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Theme: Lord Harewood favourites

George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, was born on 7 February 1923 and grew up at
Harewood House in Yorkshire, just north of Leeds where as a child he heard early opera
performances at its Grand Theatre and Opera House. His university education at King’s
College Cambridge was interrupted by World War Two, during which he was wounded and
captured in Italy and imprisoned in Colditz Castle, where he learned about music by reading
through Grove’s Dictionary of Music and had reached the letter S when he was released.
After the war, he founded and edited the magazine Opera before David Webster offered
him a job on the staff of Covent Garden Opera and contact with great singers and
conductors who performed there during the 1950s. At the end of the decade, he was also
Director of the Leeds Festival, before becoming Director of the Edinburgh International
Festival for a golden period from 1961 to 1965. After acting as an artistic adviser to the
Philharmonia Orchestra in the later 1960s, he spent 14 productive years as General Director
of English National Opera at the London Coliseum between 1972 and 1985. In the later
1970s, he was also the driving force behind the foundation of Opera North, later becoming
its invaluable Vice-Chairman, as well as taking on the role of President of English National
Opera. He died at Harewood House on 11 July 2011.

Throughout his life, Harewood collected recordings, including tapes of unique live
performances which, in later life, he donated to Music Preserved. He was a connoisseur of
voices but also an enthusiastic explorer of all classical and contemporary and Indian music.
His collection is eclectic and contains more than 1,000 tapes, from which we will be choosing to
highlight some favourite singers and conductors whom he especially admired as colleagues
and friends.

Nicholas Payne


Browse the collection

Music Preserved offers you the choice of listening to many of the rare, historically and artistically interesting recordings in its collection.