Archive for the ‘News’ Category



One of the most beloved and most versatile actors in screen history, Jack Lemmon created a gallery of unforgettable and totally believable characters. He could play anything and play it expertly, from the broadest comedy to the starkest tragedy. These five films showcase the full range of his extraordinary talent. Don Anderson will introduce each one with extensive background information and trivia. Bonus features, including interviews and tributes from his illustrious co-stars, will further enhance your enjoyment.

The Apartment (1960): Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a lower-echelon worker in a major insurance company who hopes to get ahead by lending his apartment to his bosses for their extra-marital rendezvous. Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray co-star in a film that won five of the 10 Oscars it was nominated for, including an unprecedented triple crown for Billy Wilder as producer, director and writer.
Days of Wine and Roses (1962): Alcoholism shatters the life of a young couple in this heart-rending drama that forcefully confirmed Lemmon’s ability to handle serious roles. Lee Remick co-stars in a film that received five Oscar nominations, including actor and actress.
The Odd Couple (1968): The course simply had to include one of Lemmon’s many teamings with his long-time comedy co-star, Walter Matthau. Here in Neil Simon’s Broadway smash, they play Felix and Oscar, friends who are total opposites in every way, who end up sharing Oscar’s ultra-messy apartment while the fussy Felix is undergoing a divorce.
The China Syndrome (1979): After a television crew unexpectedly films an accident at a nuclear power plant, a senior employee at the facility finds himself caught between his job and his conscience, in this highly suspenseful and thoughtful drama. Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas co-star in a film whose four Oscar nominations included actor, actress and original screenplay. Please note that this movie contains violence and coarse language.
Some Like It Hot (1959): Two 1920s musicians flee from gangsters by posing as members of an all-girl jazz orchestra, in this classic farce co-starring Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis. #1 on the American Film Institute’s list of America’s Funniest Movies, it earned Lemmon his first leading-role Oscar nomination (a rare event for a comedy).

Five Tuesdays, April 18 to May 16, 2017, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Fee: $80

This course take 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.



Savour some of the grandest music composed between 1600 and 1750, in this gloriously entertaining music appreciation course. You’ll hear a wide-ranging assortment of instrumental and vocal works that exemplify the German, Italian, French and English schools of the period: music by more than 20 composers, including Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, Corelli, Pachelbel, Telemann, Gabrieli, Pergolesi, Scarlatti, and many others. You’ll also learn about these composers’ lives, and delve into the artistic and social forces that shaped their era.

The superlative lineup of performers on CD and DVD includes singers Cecilia Bartoli and Karina Gauvin; orchestras such as Tafelmusik, Academy of Ancient Music, Musica Antiqua of Cologne, and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; conductors Trevor Pinnock, Sir Simon Rattle, Christopher Hogwood, Sir Neville Marriner, Frans Brüggen, and Sir Charles Mackerras; piano and harpsichord soloists Glenn Gould, Angela Hewitt, Kenneth Gilbert and Igor Kipnis; violinist James Ehnes; trumpeter Maurice André; The Canadian Brass; and the choir known as The Sixteen.

Four Mondays, April 17 to May 8, 2017, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Fee: $80



For white-knuckle suspense matched with intelligent adult drama, the best films of director John Frankenheimer are hard to beat. After cutting his teeth in the golden age of live television dramas, he moved to the big screen and created a masterful series of thrilling movies, often on explosive, topical subjects. Don Anderson has chosen five of them for this absorbing course. He will introduce each one with extensive background information and trivia, and bonus interviews and documentaries will enhance your enjoyment.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962): Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh star in this gripping, cold war-era political thriller. Co-star Angela Lansbury displayed her dark side in a chilling, Oscar-nominated performance as Harvey’s mother.
Seven Days in May (1964): The American military looks to take over the government, in this tense, all-too-believable story. The exceptional cast includes Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Frederic March, Ava Gardner and Edmond O’Brien, who received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for this performance.
The Train (1964): Frankenheimer re-teamed with Burt Lancaster for this pulse-quickening, fact-inspired story about the French Resistance’s attempt to stop the Nazis from stealing France’s art treasures during the final year of World War Two. Paul Scofield and Jeanne Moreau co-star.
Seconds (1966): Rock Hudson gives an outstanding dramatic performance in this harrowing, Twilight Zone-like tale of a middle-aged businessman’s desperate search for a new life.
Black Sunday (1977): Terrorists threaten an attack on the Super Bowl, in this electrifying, grandly scaled suspense drama starring Robert Shaw and Bruce Dern.

Five Thursdays, Mar. 30 – Apr. 27, 2017, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Fee: $80

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.



English filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (together known as The Archers) pooled their superlative talents to create some of the most imaginative, colourful, and emotionally satisfying films made anywhere in the world during the 1940s. This course celebrates five of their finest movies, which they created in the incredibly brief period of just five years. Don Anderson will introduce each film with extensive background information and trivia. Fascinating behind-the-scenes documentaries and interviews will further enhance your enjoyment.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) follows the colourful adventures of a career English soldier (Roger Livesey) from the Boer War to World War Two, as the concepts of warfare, friendship, love, and honour underwent enormous changes. Deborah Kerr co-stars as the love(s) of his life.
I Know Where I’m Going! (1945): A headstrong young English woman (Wendy Hiller) journeys to Scotland to marry her wealthy fiancé, but love and Mother Nature may have other plans for her.
A Matter of Life and Death (1946): An English World War Two flying ace (David Niven) is mistakenly sent to heaven before his time. He seeks to resume his life on earth, with the help of the American soldier (Kim Hunter) he has fallen in love with.
Black Narcissus (1947): A Mother Superior (Deborah Kerr) and her fellow English nuns seek to establish a mission in the Himalayas, with disturbing and uniquely atmospheric results. The breathtaking cinematography and art direction won Oscars.
The Red Shoes (1948): Powell and Pressburger’s most famous movie, an absorbing look behind the scenes at a world-class ballet company, inspired countless young women to try their hands at becoming a ballerina. Moira Shearer and Anton Walbrook head the cast. The number one box office film in North America for 1948, it won Oscars for art direction and musical scoring, and received nominations for picture, writing, and editing.

Five Thursdays, January 29 to February 26, 2015
Please note the 12:30 pm start times for The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and The Red Shoes. All other classes run from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Fee: $80

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


I’m delighted to announce that through my recently established relationship with New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, I will be writing program notes for two touring concerts by world-class orchestras: the London Symphony Orchestra (Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor) and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor). The concerts take place in February and March 2015.



It’s the crème de la crème of orchestral music: 16 superlative examples of the most highly regarded orchestral form: the symphony! You’ll hear or watch complete performances of the great symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Sibelius, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and other front-rank composers. Each piece will be examined in detail and placed within the musical and historical context of its period. CDs and DVDs will feature the very finest conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Riccardo Chailly, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Roger Norrington and Valery Gergiev. It’s the perfect introduction to symphonic music, and is suitable for any level of musical knowledge. The course includes four symphonies that the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will be performing during the 2014/15 season, by Haydn (No. 101), Sibelius (No. 7), Copland (No. 3) and Shostakovich (No. 5).

Great Symphonies
Course # D55 21119 1401
Eight Mondays, September 8 to November 3, 2014 (no class Oct. 13)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Location: University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave.
Manitoba Hall, Second Floor, Room 2M74
*Please note change in venue.

Fee: $96
Call 204 982 6633 and register today!



If you can’t make it to Europe this summer, we offer the next best thing: a multi-faceted taste of one of its most magical cities – Venice! The event begins with wine and delicious Italian snacks from McNally Robinson’s Prairie Ink Restaurant and Bakery, while you’re serenaded by the most beautiful Italian music (Pavarotti, Verdi, Puccini, Vivaldi, Rossini…). Your host Don Anderson will present a capsule history of Venice, complete with beautiful images of the city, then introduce the classic film Summertime (1955). Katherine Hepburn stars as a spinster who finds love while vacationing in the bewitching Italian city of canals and gondolas. Gorgeously filmed on location and in Technicolor by master director Sir David Lean (Dr. Zhivago), it received Academy Award nominations for actress and director. It was so popular that tourist visits to Venice doubled the year following its release!

Tuesday July 8 and Tuesday July 15 sections are sold out.
Third section: Tuesday July 29
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Fee: $30

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


Tune in to CKUW, 95.9 FM, every Wednesday afternoon from 2 pm to 4 pm for Classical Kaleidoscope, presented by MusicNet, my fantastic new radio show! I’ll be presenting a wide variety of great music, from Baroque to contemporary, familiar and beloved works plus out-of-the-way gems I’m sure you will enjoy. I will almost always be playing complete works. To enrich your enjoyment, I will back up the music with plenty of good old-fashioned background information and anecdotes, gleaned from my 35-plus years of professional experience at advocating great music. I will also be focusing on Winnipeg’s rich array of live concerts, regularly previewing the music that will be performed at them. There will be ticket giveaways, visits from special guests and much much more!


Thanks you very much for your support. Please contact McNally Robinson to be placed on a waiting list. There may be cancellations, and if enough requests are forthcoming there may be a ‘second run.’

The only film maker to win Oscars for both direction and writing two years in a row – an achievement that remains unmatched, 63 years later – Joseph L. Mankiewicz created some of the screen’s most memorable stories, characters, and dialogue. His range of subjects was vast, and this highly entertaining course covers it all.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: A young English widow develops a relationship with the ghost of a crusty sea captain whose seaside cottage she has leased, in this most tender of romantic fantasies. Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison head the cast.
A Letter to Three Wives: Three friends are left wondering which one of their husbands has run off with the town flirt, in this delightful satire of small-town American values starring Jeanne Crain, Ann Sothern, Linda Darnell, and Kirk Douglas. It won Oscars for direction and screenplay, and was nominated for best picture.
All About Eve: Mankiewicz’s best-known film is a deliciously acid-tongued look at the theatre and those who live in, on, and for it. Bette Davis gave one of her greatest performances, as a legendary actress nearing the twilight of her career. The film, which co-stars Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, and Marilyn Monroe, earned a still-unsurpassed 14 Oscar nominations. It won six, including best picture, director, screenplay, and supporting actor (George Sanders). “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
People Will Talk: An unconventional doctor defends his practices and finds love within the walls of his own clinic, in this touching humanist comedy/drama anchored by Cary Grant’s stellar performance.
Sleuth: Mankiewicz crowned his career with this diabolically entertaining game of cat-and-mouse between an aristocratic mystery writer and a middle-class rival. Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine were Oscar-nominated as best actor, and Mankiewicz for the fourth and final time as best director.

Don Anderson will introduce the films with extensive background information and trivia, and lead an informal group discussion after you’ve watched each one in its entirety. Bonus documentaries and interviews will further enrich your enjoyment.

Five Thursdays, October 17 to November 14
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Fee: $75

The course 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:


Music Matters
By Gwenda Nemerofsky
Every day I realize how lucky I was to grow up in a musical family. Although my parents weren’t musicians themselves, they loved classical music and it was always playing in our home. My aunt was a violinist in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and my brother was constantly practising clarinet or bassoon around the house. I was given recorder, piano and flute lessons.
And while my flute lies gathering dust on the (matching) piano these days, I still reap the joy that classical music brings – just from listening. It lifts my spirits when I’m down, it grounds me when things get hectic at work, and it brings tears to my eyes at unexpected moments from its sheer beauty. I can’t imagine life without it.
Other musical genres touch me too, but in a different way. When it comes right down to it, it’s classical that feels like home – and always will.
So I always feel a little sad when I realize that many people feel that classical listening is beyond them, that they don’t understand it and can’t appreciate it. It is a world untouched for them and I feel it’s a shame.
I was pleased last week to sit down with someone in Winnipeg who’s doing something about this. Don Anderson calls himself a “classical music resource” but he is much more than that. Over the past decade, he has taught over 30 music appreciation courses to Winnipeg adults, choosing subjects that interest him, “and that I hope will interest students too, “ he said in an interview at a local coffee shop. “I always ask at the end of each course – what do you want me to do that I haven’t done yet?”
That actually may be a tough question to answer; looking over the extensive list of topics Anderson has covered. They include Orchestral Music and Great Composers, Beethoven’s World, Instruments of the Orchestra, Grieg and Sibelius, Opera 101, and Great Conductors, to name but a few. He is just completing a course on Canadian pianist and broadcaster Glenn Gould.
Starting next week, Anderson will embark on his latest class, Legendary Musicians, which will follow the performances, lives and times of renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz, Russian cellist/conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Anderson, 61, selected these artists because he feels a connection to them. “Rostropovich signed an album for me,” he says, “and I used to watch Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts on TV. I have a cellist friend who plays with the Chicago Symphony and I’ve heard them many times in person.”
Anderson spends a great deal of time preparing for each course, doing research and procuring documentaries and CDs to complement his presentations. “I usually speak for about ½ hour,” he says of the two-hour sessions, “setting the class up to listen for certain things or to provide background on what they are about to see or hear. I always research. As a professional, I want to get my facts and figures straight.” He offers personal interest stories about the musicians or composers. “It makes classical music more personal,” he says. “It comes down to earth. The gap between the audience and the stage gets smaller.”
Class feedback is positive. My mother-in-law, Eleanor has attended several of Anderson’s courses and enjoyed the content and variety tremendously, commenting also on his high degree of organization. Anderson admits to having a “solid core of loyal patrons.”
An interest in music is the only requirement for would-be students. No prior knowledge is needed. Anderson himself came to classical music as an adult. “I came to classical music by a different route,” he admits. “I always loved movies and it gradually began to dawn on me that I was enjoying the music. I especially liked Alex North’s music in Spartacus, so I looked it up and found out it was influenced by Prokofiev’s music for the film Alexander Nevsky. I took the Prokofiev out of the library.”
This was the beginning of an astounding musical career. Anderson pursued his interest whole-heartedly, becoming an expert in all things classical music. He studied piano and theory privately and worked in several record stores, including Opus 69, for 10 years where he met Winnipeggers who liked classical music. “I met and made friends with people from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO), the Winnipeg Free Press and CBC,” he says. And, as we all know, those kinds of connections can be very valuable. Anderson found himself writing concert and recording reviews for the Free Press, writing program notes for the WSO and even producing, writing and contributing to a number of CBC Radio shows for many years.
Today, he still writes program and/or brochure notes for 11 orchestras, including the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. But it’s easy to tell that the courses he gives provide a special pleasure. “Some smart person once said: knowing something is good; sharing it is better.”
Legendary Musicians runs for six weeks at the Millennium Library at a cost of $90, day or evening: Tuesdays, Nov. 6 – Dec. 11 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm or Mondays, Nov. 5 – Dec. 10 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Register at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts at 943-6090 or email You can read more about Anderson at