Richard Haass

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Richard Haass who serves as the President on the Council on Foreign Relations, America’s leading think tank on foreign policy, has had a distinguished career. Most recently he was the Director of Policy Planning for the State Department and earlier served as Special Assistant to the first President Bush.

In this interview with “Mad About Music” host Gilbert Kaplan, Haass reveals the enduring power of music in his life:

  • How meeting legendary pianist Emil Gilels also introduced him to Beethoven’s “Waldstein Sonata”, now a favorite.
  • Asked to pick his favorite love song for the upcoming Valentine’s Day, he picked “Old Devil Moon” sung by Frank Sinatra.
  • Drinking at a British pub called “The Trout” introduced him also to Schubert’s “Trout Quintet”.
  • Why he doesn’t connect to the music of either Debussy or Tchaikovsky (too much “schmaltz”)
  • In his youth, his career goal was to one day join The Kingston Trio. Today his fantasy is to be a star oboe player.
  • His musical choices include works by Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Saint Saëns.


Richard Haass

Comments [2]

Diane from NJ

It is not an easy thing to bare your soul to a radio audience, which I think the program forces the guest to do. Whoever the guest is, I feel affirmed and have a sense of contentment in finding the public servant, doctor, director, whoever is being interviewed, passionate about classical music, articulate, thoughtful, vested in the arts, and willing to share personal stories. It makes me wonder how in the world the idea of the show was conceived and how the guests are selected.
And it was fine for Haass to make the judgement on Tchaicovsky he did. It made me rethink his work.

Thank you.

Feb. 07 2011 05:11 PM
Sophie Arielle from Larchmont

Thank you so much for the Kingston Trio's rendition of "It Takes a Worried Man". It immediately brought me back to one of my favourite WQXR programmes --Woody's Chilldren!

Feb. 06 2011 09:49 PM

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