Dr Bernard Trafford

Chair of Governors
MA (Oxon), MEd, PhD (Birmingham)

Nowadays styling himself writer, musician and educationist, Bernard read music at Oxford before becoming a music teacher. In 1990 he was appointed head of an independent school in Wolverhampton, moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in 2008, chaired the leading independent schools’ organisation HMC in 2007-9 and retired in 2017. In 2018 he served as interim principal at The Purcell School. He has advised both UK government and the Council of Europe on democratic approaches to school governance, the subject of his doctoral research. He still writes on education and more widely, and has published two novels and some choral music.

Jeffrey Hewitt

Chair of Finance and General Purposes Committee
MA (Oxon), MBA (Stanford)

After schooling in the “new” Comprehensive system in Stoke-on-Trent, Jeff took a Chemistry MA at Oxford, an MBA at Stanford (California) and became a Chartered Accountant. After some years in strategy consulting, he was Finance Director of several listed companies and then Audit Committee Chair of others, including The John Lewis Partnership and until May 2022 the F&C Investment Trust. For 25 years to December 2020, Jeff also chaired the Electrocomponents Pension Scheme.

Jeff has worked in many countries including China, Japan and the Americas. Since the founding of Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra 25 years ago he has served on its Advisory Board / F&GP and he was also a Trustee of the Rose Playhouse (Bankside). Jeff also supports opera. He lives in Middlesex and plays tennis and pickleball (badly).

Kirsty Von Malaisé

Chair of Music and Education Committee
MA (Cantab)

Kirsty was a student at The Purcell School from 1985-1991 and whilst at school was a prizewinner in the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Upon leaving Purcell, she took up a scholarship at the Guildhall on the Performers Course, and the following year read English at Christ’s College, Cambridge. After University, she freelanced as a musician, focusing on chamber music and contemporary ensembles, but soon realised her vocation to become a teacher.

Kirsty is now Principal of King Edward VI High School, Birmingham. She is a passionate advocate of the importance of the Arts in Education. She has led creative projects collaborating with The Purcell School, as well as organising programmes encouraging women into leadership. Her latest venture, TuneUp Arts aims to connect arts professionals with schoolchildren, enabling pupils to benefit from quality experiences in the arts.

Sophia Coles

BA (hons), LLM

Sophia Coles is a solicitor at Farrer & Co with an employment and safeguarding practice. She specialises in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment matters, and advises educational institutions, sports bodies and charities on safeguarding matters.

Gautam Dalal


Gautam is a chartered accountant and a former senior audit partner at KPMG London. From 2000 to 2003 he was chairman and chief executive of KPMG’s practice in India, which he helped to establish. Gautam is a non-executive director of Moxico Resources plc, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS FT and Hoptroff London Ltd. He is a member of the finance and audit committees of the National Gallery, having previously been a trustee and chair of these committees, and Treasurer of Booktrust.

Gautam was also a non-executive director of Barts Health NHS Trust from April 2012 to March 2022 as well as the Board’s vice-chairman and senior independent director. He was formerly a non-executive director of Barts and The London NHS Trust from September 2010 to March 2012.He has also been a founder board member of the UK India business council and the international board of AMREF Health Africa, the chair of the audit committee of The Law Society, and a member Governing body and Treasurer of the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Richard Hill

MA (Cantab)

Richard Hill is an experienced senior executive and legal leader. He is currently General Counsel for Downstream and Renewables at Shell, and was previously a partner in an international law firm. He is a Bencher of Gray’s Inn and has served on the boards of several of the world’s leading dispute resolution institutions. Before becoming a lawyer, Richard read music at the University of Cambridge where he was Organ Scholar of Gonville and Caius College, and he is a former Director of Music at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. He is also a Governor of King’s College School in Cambridge, which educates the choristers of King’s College Choir. Richard’s career has involved periods living and working in London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong. He now lives in Cambridge and is married to a professional musician with whom he has two teenaged children.

Timothy Jones


A pianist and musicologist, Timothy has worked in higher education for the last 30 years, holding academic posts at St Peter’s College and St Edmund Hall Oxford, the University of Exeter, the Royal Northern College of Music and, since 2008, holds the position of Deputy Principal at the Royal Academy of Music. He has given many lectures and research seminars at universities and conservatoires throughout the world. Tim is the author of Beethoven: The ‘Moonlight’ and Other Sonatas Op 27 and Op 31 (CUP 1999) in the Cambridge Handbook Series. He is currently writing a book on expressive density in Mozart’s instrumental music. 

Professor Christopher Liu


Christopher Liu is a Sussex-based consultant eye surgeon who works in Brighton, Inverness and Hong Kong. He is a keen educationalist and supporter of the arts. He was born into a medical family in Hong Kong. After attending boarding school in the West Country, he read medicine at the Charing Cross Hospital Medical School (now subsumed into Imperial College London), before postgraduate training in London and East Anglia. Christopher is current Honorary Treasurer and Trustee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and Council Member and Trustee of the British Contact Lens Association. He has been at the helm of a number of other learned medical societies. He is married to Vivienne and they have three grown up children. Outside work Christopher enjoys travelling, haute cuisine, music (lapsed classical guitarist now learning to play the piano) and freemasonry. He was appointed OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours list for Services to Ophthalmology.

Dr Diana Salazar

FHEA, PGCE (KUL), PhD (Manc), BA (hons), PGDipMus, MMus (RSA)

Diana Salazar is a composer and music educator with over 16 years’ experience working in higher education. She is Director of Programmes at the Royal College of Music (RCM), having previously taught at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, City University of London, Kingston University London, and the University of Manchester. Diana has extensive experience as an external examiner in music and music technology and as an external adviser and consultant for exam boards and higher education providers in the UK and internationally. In her current role at RCM she leads on learning and teaching strategy and curriculum development at junior, undergraduate and postgraduate taught levels. She is a passionate advocate for improving access, equity and belonging in specialist arts education.

Governor Contact

If you wish to contact the Chair of Governors directly, please write to the address below or contact via 01923 331 100 .

Dr Bernard Trafford, Chairman, The Purcell School, Aldenham Road, Bushey, Herts WD23 2TS