Donor of an excellence grant in classical singing and a career start fund
- You’re a great philanthropist. Where does that philanthropic culture come from and why is it important to you to donate?
I find real joy in donating to causes that are important to me, especially if the donation is a scholarship or a form of sponsorship that allows us to come into contact with the person receiving the donation. The other dimension is giving back to society.
- You created an excellence grant fund in classical singing. Why was that?
I found it more personalized to fund a grant to a student in classical singing who I might eventually know and whose career I could follow. For me, that more personal approach is very motivating.
What makes me happiest is to be witness to the talent, and all the opportunities to hear these remarkable young people are appreciated.
- Why do you attach special importance to opera singing?
Music is a very important part of my life. I listen to music every day. Classical, opera, blues. I love hearing singing; it moves me to know that it’s the body that is singers’ instrument, and therefore that their technique, emotions and psychological state are connected to what they’re intimately experiencing. Dance is the other art form that moves me, for somewhat similar reasons. That vulnerability of singers and dancers is similar, and it touches me.
- Do you have a special anecdote you could share with us in connection with your donations?
A lovely moment I was part of involved one of my scholarship recipients. When he was receiving his grant at a ceremony, this young Frenchman introduced me to his mother and grandmother who’d come from Paris to be there for it and thank me for what I’d done by offering me a bottle of champagne! It was so nice!