British financier Leopold de Rothschild is a director of the family's merchant bank, N M Rothschild, and his rich career in finance has also included a thirteen year stint as a Director of the Bank of England, the country's central bank.
But along the way, music has been at least an equal partner. A lifelong student of the piano, he has also been a leading musical philanthropist, serving as either President or Chairman of such leading British musical institutions as the English National Opera, the Royal College of Music, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the legendary Bach Choir with which he has sung for 50 years.
In conversation with “Mad About Music” host Gilbert Kaplan, de Rothschild reveals:
- His mother was a descendant of the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer
- Why Bach’s fourth Brandenburg Concerto “has always sent me”
- About his friendships with conductors George Solti, Charles Mackerras, Colin Davis
- Why composer Benjamin Britten has such appeal
- In his fantasy he would be a world-class pianist playing concertos such as Brahms' First: “I’ve often had fantasies about those double octave trills"
His musical selections include works by Bach, Walton, Mozart, Britten, Faure with a “wildcard” of music by the Andrew Sisters.