Last night, Channel 4 News claimed allegations of sexual abuse at all five elite UK music schools and the Guardian reported 39 cases under investigation at Chetham’s. ITN will run a short item tonight. BBC Radio 4′s Front Row will air an extract of an interview it conducted in February with the pianist Martin Roscoe, but never broadcast. The Department of Education may yet be required to call an inquiry.
The Times Educational Supplement today publishes an article by the pianist Ian Pace, also held back since February. He writes:
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the conviction of one teacher and allegations against others have been traumatic for many. They have led to varying degrees of disillusionment, regret, sometimes denial or disbelief. There have been attempts to recapture the most positive elements of the past as an antidote to these shocks.
Hardest of all to accept can be the idea that those who played an integral part in shaping one’s own musical identity and development – a deeply personal thing – may have themselves been deeply corrupted individuals responsible for sometimes heinous acts.
Ian has also published a valuable account of the life and work of Marcel Gazelle, founding head of the Yehudi Menuhin School, who is accused of molesting young girls. Gazelle’s son, Didier, has written in response:
What was acceptable 50 years ago, is now considered as an offence. I think the all situation as described in this article, has to be seen in this light. I like to testify here, that my parents formed a good couple and that my father always showed great affection for his pupils also in presence of my mother, and that nobody, at that time was thinking this was evil. Where is the limit between affection and sexual abuse?
He appeals for pupils to come forward and testify to his father’s bona fides.