A year or two year ago Dr. Turner, the producer for the CBC Orchestra was awarded the Queen’s Medal and the Order of Canada for his work in keeping the CBC Vancouver Orchestra going together with John Avison, its conductor, giving so many young Canadian artists and composers a chance; I decided that as I had been its principal double bass for over seventeen years I would put on a concert with the kind permission of my friend, Mrs. Janette Chrysler at her concert hall in Sooke, B.C. to honour him, because as far as I knew,(or know), there were no other celebrations. The concert. for which all the professional musicians gave their services was followed by a reception afterwards and Bob Turner was overcome with emotion. A day or two before the concert I contacted the CBC person in charge of music in Victoria by phone and left a message of invitation, (there were no strings attached, we weren’t seeking a broadcast) Janette sent an email too but we never received a reply. Bob had done a lot for the CBC.
I met Don and Janette Chrysler about ten years ago in Sooke, British Columbia, Canada. Don was a very successful business man and Janette a very fine ‘cellist. They came from Texas and soon became interested in Canadian musical life. They were very attached to each other and Don was especially fond of hearing Janette play. One of his favourites was the Duetto for’cello and bass by Rossini which we recorded together and will be released on my new CD which is coming out soon.
Everywhere that Janette performed Don would drive her there and carry the ‘cello. One day, he told me that he was going to build a concert hall for “my Janette”. I wondered what form it would take but when completed it boasted a bathroom with a jetted tub, Murphy beds and a kitchen area- most impressive, but the great thing about it was that it held 120 people, was finished in exotic woods and the acoustics were wonderful. Many a soiree has been held there and also young up and coming performers are given an opportunity to debut.
I look back on some of my past efforts to build theatres, new arts centres etc. I always had to contend with naysayers, fundraising and red tape; perhaps I should devote another blog to my experiences. With Don there was none of this, he just gave the order and it was built!