Campbell McInnes

(James) Campbell McInnes. Baritone, teacher, b Holcombe Brook, Lancs, England, 23 Jan 1873 or 1874, d Toronto 8 Feb 1945.

McInnes, Campbell

(James) Campbell McInnes. Baritone, teacher, b Holcombe Brook, Lancs, England, 23 Jan 1873 or 1874, d Toronto 8 Feb 1945. He studied in London (with William Shakespeare, George Henschel, Charles Santley) and in Paris (with Jacques Bouhy) and, following his debut in 1899, quickly established himself as a favourite concert baritone and a familiar participant in the English festivals, beginning with Leeds in 1910 (where he sang in the premiere of Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony) and Worcester in 1911 (premiere of the same composer's Five Mystical Songs). In 1919 McInnes settled in Toronto, where for the next 25 years he worked tirelessly in the cause of music and diction, founding during the 1924-5 season two choral groups, the Canadian Singers and the Sunday Evening Hart House Songsters, and a concert series, Tuesday Nine O'Clock (fl 1921-3). He also continued his singing career, appearing 15 times as the Christus in the St Matthew Passion with the TSO. In later years he frequently lectured on musical subjects, and at the time of his death was teaching English and diction at Wycliffe and Trinity Colleges, the University of Toronto. The organ at Wycliffe was installed in his memory. On his passing, Vaughan Williams wrote, 'The death of Campbell McInnes recalls wonderful memories... of a lovely baritone voice, a fine sense of words and above all the power which few singers possess to make a tune live.' His voice may be heard on the 1915 Gramophone Co record (B581) and on a private recording issued shortly before his death.

Writings

'Music in Canada,' Yearbook of the Arts in Canada, ed Bertram Brooker (Toronto 1929)

The Music of Language (Oakville, Ont, 1939)


Further Reading

  • McInnes, Graham. Finding a Father (London 1967)