Sir George Martin loved Montserrat.
It was a love he spoke about in interviews about his career as one of the music industry’s most influential and iconic figures. He demonstrated this love for this tiny island by making a major investment and bringing the world’s musicians to record classic hits amidst the beauty of Montserrat.
He and his wife Lady Judy made annual visits to stay at his home Olveston House until he was no longer able to make the trip.
Sir George Martin died today at the age of 90. We asked a few of our residents, many of whom have met and worked with Sir Martin to share their thoughts on his life.
Hon. Minister of Trade Claude Hogan said: “Sir George Martin was not only an inspired music production pioneer, he stood out because his work embodied love and affection for humanity. Sir George initially thought the music of the world famous Beatles Group was too “raucous” but he made it work. He brought first world music production to Air Studios on Montserrat, and drew stars such as Stevie Wonder, Boy George and Eric Clapton to vacation and work on our island.
“In the immediate aftermath our volcanic eruption, Sir George was swifter than even the UK government in raising relief funds; built the Montserrat Cultural Centre and financed an ongoing music support programme for the children of his adopted home Montserrat. It was easy to fall in love with Sir George. He is that special, but he fell in love with Montserrat, adored and worked for our island until his passing. I met him mostly at events in Whitehall, London pressing the case for support and rejuvenation of Montserrat over the last 20 years of his life. Montserrat has lost a great ‘Son’.“
ZJB Radio Personality Basil Chamber said of his passing: ““Our creative community has lost a gifted human being. In the 80’s Montserrat became a hub for top musicians and singers because of Sir George and Air Studios. He loved Montserrat with a passion that’s why he built the Cultural Centre. My thoughts go out to his family, his friends, and the many musicians with whom he collaborated.”
Cris van Beuren is the most current music teacher living and working on Montserrat through the Sir George’s Montserrat Music Foundation. “George Martin was an incredibly nice man. Even in his late years, when I met him last year, he had a mischievous and witty sparkle in his eyes accompanied by always by a soft smile. A very kind and humble person.
“In his work, he is unmatched. One of the greatest producers of all time. During his work with the Beatles he pioneered many things which had never been done before in the producing and studio industry. His legacy will live on for many many years. The Music Foundation UK will surely feel the impact of his loss, but will hopefully still continue to support the development of music education and culture on Montserrat for many years to come.“
Rest in Peace Sir George.