Don Anderson

Praised in the Winnipeg Free Press as “Winnipeg’s classical music hero” and for “an astounding musical career,” and on CBC Radio as “Manitoba’s foremost musical historian,” Don Anderson is an internationally recognized advocate of classical music. He has more than 35 years’ professional experience in celebrating it through print, radio, and teaching.

Don is one of North America’s most widely published authors of program notes. Since he began writing them 34 years ago, he has written more than 180 seasons’ worth, for 25 orchestras, chamber ensembles and schools, from British Columbia and California to New York and Vermont, from Manitoba and Minnesota to Texas and Arkansas, as well as the United Kingdom. His latest client is the prestigious Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. His other clients have included the major symphonies of Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Rochester (New York), and San José (California). He has also written notes for touring performances by the London Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestras of Montréal, Ottawa (National Arts Centre Orchestra) and Québec, as well as feature articles for many of his clients. His CD liner notes appear on the Chandos, Harmonia Mundi, CBC and TSO Live labels. For the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, he has also written season brochures and concert presentations, and has hosted intermission chats in tandem with such world-class solo artists as violinists Maxim Vengerov and Janine Jansen.

He is the author, publisher and distributor of the best-selling book Tuning the Forks: A Celebration of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. It has been hailed as “the best book on music-making in Canada (and for that matter, much wider afield) that I’ve ever read, and a serious work of art in itself.” – Bramwell Tovey

Don has contributed articles to magazines in Canada and abroad, such as Opera Canada, the SwissAir Gazette, and the program books of England’s Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He wrote for the Winnipeg Free Press, the city’s major newspaper, over a 25-year period (1977-2002). His contributions included reviews of concerts, recordings, videos and movies, plus feature articles and interviews. He is also a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Manitoba. MORE >>




Master director Stanley Kubrick’s first great film is one of the most powerful and haunting anti-war movies ever made. Set in France during the First World War and based on a true-life incident, it stars Kirk Douglas at his most intensely righteous as a military lawyer defending soldiers who are being undeservedly court-martialled for cowardice under fire. So potent and moving is this film that it was banned from being shown in France, Spain and Switzerland for many years. Don Anderson will introduce the film, and background featurettes and interviews will enhance your enjoyment. You’ll also have an opportunity to voice you feelings in a post-screening discussion.

Tuesday September 1
1 pm to 4 pm
Fee: $20

This event takes place in the Community Classroom at McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Ave. To register, please call 204 475 0483, drop by the store, or log on to


The Second World War was a golden era for popular music in the Allied countries. Countless songs that have become beloved and enduring favourites appeared during that period, and this hugely entertaining presentation includes many of them. Featured artists include Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, Vera Lynn, Doris Day and many more. You’ll also enjoy rare film clips featuring the likes of Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington, plus stirring marches from such war-period movies as The Great Escape and Patton. Classical music selections will include appealing works by Copland, Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and other major composers.

Tuesday August 25
2 pm to 4 pm
Fee: $20

BONUS: Come at 1:30 and enjoy a special ‘pre-game’ screening of additional music clips from vintage war-time movies.

This event is held in the Community Classroom at McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Ave. To register, please call 204 475 0483, drop by the store, or log on to



Following up on last year’s enormously popular A Taste of Venice, host Don Anderson offers an entertaining, scrumptious and beautiful tribute to the city of Sacher torte, coffee with whipped cream, and waltzes – Vienna! The multi-faceted event begins with a glass of Austrian wine and a scrumptious Viennese-style snack from McNally Robinson’s Prairie Ink Café and Bakery, while you’re serenaded by beautiful melodies by Vienna’s most beloved composers, the Strauss family. Next, Don will present a capsule history/tour of Vienna, complete with beautiful images. Then you’ll enjoy the classic movie The Third Man (1949). Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles and Trevor Howard star in this suspenseful and atmospheric mystery filmed on location in post-war Vienna and complete with a haunting zither music soundtrack. Frequently referred to as “the greatest British film ever made,” it will be shown in its original, full-length European version, not the shortened and less impressive American edition.

Three presentations to choose from:
Tuesday July 7, 2015
Tuesday July 14, 2015
Tuesday July 21, 2015
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Fee: $40

This event takes place in the Community Classroom at McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Ave. To register, please call 204 475 0483, drop by the store, or log on to