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Lonely lady leaves nearly £1 million to classical music

A single woman who died alone, possibly by her own hand, in a flat near Brent Cross, London, left £925,000 to Arts Council England to be spent specifically on classical music. Diana Kurzman died ten years ago, aged 59, after suffering from mental illness. She was an only child and it has taken a decade to settle her bequest due to what the lawyers call ‘special circumstances’.

What was not in doubt was her love and gratitude to the music that accompanied her through her life. She left the money to ACE ‘to be used at its discretion for the benefit of orchestras and the performance of chamber music and opera”. The ACE has shared it out between Music in the Round (Sheffield), Orchestras Live and Aldeburgh Music.

windsor court

Windsor Court, where Diana Kurzman died

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  1. I wonder if ACE took anything off for administration / partying expenses.

    • It seems they didn’t skim anything off this time:

      I do wonder how they chose the recipients of these large sums. Who did the chosing? By what criteria? To what level of accountability? I assume there was no open application process for these grants. Did these three organisations suddenly get a cheque in the post for a six figure sum with a letter saying “spend it on whatever you like”? Or does the money replace existing grant funds to pay for existing applications? If so can we look forward to a c.£1m increase in overall awards for the year? (Less of course the £8k spent on Liz Forgan’s leaving do). The whole story is weird from start to finish.

  2. Alexander Hall says:

    I wonder how much the lawyers took off for their “expenses”. Ten years to settle a matter like this is an uncomfortable reminder of “Bleak House”. Lawyers can earn a lot in ten years.

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