Part III: Yehudi Menuhin

Biographical note

Yehudi Menuhin was born in America in 1916 of Russian parents. A child prodigy on the violin, he achieved great depth of interpretation and was often accompanied on the piano by his sister Hephzibah. He made his debut with an orchestra at the age of eleven in New York. In 1959 he moved to London and became a British subject in 1985.

Since 1945 he has toured extensively all over the world and is greatly admired for his love of both Eastern and Western musical traditions. In 1974 he recorded an album with legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar. He has founded yearly music festivals in Gstaad (Switzerland), Bath and Windsor. He has conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra since 1982 and the English String Orchestra since 1988. He has also directed and conducted the Asian Youth Orchestra.

Mr. Menuhin has received many honours and awards for his musical contributions, including the Nehru Award for International Peace and Understanding (1970), the 30th Anniversary Medal of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France). In 1993 he was created a Baron (Life Peer) of Stoke D'Abernon in the County of Surrey.

He has written a number of books about music, as well as an autobiographical work titled Unfinished Journey (1977).