Royals and world leaders join chorus of praise for Menhuin

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MESSAGES FROM South Africa's outgoing President, Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, were read out at the memorial service for Lord Menuhin, one of the century's greatest musicians and a noted humanitarian.

The Prince of Wales joined friends and figures from the classical music world at yesterday's 90-minute service for the violinist in Westminster Abbey. The Rev Dr Anthony Harvey, sub-dean at the Abbey, told guests: "Yehudi Menuhin's interpretations of some of the greatest works in the violin repertory, which he began to make at a very early age, have influenced a whole generation of musicians.

"But he was more than a violinist. His sympathy for cultural traditions far outside that of classical music, his zeal to foster the talents of the young, his perception of the long-term threats and promises inherent in the social and technological changes of our time and his compassionate concern for the vulnerable and the disadvantaged are aspects of his generous nature for which we give heartfelt thanks."

Lord Menuhin, who was born in New York to Russian Jewish parents, and who constantly travelled the world, died in March, aged 82. He adopted British citizenship in 1985 but considered himself a citizen of the world and his fame went well beyond the classical sphere.

Yesterday's service mixed both Christian and Jewish blessings and included readings by Lord Menuhin's sons, Krov and Gerard Menuhin. Two pupils from the Yehudi Menuhin School, the institution founded by Lord Menuhin, performed JS Bach's Adagio from Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor at yesterday's service.

United Nations official Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan paid a personal tribute, while Archbishop Desmond Tutu read the message from Mr Mandela.