The Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey will set up its first international music school, to be located in Qingdao, China. The world-renowned specialist music school will work with the Qingdao Urban Construction Group to bring its unique model for music education to the Far East. The opening is planned for 2022-23.
YMS will contribute the Yehudi Menuhin School name and expertise in setting up and running a specialist music school within a holistic academic environment. Key appointments, including the Head, Director of Music and Bursar, will be controlled by YMS to ensure that Yehudi Menuhin’s vision and ethos will run through every area of the new institution. There will be opportunities for teacher and pupil exchange, which will benefit both current and future pupils, and UK staff will visit regularly to carry out inspections to make certain that the new school is adhering to the ideals of its British parent school.
A city of 10 million people, Qingdao is ideally located between Beijing and Shanghai, just across the water from both South Korea and Japan, thus enabling The Yehudi Menuhin School China to attract the highest level of talent from the region. It has a flourishing economy both as a port city and as a tourist destination and is fast developing its cultural activities, with robust support from government departments and major private institutions such as the Qingdao Urban Construction Group (QUCG). QUCG’s long-standing Chairman, Kong Shanwu, is a former musician and architect, with strong ties to both city and state government.
David Buckley, Chair of Governors of the School, said: "The announcement today of our plans to open the Yehudi Menuhin School in Qingdao marks an exciting new opportunity to open our first International School outside of the United Kingdom, and to establish a strategic presence for the School in China. Together with our partners, the Qingdao Urban Construction Group, we plan to replicate the unique model for music education that Yehudi Menuhin created to attract the highest levels of talent in the region and to develop new opportunities for cultural exchange between our two countries.”
Zamira Menuhin Benthall, Yehudi Menuhin’s daughter, long-time governor and current Vice-President of YMS, said: “I vividly recall how my father talked of his deep love and admiration for China, which he visited several times, having always been fascinated by its culture. My father was always a passionate advocate for music as a universal language, overriding differences of nationality and politics. We are most grateful to Mr Kong Shanwu, who shares my father’s commitment to the importance of educating musically gifted young people to bring out their full human potential, as well as their technical skills. I believe we all support this goal and I trust in the people of Qingdao to make it a reality.”