an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Breaking: Second music school teacher arrested in Manchester on suspicion of rape

A second teacher at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music was arrested today to be questioned about allegations of pupil rape after 1996. Police said: ‘We have today arrested a 57-year-old man from Cheshire on suspicion of committing rape. This also relates to historic offences and he will be interviewed later today by detectives.’

He has been named as Professor Wen Zhou Li, a violin teacher. Before being engaged in Manchester in 1996, he taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music. He has been something of a poster boy for the RNCM.

wen zhou li


Presumptions of innocence apply. The police have urged all media to discourage speculation, while assuring us that investigations continue into other allegations. An RNCM spokeswoman said: ‘Wen Zhou Li has been suspended from the college. I can’t comment further at this time’.

Here’s the Guardian report. See previously.

UPDATE: released on bail.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Fair trial? forget it.

  2. I’m not at all surprised by this. I remember Wen Zhou from Chet’s. His students were pretty much besotted with him. What all the fuss was about I could never fathom.

    • Becky Jones says:

      I don’t think speculative comments like this are very helpful. I was in his class and this is a complete surprise to me.

  3. Mark Chivers says:

    Who remains silent throughout this whole process? Edward Gregson, the man who has single handedly presided over the worst appointment (Mr Layfield) in RNCM history. We all knew it was going on while I was there, but a wall of silence, no one coming forward, a stigma to ones career. Quite a little club……well now the House Of Cards is coming tumbling down. It should have happened in 2001, but it appears someone must die (Frances) before anyone is believed.

  4. Dick Rodgers says:

    Then Mr Gregson should be made to be publicly accountable for his actions and cover up.

    It is not acceptable that the new Head of RNCM and Heads of Chets and Menhuin schools shirking responsibility like the recent new Director General of the BBC, when historical sexual abuse comes to light, especially when they have known about it, and tried to cover it up for the reputation of the music schools and their own selfish identity.

    What about the poor victims??

    Those who head any educational establishment are paid a huge amount of public money to manage and direct past and present misdemeanors, and not pretend they are not involved because it all took place before they arrived.

    • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

      Clarification, please. Are Chets, and Menuhin receiving gov monies for leadership payroll? I’m assume that RNCM is because of the “royal” prefix. If that is the case, things are rotten in other places beside the kingdom of Denmark. I agree that governance boards have their heads stuck in the…(fill in the blank).

      • Chet’s, YMS and Purcell are private, fee-paying schools up to age 18. RNCM, RAM, RCM and Guildhall are tertiary state-funded colleges which also run tuition courses for under-18s. I hope that’s correct, and clear.

        • Jacob Lund says:

          Not quite right. I was a pupil at Chetham’s (1982-7) and received almost 100% fee remission through the Department of Education scheme. The same arrangements apply today, I see:

          • It’s a fee-paying school, but fees are fixed according to the parents’ ability to pay – that’s what the site says.

          • Francis Cummings says:

            All of the music schools in England i.e. Chetham’s, Purcell, Wells Cathedral, YHM are independent in terms of governance but all receive significant government funding under the Music and Dance Aided Placed Scheme.
            The fees are between £22- 25.000 for a day place and £32, – £35,000 for a boarding place ( slight variation for each school). Each school has autonomy to award a designated number of aided places and pupils who are awarded these places pay a proportion of the above fees according to parental income and the government pays the rest up to100% Other schools in the scheme are Elmhurst and Hammond Dance Schools, Royal Ballet School and Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
            St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh is also a member of the scheme but they are funded by the Scottish Government.

          • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

            Very helpful, Francis. Thanks.

  5. My partner studied with WZL. This is an absolute surprise to her. Yes, many of his students worshipped him, but she only recalls him behaving as an absolute professional, never acting improperly. ‘Allegations’, so please wait for stone-throwing until he’s given his God-given right of a fair trial.

  6. Neil McErlean says:

    I really don’t see how Chet’s and the RNCM can recover their reputation from the last 2 weeks revelations.

  7. Now that someone has been arrested, I on’t think anyone should be offering any opinion on their likely guilt or innocence here or in any other public forum.

    • Ian, I agree entirely, for this is absolutely correct; this is what the legal and judicial systems are in place for and, in Britain, everyone is – and is therefore entitled to be regarded as – innocent until proved guilty, as we should surely all know and appreciate. We must wait and see, as we will surely be able to do in due time, in the meantime, a “witch-hunt” attitude is likely only to prove unhelpful and distracting in the long run.

      That said, it would not be difficult to conclude that the sheer weight of new allegations – and it must be stressed that this is all that they are at present, “allegations” (by which I do not mean to undermine them but merely to point out that they have for the most part not yet led to charges and none besides Mr Brewer’s case has yet led to a conviction) – that are now coming to light might have arisen from the undoubted courage of Frances Andrade in stepping forward, albeit with trepidation and reluctance and going through all the long-term trauma that she has suffered, culminating in a most harrowing court experience in which, the evidently abrasive conduct of the defending barrister notwithstanding, she was ultimately believed (broadly speaking) by the jury that accordingly convicted Brewer of most of the charges of which he’d been accused.

      It is indeed vital to keep a level head on all of this and to take all that one reads about it as pragmatically as possible, but it equally behoves each of us who is profoundly concerned about these issues to note all that is now emerging and to keep an eagle eye on if and/or how the various allegations progress.

  8. I remember when I studied with wzl he was dating one if his Irish students. I travelled to Manchester to study with him and he regularly held my lessons in her student accommodation.I also remember a student leaving his class [redacted for legal reasons]

an ArtsJournal blog