Leopold de Rothschild

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

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.


Leopold de Rothschild, CBE

Comments [2]

david from manhattan

I too enjoyed the program and conversation with Leo de Rothschild, and would like to add a note to one of his comments and selections, specifically the Andrews Sisters' "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy": the ballet done entirely to the Sisters' music was Paul Taylor's "Company B", performed by both his own company and many ballet companies (ABT, San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, usw...), and Taylor, in various interviews, recounts how he came across the music, always giving a different (or apocryphal) story each time! While you won't have a chance to see the first company perform the piece, the second company, Taylor 2, performs it at the Joyce Theatre's "1,2,3" Festival this month.

Apr. 25 2010 02:09 PM
Virginia Reed from Plainsboro, NJ

I heard the program and Gilbert Kaplan's conversation with Mr. (Baron?) deRothschild. Mr. deRothschild was charming and I share his fantasy - I, too, envision myself as a world-class pianist playing the Brahms and Rachmaninoff concertos. I'm often playing the Rachmaninoff Second on a summer evening in a garden setting, scents wafting and a moon beginning to rise while I address those trills. It was a most engaging program.

Apr. 05 2010 04:14 PM

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