William Dutton was born in 1995 in Leeds. He asked to play the violin aged 3 and began taking lessons when he was 4. In 2004 his talent was recognised by the Kazakh virtuoso Marat Bisengaliev; he subsequently studied with Marat and his wife Vassilia and then with Raimonda Koço in Leeds.
In 2008 William gained a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School where he studied with Lutsia Ibragimova. As a pupil of the Yehudi Menuhin School, William regularly performed as both a soloist and in chamber music recitals, most notably in 2013 leading a performance of Schubert’s C major Quintet. He led the viola section of the Yehudi Menuhin School Orchestra in the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland in 2012, playing on Lord Menuhin’s Testore viola. In November 2013 William led the 1st violins of the YMS orchestra as they toured Holland, giving concerts in The Hague and in Amsterdam where they accompanied the finalists of the Youri Egorov International Piano Competition.
Whilst studying at the Yehudi Menuhin School, William worked alongside artists such as Heinrich Schiff, Jeremy Menuhin, Alina Ibragimova, Valeriy Sokolov, Charlie Siem and Paul Watkins, playing in venues including the Menuhin Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and The Mansion House. In April 2014, William won the Strings Final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition.
In April 2013 he was a guest soloist at the European String Teachers’ Association conference and was invited back to perform again at last year’s national conference. William also performed at the 2014 Interlakner Musikfestwochen in Berne where Vladimir Ashkenazy presented the Yehudi Menuhin School with an award. Last summer he gave a concert recital series in London including a performance at St James’ Church, Piccadilly, where he was sponsored by the young charity ‘Talent Unlimited’. Forthcoming concert and recital events in 2015 include performances at the Beaminster and Northern Aldborough Festivals, a return to St James’ Piccadilly and a recital at the Théâtre des Variétés, Monaco in the autumn. William will also play Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with the Manchester Camerata in Harrogate in October 2015, a piece he first performed with the Brighton Symphony Orchestra in February 2014 under the baton of Barry Wordsworth.
William is now an undergraduate student at the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne under the tutelage of Professors Svetlana Makarova and Pavel Vernikov. He is proud to be sponsored throughout his studies in Lausanne by the T F Willetts Foundation - in association with whom he hopes to give a series of recitals and masterclasses to promote new opportunities for young people to listen and perform. William has also been generously sponsored by the Bramall Trust and is delighted to represent ‘Talent Unlimited’.
William currently plays on a 1731 Cremonese violin very kindly on loan to him by Jonathan Sparey. The violin was previously owned by the late Michael Rabin.