I would like to share a little bit about my father: the man for whom this new Festival is named.
Glenn Duncan Douglas was born in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, on September 27th, 1949. Losing his father at a very young age, he was raised by his mother in Thirsk. As a schoolchild, he was an infamous trouble-maker, but he also excelled academically. In his twenties, he became a math teacher in the south of England and quickly progressed to be Head of the Department.
It was around this time that my dad developed a deep love for classical music. He began going to concerts and listening to recordings. His favorite composer was Beethoven, and his favorite piece of music became Beethoven’s iconic 9th Symphony.
My dad met my mom, an American, in 1981, and they began their married life in California. He was in for a bit of a culture shock, but he quickly established himself professionally... and he also soon became the doting father of my sister and me!
Growing up, my dad taught us about everything, but with a special focus on his passions: world history, science, and music. I used to tell everyone that my dad was the smartest person I knew - and to this day, I still think he really was! I began playing the violin at the age of four and my dad was thrilled. My mom, not initially into classical music herself, swiftly learned to love it too.
My father was a huge influence in my life, and he loved coming to my concerts and hearing all the wonderful musical works that I was learning. Through me, he started to develop a real appreciation for chamber music - before, he had really only focused on the symphonic repertoire.
As for his professional life, he worked his way up the ranks and by the end of his career, he was Principal of a Middle School in Philadelphia. I had moved to England, his homeland, to pursue graduate studies, and still, twelve years later, live there. For the last few years of his life, my dad enjoyed frequent trips to visit me in his beloved UK.
Glenn Douglas died of cancer on November 21st, 2010, at the age of 61.
It’s been a long held dream of mine to establish a Chamber Music Festival in my dad’s memory, and I know he would would be so proud of what’s taking shape in the South of Florida this holiday season. We are featuring one work by his favorite composer, Beethoven, and pieces by some others who were at the top of his list: Mozart and Brahms.
My father will be at the Festival Concerts in spirit, and I hope you will join us in person to honor his memory and share the joy of music!
The Glenn Douglas Winter Chamber Music Festival
(Glenn Douglas is pictured here in Mendocino, California, circa 1983)