December 11, 2017
For ten years or so, John Charles and I were "competitors," back when local newspapers thought the comprehensive local arts coverage was a good thing. John left the Edmonton Sun for a time, and that provided the "crack in the door" I needed.
I wrote about classical music and a few other things with the Sun for about a year, then ended up at The Journal. Happily, John wound up back at the Sun, and the two of us shared opinions, amiably discussed differences of opinion, and got to know each other. The picture above is from an ad in the ESO house program from 1998 - God, is it 20 years already?
John's knowledge was intense, but his love for music dictated every word he wrote. He cared about the health and integrity of the classical scene in Edmonton, and I'm happy to say that our disagreements were only ever matters of personal taste. I had great respect for John, and the last time I saw him was after I had started working for the ESO/Winspear Centre, when I helped him to his seat. He was ailing, but still anxious to hear the "new guy," Bill Eddins, conduct the ESO.
Bill Beard was his great friend, and shared news of John's passing. John, it is my sincere hope that you and your beloved Michael Tippett are even now having a cuppa together. Thank you, John, from the bottom of my heart.