Livia Gollancz obituary

Professional musician with a second career heading the publishing company Victor Gollancz

Livia Gollancz, who has died aged 97, was one of the first women to head a publishing company, serving for 17 years as managing director of Victor Gollancz Ltd. But it was her earlier career as a French horn player, working with many leading conductors, including John Barbirolli, Thomas Beecham and Adrian Boult, that captured her heart. Her 15 years as a professional musician were brought to an end only by dental problems exacerbated by and inimical to horn-playing.

In 1953, out of desperation rather than desire, she accepted her father’s invitation to join the family firm. The change in lifestyle was a tremendous shock at first. Describing herself at that time as “like a drowning person grasping at a raft”, she only planned to stay for a couple of months, but remained with the company for 36 ...