Stratford Summer Music


Robert Harris

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 fifth 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.

Thursdays, July 18, 27, Aug 8, 22 | 11:00 am | University of Waterloo

$25 + HST per lecture.

The Stratford Lectures, Ten Perspectives About Music by Robert Harris available for purchase at all lectures.

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 2019 Lectures.

Thursday, July 18.  11 am.  U.W.

Interview with Mark Fewer, Stratford Summer Music, Artistic Director 

Mark Fewer is an internationally recognized musician, educator, administrator and musical thinker as well as the new Artistic Director of Stratford Summer Music. Robert Harris finds out what makes the man and the musician tick in this interview with Mark to begin our lecture series this summer for the festival. Learn more about the man behind the Festival in this wide-ranging conversation about music, society, audiences and the power of art.                     

Thursday, July 25.  11 am.  U.W.

The Power of Gospel

Gospel music lies at the very centre of the black cultural experience in North America. A form of prayer, a form of politics, a form of community-building, a form of entertainment, Gospel music allowed Black America to cohere as a community during the darkest days of its oppression, and then to blossom out into the world once the worst of that oppression had ended. For his second appearance of the 2019 Festival, Robert Harris looks once again at Gospel, focusing on how an overtly religious musical became the basis for all of American pop music, from rock and roll to rap. 

Thursday, August 8.  11 am.  U.W.

Musical Families 

Western music is littered with musical families, from the Bachs to the Mozarts to the Beethovens, but Canada has its musical families as well. One of the most impressive is the Dann family. Steven Dann is one of Canada's premiere viola players. Number one son, Nico, is a jazz drummer; younger son, Lucas, is an impressive jazz pianist based in Amsterdam; and daughter Robin a genre-defying singer. Robert Harris will speak with the Danns, who will be performing at Stratford Summer Music, about the trials, excitements, and experiences of a family devoted to music.                                                                

Thursday, August 22.  11 am.  U.W.

Forced Collaborations 

Musicians make music with other musicians: it's an obvious truism. But what's not so obvious is how often these collaborations are forced, one-time, put together on the fly. Oh yes, you can have string quartets whose members stay the same for 30 years, or orchestras facing the same conductor for a decade or more. But those are the exceptions -- the rule is musicians who are forced into collaboration, a joining together that is fraught with tension and ripe for excitement. The real nature of musical life these days, as explained and illustrated by Robert Harris in his last lecture for the 2019 summer series.                                                                             

Lecture Series Sponsored By:

Hosted by:



Illustrated Musical Lecture #1

Thursday July 18 | 11 am

University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus

$25 (+$5 at the door)

Illustrated Musical Lecture #2

Thursday July 25 | 11 am

University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus

$25 (+$5 at the door)

Illustrated Musical Lecture #3

Thursday August 8 | 11 am

University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus

$25 (+$5 at the door)

Illustrated Musical Lecture #4

Thursday August 22 | 11 am

University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus

$25 (+$5 at the door)