Ernest chausson

A short history of millionaire composers

Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me, though if you’ve spent much time in the world of classical music, and you hadn’t realised just how different, you could do worse than attend an opening night at Grange Park Opera. True, Grange Park’s founder, Wasfi Kani, is famously adept at cultivating donors: you don’t build an opera house on the late Duchess of Roxburghe’s Surrey estate without a certain fundraising flair. It was when Joanna Lumley shimmered on stage in a midnight-blue ball gown and suggested that we might each like to leave the company at least £25,000 in our wills that I