Talking Music

Music Building

Taking place in von Kuster Hall on select Fridays following our signature Fridays @ 12:30 Concert Series, join us for expert insights into music research and practice by Western Music faculty members.

2021-22 Talks

Joining us on campus for an in-person event? For always-up-to-date health and safety protocols, check our Audience Information webpage before you leave home.


Friday, October 22 | 1:30pm
von Kuster Hall
Octet musicians with Jonathan De Souza, “Chamber Music, Friendship, and Mendelssohn’s Octet: A Conversation”
Since the nineteenth century, Felix Mendelssohn's String Octet has been a favourite for classical-music audiences—and performers too. How does it feel to play this piece? What can it teach us about chamber music as a creative and social activity? Join renowned performers Scott St John, Erika Raum, Annalee Patipatanakoon, and Mark Fewer (violins), Sharon Wei and Annemarie Moorcroft (violas), and Mischa Meyer and Thomas Wiebe (cellos) for this post-concert conversation, moderated by Jonathan De Souza, a music theorist/historian from Western's Department of Music Research & Composition.
Participant Biographies (PDF)

Watch the "Chamber Music, Friendship, and Mendelssohn's Octet" concert

Friday, November 26 | 1:45pm
via Zoom
Jay Hodgson, “How George Martin made 'the Beatles': Strawberry Fields Forever (1967).”
Most people know that George Martin, who produced all but the last Beatles record, played a crucial role in shaping the band’s sound, both on record and on stage throughout the 1960s. Though there are many ways of understanding how the Beatles made their influential records, and though many compelling arguments have already been made about who deserves credit for what on those records, I will explain why it is most accurate to consider George Martin as the ultimate “author” of the Beatles, especially after they retired from "live" performance in 1966. I will concentrate specifically on the making of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (1967), the first record the Beatles released after they retired from concertizing, to better understand how George Martin shaped the song from a basic idea by John Lennon into the “Beatles” track that remains so popular to this day, and in so doing how he "authored" the band.


Friday, January 7 | 1:45pm – POSTPONED
von Kuster Hall (Open to the Western Music community only)
via Zoom – Registration Required (Open to the broader Western community and the public)
Derek Conrod, “From the Hunt to the Concert Hall”
What does a horn have in common with a cell phone? Western professor and Tafelmusik alumnus Derek Conrod explores the fascinating evolution of the French horn, with live demonstrations on his own instruments.

Friday, January 14 | 1:45pm – POSTPONED
von Kuster Hall (Open to the Western Music community only)
via Zoom – Registration Required (Open to the broader Western community and the public)
Jana Starling and Wesley Ferreira, “The Recital Stage as a Means of Intensifying the Human Experience”
A discussion with clarinetists Jana Starling and Wesley Ferreira on recital programming, an artist's purpose, and the increasing value of the expansion of the concert experience.

Friday, March 11 | 1:45pm – POSTPONED
von Kuster Hall
Ted Baerg, “The Fun and Frustration of Operatic Preparation and Presentation”
Good gardening requires sun, water and an excellent growing medium. With this each plant and flower can develop its potential. Developing operatic performance skills requires; 1. Informed repertoire choices (growing medium), 2. Opportunity to be seen and to develop stage communication skills (sun), 3. Excellent vocal technique and coaching of language and styles (water). All this with the fun of seeing the "blooming" results.

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Contact Info

Emily Ansari
Assistant Dean of Research
519-661-2111 x85387