Although she’s named for the daughter of great-uncle Sergei Rachmaninoff, the celebrated Russian composer, Tatiana Copeland never learned to play an instrument.
Regrettable, she says, since her mother trained in her own early years to follow in uncle Sergei’s footsteps.
But comparisons were inevitable, Tatiana says today. Her mother chose to discontinue lessons at 18 rather than be forever compared to the celebrated pianist/composer, one of the best of his era.
“I think because of that she did not want me to study piano. I grew up in Argentina where it was hot and humid, which was always the reason she gave for not having a piano in the house.”
Tatiana and her husband, Gerret Copeland, are unbounded supporters of the arts, particularly music and museums. While they work and live in Delaware, they own and operate Bouchaine Vineyards in Carneros and are substantial underwriters of Festival del Sole, the summer arts festival that wrapped up its fifth season in the Napa Valley in late July.
Bouchaine Vineyards sponsors the festival’s Young Artist Concert series, a program that features young artists in recital throughout the run of the festival.
Speaking to an audience about the reasons for their sponsorship, Tatiana Copeland said she and her husband were inspired to present young artists at Festival del Sole because “we are sad the schools have stopped teaching music to our youth.”
Paraphrasing a speech given to Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s play, “Master Class,” Copeland reminded concertgoers that “a life without music is not a life lived to its fullest.”
Paying tribute as well to her family’s thousand years of Russian ancestry, Tatiana Copeland and her husband also underwrite the performances of the Russian National Orchestra at Festival del Sole.
And because of that association with the Russian National Orchestra, the Copelands were invited to two very special performances given by the orchestra this past May.
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In his attempts to bring various factions of the religious world together, Pope Benedict XVI invited the head of the Russian Catholic Church to the Vatican in May. One of the pope’s welcoming gestures was an invitation to the Russian National Orchestra to perform inside the Vatican. Sophia Loren served as honorary chair of the event, as her son, Carlo Ponti, was conducting the orchestra, as he has done on several occasions in the Napa Valley.
“It was an incredible performance,” Copeland said. “The following week, we underwrote a performance of the orchestra at Semperoper in Dresden — (Mikhail) Pletnev conducted. I was born in Dresden and left as a baby. It was the first time I had been back and it was a remarkable occasion.”
Both Tatiana and Gerret Copeland are involved in money management, taxes and, for a time, Gerret had a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. As for Bouchaine, Tatiana serves as president. She manages finances, marketing and sales, while her husband serves as chairman. “We don’t come (to Carneros) enough,” she declared. “We are in contact daily and we have great winemaking, sales and administrative teams.”
Gerret, a member of the renowned du Pont family, is also devoted to protecting open space and the Brandywine River, water source for Wilmington, Del., where they reside. “He is focused on preserving land through easements on large estates on Chesapeake Bay and is intent on stopping overbuilding. He’s a farmer, too.”
Tatiana Copeland loves to help landscape beautiful gardens and bring music to the masses. “Music is part of my soul. Business often fills my head and for me to be good at that, or good at anything, something must feed me … that something is classical music. I always have music on in my office.
“It’s become apparent to Gerret and me there’s no longer much support for the arts. Charitable donations are going elsewhere. There’s just no money for music. Music should play a huge role in a person’s upbringing, we feel, so we are doing what we can.”
At home, the Copelands are big supporters of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Opera House and the Delaware Art Museum, which has one of the largest pre-Raphaelite art collections in the world.
“Our latest goal is to have the Rossetti Quartet (which played at this year’s Festival del Sole) perform at the museum in front of a Rosetti painting,” Copeland said.
The Copelands also underwrote a new recording by Delaware Symphony Orchestra and the LA Guitar Quartet, performing the Rodrigo concerto. “We’re shipping copies of the CD to all members of the Bouchaine wine club,” she added. “We think it’s so good that it should be considered for a Grammy this year.” Copies of the CD can be purchased at amazon.com or by contacting Bouchaine Vineyards.