The David Bateman Award

David was born in Finchley, North London in 1931 and died 2018 aged 88.

His father was a graphic artist working in advertising and his mother a primary school teacher. He was evacuated in 1939 to Luton during the war. He went to Luton Grammar school and then on to the Royal Academy of Music, studying violin.

He did National Service and was in the RAF band playing French horn. He was particularly fond of chamber music and started a string quartet and toured the country playing occasional concerts with them.

He joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) when Sir Thomas Beecham was conducting. He stayed with the RPO for many years working with the world’s greatest conductors of the time and often touring the world going to Russia, Japan, and the USA. For a few years he joined the Sidney Opera House orchestra.

He gave up orchestral work to become Head of Strings at Oundle School near Peterborough. He was an inspiring teacher and had a very happy time at Oundle where he lived after he retired.

Apart from his music, David was always looking for spiritual enlightenment. He was a follower of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the same time as The Beatles, even driving the Maharishi when he was in London in his beloved Morris Traveller car! Transcendental meditation was just becoming known to the world at that time and he was one of the first European followers of the practice. He loved to travel especially to India, usually to visit a guru he would have been following.

His last big trip was to Bhutan which he loved and came back with a beautiful woven hat that he wore almost every day for the rest of his life! Even after he retired from teaching, David continued to play his violin working on recordings of Beethoven and Brahms violin sonatas and helping augment other local musical ensembles.

He was such a good teacher and supported his all his pupils with equal enthusiasm and encouragement. Supporting young musicians at AYM is perfect way of continuing his involvement with and love of music.

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