How did Yehudi Menuhin first come into your life?

My family were forced to leave South Africa in the 70s as my father is a political writer who was an anti-apartheid activist. We ended up in London but ran out of money. My mother went out to find a job and by chance landed the job of secretary to Yehudi Menuhin. It was supposed to last six months but she remained for 26 years. Menuhin became a huge influence on all my family. He called himself my “musical grandfather”. That is the way I like to remember him.

You must have heard some amazing performances and collaborations?

I was incredibly fortunate to grow up in part in Yehudi Menuhin’s house, surrounded by wonderful musicians, ranging from Menuhin to Rostropovich, but also from Ravi Shankar to Stéphane Grappelli. I can recall a rehearsal Menuhin did with Rostropovich and Wilhelm Kempff – at which I tried to pull Rostropovich’s spike from under his cello!

Daniel Hope Daniel Hope. Photo © Nicolas Zonvi

When and how did he become an active force in your violin education?

When I was four he paid for me to study with...

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