The Head of Strings at Junior Guildhall has been honoured in recognition of distinguised services to string teaching

William Bruce

William Bruce

William Bruce, Head of Strings at Junior Guildhall- Guildhall School’s specialist Saturday School offering advanced training to under 18s - has been awarded the 2020 European String Teachers Association (ESTA) Award in recognition of distinguished services to string teaching.

Bruce, who studied with Christopher Bunting and took part in classes with Jacqueline du Pré and William Pleeth, has long pursued parallel interests in performing and teaching. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2005 and was a member of the orchestra of English National Opera from 1982 until his recent retirement. As for teaching: in addition to his role at Junior Guildhall, he is the founder and director of Cello Club, the junior part of the London Cello Society, which brings together young cellists from all over the country and beyond. He has given many masterclasses and summer schools, and he ran a residential summer school for cellists each year at Hindhead Music Centre for 20 years. He is currently involved in bringing Chinese students to study on his music summer schools.

In addition to many years’ experience as an adjudicator, for over 30 years Bruce has been involved in many aspects of the work of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), training and moderating of examiners, syllabus development, presentations and tours. He has also recently worked in Soweto on a teaching project with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and worked with Magyar children on music projects in Transylvania.

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Publication collaborations include a cello tutor with Mary Cohen for Faber Music, the Fiddler Playalong Cello Collection for Boosey & Hawkes and More Time Pieces for ABRSM Publishing.  He has also been Commissioning Editor for Fingerprints for Cello and Spectrum for Cello, an acclaimed volume of contemporary pieces.

On receiving the award, William Bruce says: ‘I’m thrilled and humbled to have won this award from ESTA. In these difficult times I’m even more convinced of the value of music education.  Music is our birth right, the soundtrack to a lifelong journey and the soundscape of our very existence, coordinating our mind, body and spirit towards harmony on a never-ending learning process.     

It is a privilege working with so many young people at Junior Guildhall watching them blossom through such a powerful, joyous and transforming life force.’