137 Minutes With... Myles von Trapp Derbyshire
New York magazine|January 30 - February 12, 2023
A descendant of the illustrious family immortalized in The Sound of Music has a story to sell.
By Nate Jones
137 Minutes With... Myles von Trapp Derbyshire

The hills are alive with the sound of schmoozing. It's a rainy weeknight at the Upper East Side's Mark hotel, where the bar is full of networking menswear acolytes and well-heeled couples enjoying cocktails. On a zebra-print divan, Myles von Trapp Derbyshire, great-grandson of the only famous naval officer Austria has ever produced, is pitching me on the TV drama he's developing about his family history. It's called Baroness, a title his mother is still addressed by in the Old Country, even though technically the Austrian nobility hasn't existed since 1919.

Today there are around 100 living von Trapps, descendants of the ten singing siblings whose childhoods were eight-year-old dramatized in The Sound of Music. ThirtyMyles, clad tonight in an oatmeal Fair Isle sweater with a popped collar underneath, is not one of the von Trapps who own the Trapp Family Lodge, the Vermont property the family eventually settled in after fleeing the Nazis. And he is not one of the von Trapps you would occasionally see performing "Edelweiss" on Oprah or The View in years past. But, as a longtime New Yorker, he is probably the most media-friendly von Trapp. When journalists wondered what the real von Trapps thought of Carrie Underwood playing Maria in NBC's 2013 live broadcast of the musical, Myles was the one who gave them a disapproving quote.

This occasionally causes issues. Take the word we, which, when Myles uses it, typically refers to just him and his mother. That distinction is often lost in headlines. "The emails I get: 'You can't speak on behalf of everyone in the family.' Are you joking? Of course I can't," he says.

This story is from the January 30 - February 12, 2023 edition of New York magazine.

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This story is from the January 30 - February 12, 2023 edition of New York magazine.

Start your 7-day Magzter GOLD free trial to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 8,500+ magazines and newspapers.

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