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  • Music Appreciation and History Classes

    Winter and Spring 2015

    Course Calendar



    By phone: 416-408-2825

    In person: 273 Bloor St. West


  • Music Appreciation and History The Royal Conservatory of Music

    Opera in the City

    Instructor: Eric Domville

    Tuesdays, 1:00-3:00 January 13 to February 3 (4 weeks) $195

    Calling all opera lovers! Whether youre a seasoned opera-goer or new to this timeless art form,

    before you take your seat in the theatre for another highly anticipated season of opera in the city, join

    University of Toronto Professor Emeritus Eric Domville for an illuminating journey into operatic history

    and enhance your experience of the following two operas scheduled to be performed in Toronto this


    Mozarts darkly comedic Don Giovanni (COC; opens January 24)

    Wagners epic Die Walkre (COC; opens January 31)

    Immerse yourself in the music, the plot, and the characters; hear arias sung by students of the Glenn

    Gould School; and study excerpts from the libretto (English translations provided). Well explore the

    place of each opera within the composers artistic output and its position within both the history of

    opera and the socio-political context of the time. Questions and discussion will be encouraged as an

    essential component of a communal introduction to these enduring works.

    Eric Domville is a Professor Emeritus in English literature at the University of Toronto, where he

    taught at all levels for 30 years. Since his retirement, he has concentrated on the relationship between

    words and music in song and opera. He has given many pre-performance talks for the Canadian

    Opera Company and Opera Atelier, and delivered lectures to opera guilds across Ontario. For the past

    20 years, Eric has acted as commentator for the Music and Poetry series at the Faculty of Music,

    University of Toronto. Currently, in addition to presenting opera courses at various institutions, he

    appears as a guest presenter of programmes on classical music on the University of Torontos radio

    station at 89.5 FM. Many of his articles on operas have appeared in the programme books of the

    Canadian Opera Company.


    A spring session of this course will cover Berlioz's Orpheus and Eurydice, Rossini's Barber of Seville,

    Bartk's Bluebeard's Castle, and Schoenberg's Erwartung (Tuesdays 1-3, March 24 to April 28). See

    below for course details.

    Students may purchase 2 tickets to The Glenn Gould School spring opera, Offenbachs La Belle Hlne

    conducted by Uri Mayer (Koerner Hall; Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 7:30 pm OR Friday, March 20,

    2015 at 7:30 pm) at 10% off, while quantities last. Call (416)408-0208 or visit the Weston Family Box

    Office after registering.

  • Music Appreciation and History The Royal Conservatory of Music

    How Music Works: A Practical Primer

    Instructor: James Stager

    Wednesdays, 10:0012:00 January 21 to March 11 (8 weeks) $395

    If youve always wanted to understand how music works, this practical course combining guided

    listening and active participation in basic musicianship exercises is for you. Explore the building blocks

    of music and how they create the magic of the music you love! Well deconstruct selections from

    classical, folk, and popular repertoiresincluding Mozarts Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Pachelbels

    Canon, Handels Hallelujah Chorus, Bachs cello suites, and pieces by Bernstein, the Beatles, B.B.

    King, and Gershwin, among many othersand unlock the secrets of melody, rhythm, harmony,

    texture, form, genre, and more. Along the way, well cover topics such as basic staff notation, scales,

    intervals, time signatures, note and rest values, meters, chords, and cadences. In the final class, well

    put all the pieces together and apply our cumulative learning to an enlightening study of Beethovens

    monumental Symphony No. 5. Participants will emerge from this course with a deeper understanding

    of the music they experience.

    James Stager is a sought-after trombonist, pianist, and educator. He teaches music theory, music

    history, low brass, and jazz improvisation at The Royal Conservatory as well as at several of Torontos

    performing arts schools, and music theory at York University. He is frequently heard in concert halls,

    festivals, and nightclubs in a wide variety of musical settings including symphony orchestras (Toronto

    Philharmonia), musical theatre (Shaw Festival and Soulpepper Theatre), world music (Moda Eterna,

    Cach), and jazz groups (Big Rude Jake, Red Hot Ramble). In addition to his teaching and performing

    career, as a member of The Conservatorys College of Examiners, James adjudicates woodwind,

    brass, and percussion examinations throughout Canada and the United States, and evaluates written

    examinations in music theory and history.


    Students may purchase 2 tickets to Sir Roger Norrington Conducts the Royal Conservatory Orchestra

    (Koerner Hall; Friday, April 10, 2015 at 8pm), featuring Beethovens Symphony No. 5, at 50% off, while

    quantities last. Call (416)408-0208 or visit the Weston Family Box Office after registering.

  • Music Appreciation and History The Royal Conservatory of Music

    Schuberts Song Cycles: Love, Longing, and Despair

    Instructor: Robert Loewen

    Wednesdays, 1:30-3:00 January 28 to February 18 (4 weeks) $150

    I came here a stranger, as a stranger I depart

    This four-week course illuminates the song cycles of Franz Schubert, considered the father of

    German lieder and the most prolific of all German art song composers. Working in the early 19th

    century, Schubert wrote more than 600 songs for piano and voice in which the poetry of contemporary

    Romantic poets such as Goethe and Mller is set to music. The song cycle --- a grouping of songs

    that comprise a narrative, or that are united by a common theme or idea --- was among the most

    important musical genres of the 19th century. Through these intimate works, narratives unfold,

    existential questions arise, and complex psychological and emotional states are explored.

    Schubert took the song cycle to previously unknown --- and, many argue, unsurpassed --- heights. Die

    schne Mllerin, which Schubert composed in 1823, traces the trajectory of young love from optimism

    to its tragic conclusion, while Winterreise, the proofs for which Schubert was correcting at the time of

    his early death in 1827, follows the flight of a romantic hero from unrequired love. When Winterreise

    was published in 1828, an Austrian journal remarked of the songs that none can sing or hear them

    without being touched to the heart.

    Discover the beauty of these works and contemplate their enduring themes through lecture, legendary

    recordings, and live performances. The German mezzo-soprano Elena Gerhardt said of Winterreise,

    You have to be haunted by this cycle to be able to sing it. On February, 26, hear the outstanding

    German baritone Christian Gerhaher perform Winterreise live in Koerner Hall.

    Dr. Robert Loewen teaches voice to a wide range of singers including high school and college

    students, young professionals, and avocational mature individuals. His students have been accepted

    into leading music programs, including The Curtis Institute, and are working in the profession. He has

    also taught the choral scholars of Trinity College at the University of Toronto; served as presenter and

    clinician for the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program; given presentations for Royal

    Conservatory Examinations; and served as an adjudicator across Canada. Dr. Loewen is on the Voice

    Faculty of the Royal Conservatory School, the Academic Faculty of the Glenn Gould School, and is a

    Senior Voice Examiner for Royal Conservatory Examinations and Royal Conservatory Music

    Development Program.


    Students may purchase 2 tickets to Christian Gerhaher & Gerold Huber (Koerner Hall; Thursday,

    February 26, 2015 at 8pm), at 10% off, while quantities last. Call (416)408-0208 or visit the Weston

    Family Box Office after registering.

  • Music Appreciation and History The Royal Conservatory of Music

    The Intimate World of Chamber Music

    Instructor: Rick Phillips

    Thursdays, 10:00-12:00 February 5 to March 12 (6 weeks) $295

    This course provides an introduction to and survey of chamber music, one of the most personal and

    intimate forms of musical expression. Composed for small groups of instruments with one performer to

    each part, chamber music is characterized by the expression and conversation among ensemble

    members rather than by a focus on the virtuosity of a soloist or unity under a conductors baton. The

    larger forms of opera, symphony, concerto, and oratorio all have an irresistible, inspirational grandeur

    and majesty, but chamber music should never be overlooked for its ability to communicate ideas and

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