The Trust was founded by Dr Margaret Lobo in memory of Otakar Kraus OBE, the Czech born English baritone. Otakar Kraus was a student of Konrad Wallerstein in Prague and of Fernando Capri in Milan. In 1939, he came to England, where he sang with the Carl Rosa Opera Company. Then, in 1946, he joined the English Opera Group, creating Tarquinius in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. From 1951 to 1973 he appeared at London’s Covent Garden, where he created King Fisher in Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage in 1955.
After his retirement, Otakar Kraus devoted himself to teaching. His pupils included Matthew Best, Gwynne Howell, Robert Lloyd, Jonathan Summers, Sir John Tomlinson and Willard White. In 1973 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Founding of OKMT
Otakar Kraus helped Margaret Lobo, also an opera singer, to recover her voice after it was damaged. Margaret thereafter trained as a Music Therapist and inspired by her own experience, founded the Otakar Kraus Music Trust in 1991 in order to help those with communication or other difficulties.
Margaret welcomed everyone including those had who never communicated and were considered beyond reach. The inspiration for all OKMT’s diverse projects has come from consulting and working with parents, children and local organisations to meet the needs in the local community.
In 1993 Margaret Lobo and her husband Walter built an accessible Music Studio in their garden in Twickenham equipped with piano, instruments, recording equipment, a viewing room, wheelchair access and disabled toilet. The Studio is now in use full-time and the Trust has expanded to work in many outreach projects in the local community.
Margaret Lobo introduced clinical music therapy to India in 2005 founding The Music Therapy Trust, and to Nepal in 2010, where she set up The Music Therapy Trust Nepal.
In 2010 Margaret was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Middlesex University for her major contribution to the community in the field of Health & Social Sciences.