About Menuhin’s Violin

“Music, amongst all the great arts, is the language which penetrates most deeply into the human spirit, reaching people through every barrier, disability, language and circumstance. This is why it has been my dream to bring music back into the lives of those people whose lives are especially prone to stress and suffering… so that it might comfort, heal and bring delight.Yehudi Menuhin

Menuhin’s Violin is a new commission for composer Richard Barnard and visual artist Heidi Hinder.  Working with Live Music Now, Dartington Hall, and schools across Devon, they will develop a new musical-sculptural installation that will celebrate Yehudi Menuhin and his unique legacy in Live Music Now, the organisation he established together with Ian Stoutzker CBE, 40 years ago. 

Audiences will be able to glimpse inside ‘Menuhin’s Violin’ as they listen to a specially composed soundscape, echoing with the memories and music of this world-renowned violinist.

About the project
During the project, Live Music Now musicians will perform in primary schools and special schools across Devon.  In a process guided by the project composer and artist, the children will respond to the music they hear.  Adding to the live music, the artists will also introduce stories and facsimile materials drawn from the Foyle Menuhin Archive and their conversations with Menuhin’s daughter, Zamira Menuhin Benthall. The contributions from the schoolchildren, together with the visual and audio material collected from these sessions, will be incorporated into the development and production of a violin installation that will be filled with a composed soundscape of music and spoken words. This soundscape will also include fragments of Menuhin’s music and memories of his life. We will be able to imagine ourselves inside Menuhin’s own violin as it resonates and remembers the music it has played, places it has been, thoughts, emotions and reactions of people that continue to be affected by its owner’s music and legacy.

The new work will be displayed at The Mix Devon schools music festival, and at Dartington Hall during summer 2017. Find out details about visiting the project.

“I’m very excited about working with Heidi and Live Music Now. I’m looking forward to creating an installation that will present a dialogue between Menuhin’s repertoire and music inspired and created in response by young people. Menuhin was such an interesting and important figure in 20th century musical culture. His legacy went far beyond being a world-renowned performer. As a composer, I am always interested in work that engages people in different ways, as listeners, performers, participants or collaborators. This project will do that by collecting young people’s responses to Menuhin’s music and ideas, and turning them into a soundscape that resonates within Heidi’s reconstructed violin.” Composer, Richard Barnard