Maurice and Nicola Taylor are the father-daughter duo behind Glasgow’s La Bonne Auberge. As passionate advocates of the performing arts, they believe the Royal Conservatoire is the jewel in the crown when it comes to training the next generation of artists.

Sitting in the conservatory of his city centre brasserie La Bonne Auberge, it’s easy to see restauranteur Maurice Taylor CBE’s love for the arts. Amongst the décor in the welcoming eatery is a French horn – a symbol of the classical music which provides the accompaniment to much of his life.

Maurice’s relationship with the Royal Conservatoire began around a decade ago, when he and businessman Frank Hitchman established the Mary Garden Scholarship, a fund for young opera students named after the Aberdeen soprano of world renown.

“Opera is one of my weaknesses. These students have to study so intensively and by the end of the day, they are exhausted. That makes juggling a part-time job very difficult so the scholarship allows them to focus solely on their art.”

Sharing Maurice’s professional life – and his passion for the performing arts – is daughter Nicola, Chief Executive of Chardon Trading.

Nicola is a trustee at the Royal Conservatoire and she recalls how visiting the Wallace Studios, its dance, rehearsal and production facilities at Speirs Locks, brings back childhood memories.

“As a child, I enjoyed lessons in ballet and tap dancing. Now I look at the students and the standard of facilities at Wallace Studios and it blows me away,” she says.

“It’s no surprise that the Royal Conservatoire is one of the top institutions in the world for performing arts education. Having that level of training for the performing and production arts is fantastic for the city.”

Now firmly a part of the RCS family, does Maurice draw parallels between his restaurant business and the work of the Royal Conservatoire in training the performing and production artists of the future? Without doubt.

“I am so impressed with the scope of the training that goes on at the Royal Conservatoire. Recent productions have astounded me – Cabaret (2016) in particular was magnificent.

“We’re all working at extremely high standards, crafting something that people will enjoy. I think that being involved in preparing a wonderful meal gives you a fantastic buzz – a bit like the experience a performer has when they come off stage. Everyone should experience that feeling – that’s why it’s important to support the arts.”


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