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 >>




It’s a full-scale, multi-faceted tribute to the Chairman of the Board! First you’ll enjoy more than two dozen of Old Blue Eyes’ finest recordings, spiced with glimpses of his life and times. After lunch, you’ll watch his Oscar-winning performance in the classic film drama, From Here to Eternity (1953). This brilliant movie 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, Sinatra and Donna Reed (supporting actress Oscar). The movie received a stunning 13 Oscar nominations and won eight, including picture and director.

Thursday, November 21, 2019
Music: 10am to 11:45am
Movie: 1:00pm to 3:15pm

Fee: $45 (lunch not included)

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


These six wonderful movies focus on humour but also have important things to say about love, kindness. conscience, self-esteem, moral principles and generosity. They’re guaranteed to leave you smiling but with food for thought, too. They feature some of the top screen talent of the day, headlined by legendary stars Cary Grant, James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Charles Laughton, Ronald Colman and Joel McCrea, and guided by top directors including Leo McCarey, Frank Capra, Preston Sturges, George Stevens and Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Interviews, documentaries and behind-the-scenes anecdotes will enrich your enjoyment.

Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) A reserved English valet finds himself in the wild west when an uncouth nouveau riche American wins his services in a poker game. Charles Laughton gives an outstanding performance in this heartwarming movie that was nominated for the best picture Oscar.
You Can’t Take It with You (1938) Comic complications ensue when a woman from a blissfully eccentric family, and the son of wealthy snobs, fall in love. This classic received seven Oscar nominations and won for picture and director (Frank Capra). Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore and Edward Arnold head the cast.
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) Will a good-hearted prize fighter, taken to heaven 50 years before his time and reincarnated as a millionaire playboy, find true love amidst all these complications? Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains and Evelyn Keyes head the cast of this whimsical and touching delight. It received seven Oscar nominations including picture, director, leading actor, supporting actor (James Gleason) and screenplay, and it won for screenplay.
Sullivan’s Travels (1941) Does comedy matter in an often sorrowful world? A movie director who’s made nothing but silly comedies vows to make his next picture serious and important instead. To learn about the destitute side of life, he takes to the road as a hobo, in this brilliant film that was written and directed by the astonishingly gifted Preston Sturges. Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake are featured.
The Talk of the Town (1942) An unjustly imprisoned radical escapes from jail and vies with a distinguished, tradition-minded jurist for the hand of a school teacher. Cary Grant, Jean Arthur and Ronald Colman star in a picture that proposes that sometimes the true spirit of the law lies beyond the letter of the law. It received seven Oscar nominations, including picture and screenplay.
People Will Talk (1951) An unconventional doctor defends his humanist practices and finds love within the walls of his own clinic, in this heartening film that’s anchored by Cary Grant’s stellar performance. Jeanne Crain, Walter Slezak and Hume Cronyn co-star.

Six Tuesdays, Oct 29 to Dec 3, 2019
1:00pm to 4:00pm
Fee: $130

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.



A fascinating and different way to learn about great composers! For every pair of front-rank composers who couldn’t stand each other and despised each other’s music, there have been many groups of two or more who have inspired and encouraged each other in various ways. A wide range of musical selections will illustrate these composers’ common traits and examine how the composers may have influenced each other’s music: Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi; Carl Maria von Weber, Hector Berlioz and Franz Liszt; Edvard Grieg, Frederick Delius and Percy Grainger; Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák; Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Modest Mussorgsky; Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss; Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky; Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst; Dmitri Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten. Their personal relationships with each other will also be discussed, including excerpts from their correspondence.

The stellar roster of performers on DVD and CD includes conductors Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Sir Thomas Beecham, Bernard Haitink, Neeme Järvi, Carlos Kleiber, Kurt Masur, Sir Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Valery Gergiev, Sir Georg Solti and Rafael Kubelik; pianists Alfred Brendel, Marc-André Hamelin, Martha Argerich, András Schiff, Denis Matsuev, Leif Ove Andsnes and Emil Gilels; violinists Hilary Hahn, James Ehnes and Julia Fischer; and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. The course includes the film Song of Summer, which dramatizes the final years of Frederick Delius’s life. “An immensely moving story of sacrifice, idealism and musical genius” – DVD Beaver

Five Tuesdays, Sep 24 to Oct 22, 2019
1:00pm to 3:00pm
Fee: $125

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.