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 >>




This thoroughly entertaining course surveys the best in British films across more than three decades. It ranges in scale from a two-character romance to an epic historical drama, and in subject matter from exotic culture clash to spellbinding mystery to knockabout farce. It features international-level talent on both sides of the camera, reflected in the 16 Oscar nominations (and six Oscars) that these films received. Interviews, documentaries and behind-the-scenes anecdotes will enhance your enjoyment.

Brief Encounter (1945) In this touching, intimately scaled drama, written by Noël Coward and directed by David Lean, two married people who meet by chance undergo a romance that changes their lives, in spite of its brevity. Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard portray the lovers.
Black Narcissus (1947) The brilliant producer/director/writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger created this uniquely atmospheric and suspenseful drama about a group of English nuns who seek to establish a mission in the remote and forbidding Himalaya mountains. Deborah Kerr, David Farrar and Sabu head the cast of a picture that won Oscars for art direction and cinematography.
The Third Man (1949) A naïve American writer becomes entangled in a sinister international plot when he arrives in postwar Vienna to see an old friend, in this classic mystery. Graham Greene’s brilliant script was filmed on location under Carol Reed’s direction. Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles and Trevor Howard head the cast.
Barry Lyndon (1975) Master director Stanley Kubrick recreated the elegant world of eighteenth-century Europe in this stunning beautiful epic tale. Based on the celebrated 1844 novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, it charts the rise and fall of a ruthlessly ambitious young Irishman. Ryan O’Neal and Marisa Berenson head the cast of a film that received seven Oscar nominations (including picture and director) and won for cinematography, art direction, costumes and adapted music score.
The Ladykillers (1955) The last of the marvelous comedies produced by Ealing Studios and starring Alec Guinness, this delightful black farce follows a group of not-too-bright crooks, planning a bank robbery, whose plans are jeopardized by the sweet old lady who runs the boarding house that’s their base of operations. Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom and Cecil Parker costar.

5 Tuesdays
April 23 to May 21, 2019 @ 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.



In the first half of the twentieth century, composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold won acclaim in both European classical music and Hollywood film scores. His lush, romantic style fell out of favour, only to come roaring back to popularity in the 1970s. This glorious course samples the full range of his enormously appealing music. DVD highlights include a complete performance of the Violin Concerto, featuring soloist Hilary Hahn, and soprano Renée Fleming singing arias from the operas. It concludes with a screening of one of the films for which he won an Oscar: the swashbuckling Technicolor romp, The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Four Tuesdays, March 26 to April 16, 2019
10:00 am to 12:00 pm, except as noted
Fee: $100.00
PLEASE NOTE: The April 16 session runs from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm.

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.



This course proved so popular that I’m offering it again! If you missed out the first time, here’s your chance to take it in.

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, Mar 12 to Apr 9, 2019 @ 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.