Exclusive: Slava’s plan to elope with a countess

Exclusive: Slava’s plan to elope with a countess


norman lebrecht

May 06, 2021

Raymond Gubbay’s forthcoming memoir promises to be a cracker.

In his opening chapter he recounts how, while working for Victor Hochhauser, he heard the Soviet cellist Mstislav Rostropovich announced that he wasrunning away with Marion, Countess of Harewood.

This would have caused the most tremendous diplomatic complications. Marion’s husband was first cousin to the Queen. Slava’s wife, Galina Vishnevskaya, was a diva at the Bolshoi. Both had children to consider. George Harewood was artistic director of the Edinburgh Festival. Marion was best friends with Benjamin Britten.

Just too complicated for words.

Victor told Slava he’d never work with him again.

The madness passed.

More from the Gubbay memoirs anon.


  • Petros Linardos says:

    “Both had children to consider.”

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    And the Humphrey Burton memoirs (out in a couple of weeks) promise to dish the dirt on the BBC especially their shameful way of deleting / recording vintage recording

  • E says:

    Still, the title is a joy.

  • M McAlpine says:

    Nothing like dishing the dirt to create a best seller.

  • henry williams says:

    It is Slava’s business who he wishes to
    elope with. not the queens or Victor’s

  • AF says:

    Are all the stories from the 50s or does he have some from the 40s and 30s as well? Sounds like a bit of a yawnfest to me.

  • christopher storey says:

    It doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone that this statement was probably a joke… and would Marion Stein have wished to elope with him??