Chetham School violin tutor Wen Zhou Li arrested on suspicion of rape

Arrest comes after suicide of Frances Andrade, who killed herself after giving evidence against school's choirmaster Michael Brewer

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The Independent Online

A leading violinist has been arrested on suspicion of rape by detectives investigating up to 20 allegations of historic sex abuse at one of the county’s top music schools.

Wen Zhou Li, 57, who has tutored some of Britain’s most talented young musicians, is one of at least six former members of staff at Chetham’s School of Music and the neighbouring Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) linked to claims that pupils were abused.

Mr Li has been teaching at Chetham’s since 1996 and is also a tutor at the RNCM in Manchester. A spokeswoman for the RNCM confirmed he had been suspended following his arrest but declined to comment further.

The Chinese-born violinist previously taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School and was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary entitled Learning with Mr Li which profiled his work with young people.

He also tutors at summer schools across the country. His arrest follows the death of violin teacher Frances Andrade, 48, who committed suicide after giving evidence in court against former Chetham’s choirmaster Michael Brewer and his wife Kay who were both later convicted of sexual offences.

A number of other women have since come forward claiming they were also abused whilst studying at the prestigious school. Police have described the investigation into the claims as “fast moving”.

Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, from GMP, said: "We are aware of the widespread media coverage about our investigation into reports of historic sexual abuse at Chetham's.

"Continued speculation in the press about former teachers and incidents can be unhelpful to the victims and the investigation,” he said.

“We understand the need for as much transparency as possible so what we can say is this investigation is looking into more than 20 individual reports of sexual offences reported by former pupils at the school,” he added

The Brewer trial heard that sexual liaisons between teachers and pupils at Chetham's were not uncommon. Current headteacher Claire Moreland, said the revelations of impropriety had "shocked us to the core”.