 1969. His family said he was a good man and they were surprised by the allegations, which they dispute.

The Yehudi Menuhin School said it was “shocked and saddened to learn of the allegations.”

The school told Channel 4 News: “We have checked the records which survive from 50 years ago and can find nothing about any concerns expressed at the time.

“In accordance with our policies we have reported these serious allegations to Surrey Police.”

The three other schools were not named in the report for legal reasons.