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History of the Trust

Dr Haukur F. Hannesson writes

In 1990 I had a letter from a music teacher in the Soviet Republic of Estonia asking me for possibilities of Suzuki teacher training. The world was changing at the time and contacts with the part of the world which at the time was known as communist Eastern Europe were opening up.  The music teacher who wrote the letter was interested in training as a Suzuki teacher on her instrument and asked me whether I knew of any possibilities for her to finance such studies abroad.  And, she wrote: ”…perhaps I will be the first Suzuki teacher in the Soviet Union.”

The ESA takes action

At the time I was a board member of the European Suzuki Association (ESA). At our board meetings we discussed possibilities to meet political change in Eastern Europe. How could we find ways to help music teachers in Eastern Europe to have access to Suzuki teacher training? And, how could children in this part of Europe be able to learn music according Suzuki’s Mother Tongue Method? 


I presented the idea that we should start a development fund separate from the ESA.  The sole purpose of this fund was to support the development of the Suzuki Method in countries without access to such teaching. Particularly where possibilities of other financial sources for teacher training were limited. 


Trust founded in 1994 became a Registered Charity in England 2002

My idea was positively received and the European Suzuki Teaching Development Trust was set up in 1994 initially as a simple trust and in 2002 as a Registered Charity in England.

Since its humble beginnings in 1994 the trust has been able to support the development of the Suzuki Method in many countries in Europe and Africa, primarily through the financing of Suzuki teacher training programmes. This has been done in close co-operation with the European Suzuki Association and the ESA’s knowledgeable and generous Suzuki teacher trainers.


From the beginning the trust has granted over 140,000 Pounds Sterling to various projects in many countries.

The ESA and Mrs Waltraud Suzuki - the first donors

The trust’s income has come from many dedicated individuals and organisations.


The European Suzuki Association has been a big donor to the trust.  Mrs. Waltraud Suzuki (Shinichi Suzuki’s wife) also made significant contributions in the early years.  Many others have made contributions and the trustees are extremely grateful for their generosity and support. 


The trust’s work is dependent on the generosity of its donors and hopes that their help and support will continue in the future. Please consider a donation to the trust using the Donate button on this page.

The Soviet Union collapsed but Suzuki teaching grows

The music teacher who wrote to me in 1990 did not become the first Suzuki teacher in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union collapsed before any Suzuki teacher started working there. 


Many music teachers in Russia, the Baltic countries of Estonia,Latvia and Lithuania as in other Eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Croatia as well as in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Turkey, have had the opportunity to train as Suzuki instrument teachers. These teachers have started Suzuki teaching programmes and given children and parents in these countries the opportunity to develop their talent through music making. All with the help of the trust. 


It is my sincere hope that the trust will be able to grow stronger in the future and will continue to support the development of the Suzuki Method in our part of the world.
Haukur F. Hannesson
Chairman of the Trustees

of the European Suzuki Teaching Development Trust since 1994  

Haukur F. Hannesson Royal Albert Hall Lo
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