Lord Rowe-Beddoe had a life-long relationship with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and gave an unrivalled service and commitment to the College and to Wales. Connected to the College throughout its history, he held the position of Chair from 2000-2004 and then became RWCMD President for 15 years. In 2019 the Presidency passed to the then Prince of Wales, and David became the Royal Welsh College’s first Chairman Laureate. In this role he continued to be a passionate ambassador, supporter and fundraiser for the College.
Principal Helena Gaunt said, ‘Lord Rowe-Beddoe was an extraordinary champion of the College over many decades, and his support for generations of students has been immeasurable. His passion for the arts, wise guidance, challenge and endless energy have been instrumental in the advancement of the College. His sustained ambition for, and pride in, the students has always been inspirational. Very simply he loved the College and the College loved him back. We will always be grateful for his vision, his long-standing service and his unfailing commitment to our national conservatoire. We will miss him very much and send our heartfelt condolences to his family.’
His connection with the College started when it was still based at Cardiff Castle. As a child he visited with his mother Gwendolan, the College’s first singing teacher, and he later went on to establish the family’s Dolan Evans Prize in her memory.
As well as being an accomplished musician, he acted alongside his friends Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi while he was at Cambridge University. He was also very close to fellow Welshman and actor Richard Burton. Lord Rowe-Beddoe was instrumental in creating the friendship and partnership with the Burton family that enabled the College to name its new theatre after the legendary Welsh actor. The College was then granted permission to give its resident company of final year actors, musical theatre performers, designers and stage managers, the title of the Richard Burton Company.
As President, Lord Rowe-Beddoe played a very significant role in the planning and fundraising for the Anthony Hopkins Centre and then the 2011 capital development, when the Dora Stoutzker Hall, Richard Burton Theatre and Linbury Gallery spaces were opened. The Rowe-Beddoe Studio was named to acknowledge his huge contribution to the College.