East Lancashire pianist calls for inquiry into abuse at historic Chetham's music school (From Lancashire Telegraph)
When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire pianist calls for inquiry into abuse at historic Chetham's music school
A LEADING East Lancashire concert pianist has called for a full inquiry into sexual misconduct at Chetham’s school of music while convicted sex offender Michael Brewer was director of music at the historic institution.
Martin Roscoe claims the conviction of the choirmaster and his ex-wife Kay, from Haslingden, was the ‘tip of an iceberg’ of abuse of young musicians at the school in the past.
He made his call after the Brewers were found guilty by a jury at Manchester Crown Court of indecent assault on gifted violinist Frances Andrade.
Mrs Andrade, 48, was found dead days after she gave evidence about the assaults when she was a student at the internationally-famous Manchester music school in the late 1970’s and 1980’s.
Mr Brewer, aged 68, was cleared of rape but convicted of five indecent assaults.
He resigned from Chetham’s in 1994 after an affair with another pupil, then aged 17, was uncovered.
Mrs Brewer, also 68, was convicted of one offence of indecent assault but cleared of aiding and abetting rape.
Greater Manchester police said that following the case a number of people had come forward to the police.
Mr Roscoe, who lived in Blackburn from 1975 to 1991, resigned as head of keyboards at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music in 2002.
After the Brewer’s convictions, Mr Roscoe, who now lives with his wife and two children near Ulverston in Cumbria, said: “Following the tragic death of Frances Andrade there should now be a full inquiry into sexual misconduct at Chetham’s school of music during the time Michael Brewer was director of music prior to his enforced resignation in 1994.
“This has been a well-known scandal in musical circles ever since.”
Mr Roscoe, director of the annual Ribble Valley Piano Week held at Westholme School in Blackburn, said: “This is the tip of an iceberg.
“We are talking about historic sexual abuse. It all happened some years ago and that is why we need a full inquiry now.
“I am not aware of it happening recently. There are safeguards in place now to protect student musicians.”
Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, said: “Following the conclusion of the trial last week, there has been substantial press coverage and comment.
“Greater Manchester Police has since been provided with a list of potential victims from a newspaper.
“In addition to this several people have also come forward directly to police.
“Reporting sexual abuse which occurred some time ago is an incredibly difficult thing to do, so we will be affording them, and anyone else who comes forward, all the appropriate time and support to discuss events in their own time.
“We will be working very closely with the school in the coming weeks and months but I must stress this investigation is at a very early stage.”