Interview with Anthony Rudd - WSO flautist and relative of legacy donor Eva Bunzl

Tony, your Aunt recently passed away and she left a bequest so that we may play The Mozart Requiem in her memory, can you tell me a little about her?

My aunt, Eva Bunzl was born in 1932 into a wealthy family in Vienna with a Catholic mother and Jewish father. She remembers attending the Vienna State Opera and every Sunday went to mass at St Stevens Cathedral in the centre of Vienna which is where she would have first heard a performance of the Mozart Requiem. 

After the arrival of the Nazi government in Austria her father, brother and sister moved to England, leaving Eva with her mother to live out the war in Salzburg, fearful of her Jewish heritage being discovered and suffering severe hardship not least because of her mother's alcoholism. 

After the war she spent much of her adult life in Milan before moving to England in the 1980’s. She spent many years in supported accommodation and her last years in a nursing home in Wimbledon.

What was her life experience of music? Did she sing or play an instrument, and tell us about her love of Mozart and the Requiem?

She led a lonely life and even though she was never given the opportunity to play an instrument, music was one of her few comforts. 

Eva always enjoyed attending the WSO concerts and left a bequest to the orchestra in her will. She specially asked if the orchestra would play the Mozart requiem which was one of her favourite pieces. The orchestra rarely performs choral music so it is a special treat for the WSO to join forces with Sonoro and the Wimbledon Community Chorus to play the beautiful music marred only by the lack of flutes in its instrumentation.

Interview by Conor Molony - WSO commitee member