Sir Peter Moores CBE, DL

Sir Peter Moores was born in Lancashire and educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford, where he studied Italian and German. Whilst a student he worked at Glyndebourne as a behind-the-scenes administrator, before going to study at the Vienna Academy of Music for three years, where he produced the Austrian premiere of Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia. At the same time he was a production assistant with the Vienna State Opera , working with Viennese artists in Naples, Geneva and Rome.

In 1957 he joined his father's business, Littlewoods, becoming Vice-Chairman in 1976, Chairman from 1977 to 1980 and remaining a director until 1993. His public appointments include from 1981 to 1983 Governor of the BBC, Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1978 until 1985 and from 1988 to 1992 a Director of Scottish Opera. He is also a member of the British Museum Society. He received the Gold Medal of the Italian Republic in 1974, an Honorary MA from Christ Church, Oxford, in 1975, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music in 1985.

In 1992 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of Lancashire by HM Queen Elizabeth II. He was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1991 and received a Knighthood in the New Year's Honours List for 2003 in recognition of his charitable services to the arts. In July 2008 he received the Stauffer Medal, the highest award of Germany's Baden-Wurttemberg Province, and in October 2008 was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters at the University of the West Indies. In the same year, he received the ClassicFM Gramophone Special Achievement Award in recognition of his many initiatives in recording opera. In 2011 he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (Hon D Litt) from The University of Warwick. He received the Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy in December 2012 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the arts in the UK.
Sir Charles Mackerras
1925 - 2010


'Peter knows about music... he can talk as an equal to all these singers and musicians... we feel we're talking to a colleague.'
Rodney Milnes, Opera Critic

'Here are some other things we wouldn't have were it not for Peter. The Goodall Ring, one of the defining moments in our operatic history. Over thirty other recordings of opera in English on the Chandos label, including three of Dame Janet Baker's greatest performances. Recital recordings by international artists who happily sing in English: Bruce Ford, Della Jones, Yvonne Kenny, Diana Montague, John Tomlinson.

The Opera in English series is driven, I think, by Peter's ferocious anti-snobbery on the subject, which many of my generation proudly share. Yet there's the carriage trade as well - whoops, I nearly said elitist - 30-plus Opera Rara recordings, some featuring composers half of us have never heard of.

Without Peter, there would be no Almeida Opera Festival, we wouldn't have heard Rossini's Otello at Covent Garden or Ermione at Glyndebourne.'

from a speech at Mansion House, September, 2002
Neil MacGregor Director, British Museum

'Everybody knows the operatic Peter Moores but at the British Museum we know... the Asian Peter Moores. He has of course developed the spectacular collection of Chinese bronzes at Compton Verney but he's also helped the British Museum to add some great Chinese bronzes to its own collection.'
1932
Born April 9, Lancashire

Educated Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford (studied Italian and German)

1952-1957
Whilst a student, worked at Glyndebourne, as behind-the-scenes administrator

Studied at Vienna Academy of Music – produced Austrian première of Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia; simultaneously worked for 3 years as production assistant, Vienna State Opera, including performances with Viennese artists at San Carlo Opera House, Naples, Geneva Festival and at Rome Opera.

1957
Joined his father's business, Littlewoods; 1976 Vice-Chairman; 1977-1980 Chairman; remained a Director up to 1993.

1964
Established the Peter Moores Foundation to realise his charitable aims through music, visual arts, education, environment and social projects.

1993
Founded Compton Verney House Trust to transform Compton Verney House, an 18th century mansion in Warwickshire, into a public art gallery (Gallery opened March 2004).
Sir Peter Moores

'Most people aren't as nutty as I am. Most people just want to give you the money and go away. I'm not like that.'
Bronze head
by Glenys Barton
Roger Keverne, dealer in Oriental Art

'Peter is one of the few people left from that kind of old fashioned collector who's able to indulge his tastes and wishes to share them with other people.'
Public Appointments

1978-1985
A Trustee of the Tate Gallery

1981-1983
A Governor of the BBC

1988-1992
A director of Scottish Opera

Honours

1974

Gold Medal of the Italian Republic

1975
Honorary MA, Christ Church, Oxford

1985
Honorary Member, Royal Northern College of Music

1991
Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for charitable services to the arts

1992
A Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of Lancashire, appointed by HM Queen Elizabeth II

2003
Knighthood, received in New Year's Honours List for charitable services to the arts

2008
Classic FM Gramophone Special Achievement Award given in recognition of his many initiatives which through his Foundation have enabled the development of the Opera in English series with Chandos Records and the recording of many 19th century gems with Opera Rara.
Click here for Peter Moores's acceptance speech.

Stauffer Medal, Baden-Württenberg Province, Germany

Honorary Doctor of Letters, the University of the West Indies

2011
Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (Hon D Litt) from The University of Warwick
Click here for The Orator' address to Sir Peter Moores.

2012
Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy (December 2012)
Sir Peter Moores

'I don't think it was the spectacle that drew me to opera - productions then weren't particularly sophisticated - but it was the idea of 'performance', the singers creating characters and bringing the work to life that really attracted me. I was brought up 200 miles from London, in Liverpool, which didn't have a great deal of culture. I grew up with my dad's cupboard full of operas on 78 rpm recordings, and I had no idea what they were all about. I just started at one end of the cupboard and worked my way to the other; there was Caruso and there was Mary Garden, and there was Faust in Italian... I was fascinated by it, and I got used to opera that way.'
24 April 2014