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(Photo: Daniel Hope Management)

Highgate School has appointed former pupil and award-winning classical violinist Daniel Hope as Patron of the Irene and Henry Retford Fund.

The Fund was set up in memory of former Highgate residents Irene and Henry Retford and aims to support talented musicians at the School through providing financial support and access to an outstanding musical education. The vast majority of recipients of the funding often also have one of Highgate’s means-tested bursaries awarded in addition. 

Daniel Hope, the “musical grandson” of iconic 20th century violinist Yehudi Menhuin, is a critically acclaimed musician that has toured the world with major orchestras and conductors for over 25 years. Currently the Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, he has recorded a number of albums for Deutsche Grammophon, won 7 ECHO Klassick Awards for his work, and was also the youngest ever member of the Beaux Arts Trio. His contribution to music has also inspired a recent film about his life, called "Der Klang des Lebens" (“The Sound of Life”), which has just been released.

Highgate School has a long standing tradition in music, with its former pupils including composers John Rutter CBE and Sir John Taverner, musicians Howard Shelley OBE and Anthony Camden, as well as opera director Nicholas Snowman One of the names behind the Fund, Irene Retford (née Schauer), was also known in the industry having owned the music publisher Anton J. Benjamin; founded in Hamburg in 1818 and sold to Boosey & Hawkes in 2002.

Daniel Hope said, “I am delighted to have this opportunity to renew my relationship with Highgate School (Yehudi Menhuin's neighbour), which gave me the springboard to my musical career.”

Adam Pettitt, Head, Highgate School, said of the news, "We are honoured and delighted that Daniel has accepted this role – he  is an inspiration to the present generation of young, upcoming musicians".

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