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 40 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 37 years ago, he has written 200 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 and Hong Kong. His latest clients are the prestigious Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Phoenix (Arizona) Symphony. 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 >>




Five masterclasses in the art of screen acting! Five illustrious actresses who have each won two or more Academy Awards are seen in one of their Oscar-winning performances. These films received a total of 33 Oscar nominations and won 11 awards. Biographical information, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, interviews and documentaries will enhance your enjoyment.

Bette Davis in Jezebel (1938) In mid-nineteenth century New Orleans, a headstrong southern belle outrages polite society with her willful behavior. Henry Fonda costars as her long-suffering beau in this excellent film directed by the great William Wyler.
Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight (1944) A young, innocent wife begins to suspect that her suave, mysterious husband may be plotting against her, in this thrilling Victorian-era mystery. Charles Boyer and Joseph Cotten co-star. The film received six Oscar nominations and won for Bergman and for art direction. Angela Lansbury, making her screen debut at 19, received a nomination for supporting actress.
Maggie Smith in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) A supremely self-confident teacher in a private girls’ school in 1930s Edinburgh ignores the curriculum and imposes her over-romanticized world view upon her impressionable young charges. Robert Stephens and Pamela Franklin co-star.
Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Tennessee Williams’ classic drama centres on Blanche DuBois, a faded socialite whose visit to New Orleans to see her sister and her sister’s brutish husband leads to conflict and tragedy. Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter (supporting actress Oscar) and Karl Malden (supporting actor Oscar) co-star.
Katherine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter (1968) Over a raucous Christmas “holiday” in 1183, England’s King Henry II (Peter O’Toole) and his estranged wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, engage in a scorching battle of wits and words with their sons, to decide who will succeed Henry as king. Hepburn brilliantly demonstrated why she is Oscar’s only four-time winner for acting, and Anthony Hopkins made his screen debut as Prince Richard.

5 Tuesdays, Oct 2 to Oct 30, 2018 @ 1:00
Fee: $110
This course 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 and click on Community Classroom. Please note that contents, fees and dates are subject to change.


To enhance your enjoyment of Manitoba Opera’s production of Verdi’s classic romantic drama La traviata, join Don for a one-hour introduction. He will focus on the history of the opera’s creation, and the plot and characters, all illustrated with DVD clips and colourful images.
Location: Cinematheque, 100 Arthur St.
Sunday March 25 @ 1:00 pm; doors open @ 12:30.
Admission is free but registration is required.
TO REGISTER, call 204-942-7470 | or online @



Fred who? High Noon, From Here to Eternity Fred, that’s who! Immensely successful during his lengthy career, but largely neglected in recent years, director Fred Zinnemann created a superlative body of work that excels in powerful emotions, excellent acting, literate, mature scripts and meticulous production values. In short, he was a class act all the way, and this enormously entertaining course gives him the retrospective tribute he richly deserves. Don Anderson will enhance your enjoyment of the films with extensive background information, including absorbing interviews and numerous excerpts from Zinnemann’s autobiography.

The Search (1948): This deeply moving drama follows a Czech boy’s search for his mother in the rubble of post-second-world-war Germany. Eleven-year-old Ivan Jandl received a special outstanding juvenile performance Oscar for this film, and Montgomery Clift made his screen debut as a kindly American soldier who helps him. It brought Zinnemann the first of his seven nominations for the best director Oscar.
High Noon (1952): On his wedding day, the principled marshal of a small western town (Gary Cooper) must face a gang of vengeful outlaws without help from the people he protects, in this heart-pounding suspense classic. Co-starring Grace Kelly and Lloyd Bridges, it won four Oscars, including best actor for Cooper.
From Here to Eternity (1953): This searing drama focuses on a group of American soldiers, stationed in Hawaii, leading up to the Pearl Harbour attack. The stellar cast includes Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra (supporting actor Oscar), and Donna Reed (supporting actress). It received 13 Oscar nominations and won eight, including picture and director.
A Man for All Seasons (1966): Sixteenth-century English statesman Sir Thomas More wrestles with his conscience as King Henry VIII pressures him to approve the king’s divorce. Paul Scofield’s towering lead performance won an Oscar, and the film received five additional Oscars including picture and director. The exceptional cast includes Wendy Hiller, Susanna York, Robert Shaw, John Hurt, Leo McKern and Orson Welles.
The Day of the Jackal (1973): Zinnemann’s gripping, semi-documentary-style suspense drama details the intricacies of a plot to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle. Edward Fox stars as The Jackal, an exceptionally resourceful and determined hit man.
Julia (1977): Based on renowned author Lillian Hellmann’s book of character sketches, this compelling drama follows her relationship with a childhood friend who draws her into a dangerous political mission to Europe on the brink of the Second World War. Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave head the cast. The film received 11 Oscar nominations, including picture and director, and it won for supporting actress (Redgrave), supporting actor (Jason Robards), and adapted screenplay.

Six Tuesdays, Oct 24 to Nov 28, 2017
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Fee: $100

This course 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 and click on Community Classroom. Please note that contents, fees and dates are subject to change.