In Memory of David Mugar
By Peter Fiedler, Vice Chair of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra Board of Trustees
January 26, 2022
Hearing of David Mugar’s passing today has left me with a heavy heart. It is like losing a member of the family.
David has been a part of my life since I was a young man. For many years, he was a dear friend of my late father, Arthur Fiedler. I remember David and my father leaving our home in Brookline, MA late on numerous weekend evenings to head into Boston to “chase” fire and police calls received on David’s scanner in his car. Both men were avid “sparks”. My father loved doing that and he loved David. They were, in many ways, like father and son. They had such sincere admiration for one another.
It was David’s brilliance and my father’s unique sense of risk-taking that resulted in what is today’s Boston’s Fourth of July celebration. A waning audience in the early 1970s led to an idea by David to “liven things up a bit” by adding canons, church bells, and fireworks to the 1812 Overture played at the concerts. As they say, “the rest is history”.
David was also a significant supporter of the Landmarks Orchestra, having served on the Board of Advisors for many years. He believed in what the Landmarks Orchestra was doing and felt it was a continuance of what my father had created and nurtured over the 50 years he conducted the Pops concerts on the Esplanade.
David was always a giver, not a taker. He believed in great music, the American spirit, and supporting those who needed help. July 4th will never be the same for me without David’s presence. His mark will be forever felt on the Esplanade. His love of music and his dedication to the people of Boston will carry on forever. Nevertheless, I will miss him terribly.