Purcell School

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For other uses, see Purcell High School.
Purcell School for Young Musicians
Established 1962
Type Independent day and boarding
Specialist music school
Headmaster James Harding (interim)[1]
Chairman Roy Cervenka
Location Aldenham Road
WD23 2TS
Coordinates: 51°39′39″N 0°22′02″W / 51.66083°N 0.367248°W / 51.66083; -0.367248
Local authority Hertfordshire County Council
DfE number 919/6239
Students 170~
Gender Mixed
Ages 9–18
Website www.purcell-school.org/

The Purcell School for Young Musicians is a specialist music school for children, located in the town of Bushey, south Hertfordshire, England, and is the oldest specialist music school in the UK.[2] The school was awarded the UNESCO Mozart Medal in 2003, which was received on behalf of the school by Prince Charles, who is a patron of the school. Sir Simon Rattle is honorary president of the school. Many of the pupils subsequently study at Royal College of Music or Royal Academy of Music. The Purcell School has the highest fees of any independent school (including Eton College and Harrow School) in the UK: as at November 2009, the annual fees amounted to £29,577. However, most of the students receive significant bursaries/scholarships from the Government's Music and Dance Scheme.


Rosemary Rapaport and Irene Forster founded the school in 1962 under the original name of the Central Tutorial School for Young Musicians, at Conway Hall in central London. The school later moved to Morley College, and subsequently to Hampstead, then a large Victorian house in Harrow on the Hill. The school changed its name to the Purcell School (after the English composer Henry Purcell) in 1973. In 1997, the school relocated to the site of the former Royal Caledonian School campus in Bushey, Hertfordshire.[3]

In 2013, several staff, including the Director of Music, Quentin Poole, were made redundant in a cost-cutting exercise.[4]

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ Headmaster's Welcome – Purcell School
  2. ^ Murray, Nigel, and Cox, Neil; Cox, Neil (April 1994). "States of Independence". The Musical Times (Musical Times Publications Ltd.) 135 (1814): 247–248. doi:10.2307/1002780. JSTOR 1002780. 
  3. ^ Margaret Campbell (27 June 2001). "Obituary: Rosemary Rapaport". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-07-27. [dead link]
  4. ^ Stevens, Alex (16 October 2013). "Purcell School ‘deletes’ head of music role ‒ the background". Classical Music Magazine. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 

External links[edit]