Patricia Prindl – an appreciation

In Appreciation of Patricia Prindl


My life has twice been transformed by music.

The first time was when, as a teenager, my German teacher at school suggested that I might like to hear Die Meistersinger conducted by Goodall at Sadler’s Wells, and Georg Szell conducting Beethoven at the Festival Hall. Those performances ignited a passion for music which has never left me and which has only intensified with the passing years.

The second time was when I met Patricia Prindl. I had recently retired and, as many people are, was not quite certain what to do next. I went to the Musicians’ Company Open Day at Charterhouse in 2011 and heard Patricia talking about the Yeomen Programme, Outreach, performance opportunities and mentoring and helping young musicians. I joined in with Outreach – little thinking that in 3 years’ time I would be running the whole programme as Chairman of the Yeomen Coordination Committee – in every sense, a dream job.

Patricia had that profound effect on me – but the impact of her work on the Company, on the Yeomen and on the children involved in Outreach was, and is, to put it simply, incalculable. She was the one who saw that in its prize-winning young musicians, the Yeomen, the Company had a unique asset which set it aside from every other Livery Company in the City. She was the driving force behind asking these Yeomen to help in the creation of an Outreach programme into the poorest areas and the most needy schools in London, bringing world-class classical music to children who would never otherwise have had the chance to hear it. She was also the instigator of a programme to find Performance Opportunities. Always conscious of the difficulties of living in London and launching a professional career, she never, ever, lost an opportunity to offer help, advice and assistance to those Yeomen who needed it. Her aim was simple – to support, develop and nurture – and in doing this, she created the Yeoman Programme – which put the Worshipful Company of Musicians in its own league as one of the most engaged and creative of the City Livery Companies. It is a programme which is developing very quickly, thanks to the structures which she helped put in place: in the first six months of this year, in 43 visits to 28 schools, music was brought to over 2,500 primary school children. And in 2015 we will have some 20 Performance Opportunities in festivals across the country. It is a magnificent legacy.

The tributes from Yeomen and others speak of her dynamism and drive, and her tenacity in overcoming obstacles. But the words which were used most frequently were “supportive” and “generous”. She created a special atmosphere, a warmth, a kindness, which were perceptible to all, which enveloped all, and which will be very sorely missed by all those whose lives she touched so deeply. To quote a tribute from the Principal of Trinity Laban: “The work she did for young musicians in this country was second to none and she will leave a wonderful legacy to the profession.”

On behalf of all of us, Patricia – in the Company, amongst the Yeomen, and above all in schools across the city – thank you.

Court Assistant John Nichols
Chairman, Yeomen Coordination Committee