Family & Education

Family Background

Ann’s father, George Lyttleton OBE was Managing Director of the family clothing firm The Utilus Coat Company Limited. Her mother, Perle was the eldest daughter of Samuel and Sophie Lyons. Samuel Henry Lyons was a penniless Polish immigrant who came to the United Kingdom in 1902 and worked as a tailor with his Lithuanian wife Sophie who was an expert buttonhole hand. From these small beginnings he built the multi-store men’s clothing chain, Alexandre Ltd that eventually became a part of the John Collier/United Draperies empire. Ann’s brother, Trevor Lyttleton MBE (b. 1936) is a Solicitor specializing in Mental Capacity Act and Court of Protection matters and is on the Deputy’s Panel of the Court of Protection. Trevor founded the nationwide charity Contact the Elderly.

Ann’s great-grandfather, George Hollander lived in Wales where her paternal grandmother Gertrude Lubelski was born. He gave Penny Readings to the Welsh miners and his talent for dramatic story-telling was obviously passed down through Gertie to her granddaughter Ann.


Ann started her education at the age of five at Allerton High School in Leeds where she started piano lessons with Dame Fanny Waterman. From 1947-1949 she was a boarder at Overstone School, Northampton. Her piano teacher was the legendary Vera Lasker, a close friend and associate of Gustav Holst. In 1950/51 she attended Le Collège Féminin de Bouffémont in Paris where apart from becoming proficient in French, she was photographed for ‘Picture Post’ in the studio with the great French couturier, Jacques Fath, met Nancy Mitford and was chosen by Maurice Chevalier to swim in the pool scene featuring him and his co-star Sophie Desmarets in the film “Ma Pomme” (1951).

On her return to the UK, Ann did the year’s course at the Yorkshire Ladies Secretarial College.

Higher Education

Although her teachers at Overstone School recommended Ann as a candidate for A levels and a university education, her misguided uncle, when consulted by Ann’s parents, decreed she should not become a ‘bluestocking’ so reluctantly she had to leave school aged 16.   Determined to continue her studies on her own, Ann successfully took A level French, Italian and Spanish in the early 1960’s, studying by correspondence course at home, surrounded by her three young children.

University Of Durham

At the age of 76, to her great delight, Ann was offered and accepted a Holgate Fellowship at Grey College, University of Durham for the Easter Term 2010.

Ann’s Fellowship at Grey College was renewed in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and continued for five years until 2015 when Iain Kerr’s illness made it impractical to travel to and from Durham.

Marriages and Children

In December 1952 at the age of 19, Ann married Neville Ziff and had three children, Jan (b. 1953) Trisha (b. 1956) and Max (b. 1958).

Jan Ziff Jan Ziff is an acclaimed broadcaster and voiceover artist. Not only the co-founder and host of one of world’s longest-running international technology radio shows (Sound*Bytes, nationally on CBS News and currently in its 28th year of continuous broadcast), Jan also has a second life as the voice of the renowned Heckerty children’s story series, originally created and developed by Ann. Come meet her at

Based in the US and Europe, Jan is focused on creating wonderful new stories for kids, and growing Heckerty and Zanzibar’s fan base all around the world!

 Trisha Ziff is the founding director of 212BERLIN she is documentary filmmaker and curator of phototography. She has worked in the visual arts for over thirty years, running community arts workshops in both photography and film at CAMERAWORK in the East end of London and CAMERAWORK DERRY in the north of Ireland, before moving to Los Angeles and later to Mexico City.

Trisha works independently as a curator, book editor working with international publishers and in more recent years, making documentary films. Trisha is a Guggenheim scholar and recipient of many awards for funding in the USA, England and in Mexico. She has curated ast the ICP New York, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Cuatro Caminos, Centro de la Imagen, MUAC, and other museums in Mexico City. The V& A London, Kilmainham, Dublin, and many other international museums.

Her filmography includes:

She is developing a film, White Wash with Canana that looks at the history of Mexican deportation from the U.S.: a project in Israel, Israela & Talleen the friendship between two Israeli and Arabic trans gender women. Recently received NEH development funds for Return to Oaxacalifornia, revisiting a film she made 23 years ago about Mexican identity in the United States.Trisha teaches film and media studies and guest lecturing at various universities in the U.S. Mexico and Europe. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards, from the Arts Council in the UK, NEA and NEH, FOPROCINE & EFICINE in Mexico, She is a Gulbenkian and Guggenheim scholar. Trisha lives between Los Angeles and Mexico City and has one son, Julio who recently graduated university with a degree in Literature, film and business studies.

Her directorial debut in 2008, was Chevolution for Netflix and Red Envelope. She produced and directed, The Mexican Suitcase a Mexican/Spanish coproduction (2011). Directed, The Man Who Saw Too Much El hombre que vio demasiado, (2015) which won her, her first Ariel, for best documentary, and a second Ariel for best score, and numerous other awards. She completed, Pirate Stories, in 2014 filmed in London, Palestine, Dubai and Mexico City a series of shorts on film piracy and is currently in post production on her newest project, Witkin & Witkin, planned for 2017 a study on the identical twins, photographer Joel Peter and his brother painter, Jerome.

Max Ziff is CEO of Ziff-Ivin Associates, founded in 2014 when the two founding shareholders, Max Ziff and Nickolay Ivin, left Houlihan Lokey to set up their own practice with a specific focus on the CIS-CEE and developing Europe region.

Max Ziff qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse and went on to hold managing director positions at UBS, Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank before joining Houlihan Lokey in 2008, where he became head of European Financial Advisory Services and Global Head of Sovereign Advisory Services. Max is also an expert financial witness with major case experience in the UK High Court and the International Tribunal operating under ICC rules.

The Ziff-Ivin team has extensive regional experience working in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Cyprus and Iceland. Their international team have participated in transactions exceeding $20bn in total, and worked on assignments involving most major European and US commercial banks and investment funds.

Max has three daughters, Ali,Joey and Steffi and one son Ben and one step-daughter, Anna. He is the proud grandfather of Ali and Todd’s son, Nate.

Ann and Neville Ziff were divorced in 1964. In 1968, she met the distinguished American conductor/pianist, Ezra Rachlin and they were married a year less day later on May 25th 1969.  Ann has five grandchildren, Alexandra (Ali) Joanna, Ben, Julio and Stephanie, one step-son, Michael Rachlin who lives in Texas, a step-granddaughter Anna  and most important, Nate her first great-grandson!
It was whilst waiting for her divorce to be finalised that  Ann created her unique musical storytelling technique so that she could take her children with her to concerts in Leeds without them getting fidgety and bored.  This eventually became her internationally acclaimed Fun with Music®™