Helena Newman and family have been stopped by police from playing concerts to their neighbours. The dog is not thought to have been involved © Rafael Todes
Helena Newman is not exactly the type you'd expect to have a run in with the police.
But, the Sotheby's Europe chairwoman and auctioneer, known for her polished, head girl-like manner, and has been stopped from playing concerts with her family's string quartet to neighbours in the front garden of their West London home.
Newman, a viola player, and her violinist husband Rafael Todes, who teaches at the Royal Academy of Music and is a member of the Allegri String Quartet, and their two children (Max, on the cello, and Isabella, second violin) had been playing concerts outside their house in Bayswater since lockdown began last month. The family started doing the Sunday concerts to entertain their neighbours and raise money for St Johns Hospice in London (you can still donate here) and had been streaming them online.
But alas, on Sunday, two Metropolitan Police officers arrived as they were playing and, once they were finished, told them they could not hold any more concerts as they were encouraging neighbours to break the lockdown and gather to watch in the street.
On Todes's livestream video, one of the officers reluctantly says: “Look, I see what youre doing and Im fine with it, but with so many gathering outside its just…I dont enjoy this part of the job, but obviously its going to keep causing the street to keep gathering." Apologising for having to shut it down, he added that he would not fine the family and that the music was "lovely".