Stratford Summer Music


Robert Harris

Music that Changed the World

Illustrated Music Lectures with Robert Harris

I wouldn’t dream of attending a concert without first hearing Robert Harris’ take on the music.
His knowledge and his ideas simply add so much to what I enjoy about the music festival.
- A Summer Music Patron, 2015

Join CBC Radio host and producer, and Globe & Mail music critic, Robert Harris, for the fourth year of his informative and entertaining musical lectures. Originally inspired by Harris’ own 20-part conversations with Michael Enright on CBC Radio One’s popular The Sunday Edition, these presentations have grown to become a significant annual aspect of Stratford Summer Music’s programming. Each lecture, liberally sprinkled with musical examples illustrating key points, will demonstrate the impact that the titles and selected works have had upon music’s place in our lives.

Wednesdays, July 18, Aug 8, Aug 22 | 10:00 am | University of Waterloo

$25 per lecture, or $60 for all three - lecture series by calling 519.271.2101 | 1.866.288.4313

Wednesday, July 18.  10 am.  U.W.

Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture                         

The classical musical world is tough to figure out. They're always complaining that so few people in our society understand and enjoy classical music. And then when they get a composer that people actually love -- in vast
numbers -- they heap scorn on him without reservation. That's the story in a nutshell of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, loved by the many, hated by the knowing few. Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture is the object of both the love and the hate: his most famous piece, and his most reviled. We'll take a look at the 1812, and Tchaikovsky in general, to discover that just about everything we think about him is wrong.

Wednesday, July 18.  11 am.  U.W.

Book Launch - The Stratford Lectures, Ten Perspectives About Music by Robert Harris

Available July 18 - pre-order by calling 519.271.2101.
Get your copy for $24.95 +gst mail deliveries additional. 176 pages, softcover, measures 9" x 6".
Mr. Harris will be pleased to personalise copies of the book at any of his 2018 Lectures at University
of Waterloo Stratford Campus.

Wednesday, August 8.  10 am.  U.W.

Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier                                                                     

If an alien spaceship landed in Stratford one day, and its inhabitants demanded to know everything there was to know about western classical music, but only had time to look at one composition, it would be the easiest thing in the world to know which piece to recommend. We'd just hand over J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2.  They'd head back to their faraway home happy, and if it took them a thousand years to return, they still wouldn't be able to fathom everything Bach wrote into his 48 Preludes and Fugues. The Well-Tempered Clavier is the foundation on which Western music for the past 300 years has been built. We'll try to unravel some of its manifold mysteries.

Wednesday, August 22.  10 am.  U.W.

Our Beloved CBC: The Future Meets the Past                                                                                           

The CBC is the "all roads lead to Rome" destination in Canadian culture. There has never been a more significant cultural institution in this country; there have been few with its scope in all the world. However, if the CBC was created in 1936, somebody or other has believed it was in crisis since 1937, and has been ever since. But today, the challenges facing the CBC are unprecedented; they touch on every aspect of the institution's stability. We constantly look to the CBC's future -- we seldom examine its past, especially how and why it was created. Perhaps there are clues in how the CBC came to be that might help us determine a possible way forward for the beleaguered but still proud establishment.

Lecture Series presented with the support of:

The Woodlawn Arts Foundation in honour of 

M. Joan Chalmers C.C. O. Ont.

Hosted by:



Illustrated Musical Lecture #1

Wednesday July 18 | 10 am

University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus

$25 (+$5 at the door)

Illustrated Musical Lecture #2

Wednesday Aug 8 | 10 am

University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus

$25 (+$5 at the door)

Illustrated Musical Lecture #3

Wednesday August 22 | 10 am

University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus

$25 (+$5 at the door)