Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts is an independent co-educational school offering specialist courses in Dance, Commercial Music, Musical Theatre and Acting for 8–19 year olds. Originally known as the Arts Educational School, Tring Park, it was founded as the sister school of the Arts Educational School, London. In 2009 it became independent of the London school and was renamed Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
Tring Park School for the Performing Arts - Official Logo.png

, ,
HP23 5LX

United Kingdom
TypeIndependent day and boarding
FoundersGrace Cone & Olive Ripman
SpecialistPerforming Arts
Department for Education URN117618 Tables
PresidentThe Countess of Verulam CVO
PrincipalStefan Anderson
GenderMixed gender education
Age8 to 19


Tring Park School for the Performing Arts is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 8–19 years. It comprises a preparatory school, lower school, secondary school and sixth form and at a professional level. It is a specialist provider of vocational training in the performing arts, with a syllabus that includes Dance, Acting, Commercial Music and Musical Theatre. Vocational studies are supported by a full academic syllabus from Prep to A-level. As one of the leading schools for the performing arts in the United Kingdom, it is one of only twenty-one schools selected to allocate Government funded Dance and Drama Awards, a scholarship scheme established to subsidise the cost of professional dance and drama training for the most talented pupils at leading institutions.


Tring Park Mansion viewed from a nearby hill.

The school was first founded in 1939 and was originally known as the Cone-Ripman School. It was formed as a result of a merger between the Cone School of Dancing founded in 1919 by Grace Cone, and the Ripman School founded in 1922 by Olive Ripman.

The schools were initially in two parts, the Cone studio located above Lilly & Skinner's shoe shop on Oxford Street and the Ripman in Baker Street.[1] Cone-Ripman School was then based in premises at Stratford Place in London, but following the outbreak of World War II, it was relocated to Tring in Hertfordshire, using various rented buildings. In 1941, the school reopened in London, but a second school continued to operate in Tring. In 1945, the Rothschild Bank vacated the mansion at Tring Park, which had been its temporary base during the war, and the Rothschild family permitted the school to use the premises on a permanent basis. Tring Park remains the school's sole campus to this day and in 1947, the school was renamed the Arts Educational School, Tring Park, with the London school becoming the Arts Educational School, London. In 1970, the school acquired the freehold of the mansion and grounds and began a redevelopment of the site, financed by the sale of unused land. The refurbished building was officially opened in 1976 by the Duchess of Kent. The school was later extended in 1990, with the opening of the Markova Theatre by The Prince Edward. In 1993, the school purchased the former St Francis de Sales Convent for use as offsite boarding accommodation for senior pupils. A second house was purchased for use as boarding accommodation in 1994.

Later in 1994, the Arts Educational Schools Trust decided that it was in the best interests of both the London and Tring schools, for them to be run separately. This led to the formation of the AES Tring Park School Trust, which acquired the school and is now solely responsible for its ongoing management. In 2009, to further identify the school as an independent institution, it changed its name to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. The London school continues to operate, and is commonly known as ArtsEd.

For many years, the school's president was the renowned Prima Ballerina Assoluta, Dame Alicia Markova. After her death, Leopold David de Rothschild CBE became president and the vice presidents are Irek Mukhamedov OBE and Howard Goodall CBE.

History of the mansionEdit

The current Tring Park Mansion was built to a design of Sir Christopher Wren in 1685, for Sir Henry Guy.

Sir William Gore, Lord Mayor of London, bought the house in 1705 and it remained in his family for two subsequent generations. in 1786, it was sold to Sir Drummond Smith, a London banker, who refurbished the interior in Georgian style and remodelled the park in the fashion made popular by "Capability" Brown. William Kay, a Manchester textile magnate, bought the estate in 1823.

In 1838, Nathan de Rothschild began renting Tring Park as a summer residence. When the property was sold in 1872, Lionel de Rothschild bought it as a wedding present for his son, Sir Nathaniel (later Lord) de Rothschild. Lord Rothschild's family grew up and lived at Tring Park until the death of the dowager Lady Rothschild in 1935.

The house was used by the NM Rothschild & Sons bank during World War II before being taken over by the Arts Educational School in 1945.

Notable former pupilsEdit


Musical theatreEdit


  • John Gilpin (deceased) (The Cone-Ripman School, Tring site),[4] Classical ballet dancer, 'arguably the finest male dancer England has yet produced, the most purely classical' [5] founder member of Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet)
  • Molly Hair (Hair Russell) (Cone School of Dancing London) original soprano, principal dancer and choreographer for The Welsh National Opera Company's Corp de Ballet during its inception period 1946-1955.[6]
  • Rupert Pennefather, (Arts Educational School, Tring site), Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet[7]
  • Joshua Thew, Corps de Ballet, New York City Ballet[8]


  1. ^ A Dancer in Wartime, Gillian Lynne, Random House, 2012
  2. ^ "Star of Netflix series to speak at local school's open days". Wendover News. 20 September 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Dame Beryl Bainbridge: Novelist whose work began rooted in autobiography and which later developed to encompass historical subjects". The Independent. 3 July 2010. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  4. ^ "John Gilpin". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  5. ^ " - Legend". 30 September 1997. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  6. ^ Welsh National Opera, Richard Fawkes, Julia MacRae Books, 1986
  7. ^ "The Royal Ballet - Royal Opera House". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  8. ^ "New York City Ballet". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°47′34″N 0°39′23″W / 51.79285°N 0.65635°W / 51.79285; -0.65635