French President donates his book royalties to an orchestra

French President donates his book royalties to an orchestra


norman lebrecht

February 19, 2021

The classical station France-Musique has an interview with the former president of the republic, Francois Hollande, in which he says he has given the royalties of his latest book, Leur République, to the Divertimento orchestra in the town of Stains (Seine-Saint-Denis).

The sum mentioned is 300,000 Euros. Hollande says he chose this orchestra because it takes music to 100,000 people who have no access to music education or a concert hall. ‘Classical music is not reserved for an elite who would have been trained to understand and share it. Classical music is everyone’s music,’ he declares.

Read here. 

Any thoughts, Barack Obama?



  • Miko says:

    Why ask Obama?
    Can you imagine something similar in the UK?
    I don’t think Dowden even knows or cares what an orchestra is at the Brexit Department of Pantomime, Media and Sport.

  • Alexander says:

    good for him and for France too, where people are rather thrifty …

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Obama’s book royalties? Hip-hop stars don’t need alms…

  • Michaela says:

    Bravo!!(By the way Hollande and Trierweiller (picture) separated around 2014…we are in…2021… 🙂 )

  • CJ says:


    (But the photo is obsolete, Françoise Hollande has now been with actress Julie Gayet for some time and the lady on the photo has now a rugby player boyfriend). 😉

  • Luca says:

    Love of music: Hollande’s one redeeming factor.

  • HugoPreuss says:

    Why Obama? Is there a duty for a politician to have a personal interest in classical music? Obama is not known to be a fan of classical music. His loss, but so be it. I am glad that nobody can be forced to engage with any music except the music he likes. I can’t begin to imagine the torture if someone expected me to listen to Pop, Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap or whatever the names are. And I am willing to extend the same courtesy to Obama or anyone else.

  • Ed says:

    Trump´s book royalties? Hell´s Symphony Orchestra.

  • Mr. Knowitall says:

    Formula: take a French story, add, for no good reason, a liberal American politician. Result: a flood of clicks and comments.

  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    The true question: are these € 300k real book earnings, or just the author’s contractual fee?
    Because I cannot, for the life of me, imagine anyone willing to shell out any dough to peruse the lucubrations of the Fifth Republic’s most insignificant president. (And that includes the hyperactive champion of political farniente, Jacques Chirac.)

    • CJ says:

      Well, you are mistaken: his previous book, “Les Leçons du Pouvoir”, sold like hot cakes, 100000 copies during the first 3 weeks. When he came to my city to sign the copies, people were queuing in the street (and that was well before Covid).

    • Colin says:

      Thank you for forcing me to find out what ‘lucubrations’ are, and, in addition, what ‘farniente’ means.

  • JussiB says:

    Trump is planning to build a $1 billion presidential library.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      What’s the point? Bigger and better presidential libraries cost money. And the bigger and better the president, the bigger and better is his library. You’v gotta think bigly!

  • R. Brite says:

    The Orchestre Symphonique Divertimento and its founder, Zahia Ziouani, are a bright light in the often bleak far-northern reaches of Greater Paris. She is of Kabyle origin; the family moved to the near Paris suburbs from Algeria when she and her twin sister, Fettouma, now a cellist, were around 3. Zahia decided at 12 to become a conductor. She is also a prominent music educator. I’ve never managed to hear Divertimento, as they are really focused on bringing classical music to audiences outside of Paris.