Charles S. Campbell bequeathed part of his fortune to montrealers, offering years of uninterrupted music.
The estate of Charles Sandwith Campbell, a culture-loving Montréal lawyer who died in 1923, provided for the establishment of a fund to present free concerts in the city’s parks.
The concerts always featured performances by military brass ensembles at Montréal bandstands from the time they started in 1924 until 1970. In that year, however, Jean Bernier, who was the Royal Trust administrator of the fund and the director of concert programming, decided to put his own stamp on it, by adding a “Pop” component to the usual schedule of military-style music. Known as the Campbell Variety Concerts, until 2005 these shows presented musical artists like Pauline Julien and Martine St-Clair, as well as the MSO under the baton of Charles Dutoit. Since then, the Ville de Montréal’s Service de la culture has been in charge of the concerts, which are now held in all 19 of the city’s boroughs!
The Campbell Concerts marked their 90th year with a program blending the old with the new. Performances by Daniel Bélanger, Alex Nevsky and the Orchestre Métropolitain were just a few of the highlights of the anniversary celebration.