Just in: London’s Royal Academy receives record gift

Just in: London’s Royal Academy receives record gift


norman lebrecht

April 28, 2022

The Royal Academy of Music has just announced its biggest donation in two centuries, and one of the largest seen in UK higher education.

The philanthropist David Sainsbury’s Gatsby Foundation has given £6 million to create a Gatsby Chair of Musical Theatre, giving a boost to the next generations in London’s West End.




  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Excellent Trust. We got three years funding from them to train an administrator and money for a new van.
    It was lovely to hear Kevin O’Hare pay tribute to Lord Sainsbury and his dedication to the Garden on Saturday night at the Royal Ballet. A wonderfully supportive family, for the arts.

    • Philip C Lawford says:

      I wasn’t at the ROH on Saturday, but Kevin O’Hare would have been referring not to Lord (David) Sainsbury of Turville, founder of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the (long-standing) donor to the RAM. Kevin was, instead, referring to David’s cousin, Lord (John) Sainsbury of Preston Candover. John, who passed away earlier this year, and his wife Anya, founded the Linbury Trust, which has supported (inter alia) the ROH, Royal Opera & Royal Ballet since 1974, recognised in the naming of the Linbury Theatre at the ROH. Anya was formerly the ballerina Anya Linden – hence Linbury (LINden & sainsBURY).

      • Elizabeth Owen says:

        I know that Philip. The Sainsbury family members were in the audience and got a great round of applause from the packed House. As I said a wonderfully supportive family for the arts.

  • RAM insider says:

    I don’t question how generous Mr Sainsbury is but yet again management get donors to fund shiny new things rather than to pay the overworked underpaid and unrecognised stalwarts who have given their entire lives to the Academy 🙁


  • fflambeau says:

    Six million pounds is not that much. In Madison, Wisconsin, USA, Jerome Frautschi gave $250 million to build Overture Hall ten years ago.