The Music Club meets after dinner, twice each term, to explore the creation and performance of music across different cultures and in different times. Programming is decided by a committee of Junior and Senior Fellows, alumni, and Quadrangle Society members. It is eclectic and varied, and is intended to be both entertaining and enlightening.


The dates for 2018-19 are:

Thursday, September 20, 2018 – “The making of an opera”
with Johannes Debus
The world premiere of Hadrian, a new opera by singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, with a libretto by Daniel MacIvor, is one of the most-anticipated events of this year’s music scene in Toronto. Directed by Peter Hinton, it stars opera legends Karita Mattila, Thomas Hampson, and Ben Heppner. Johannes Debus, Music Director of the Canadian Opera Company, talks about the opera, its creative team, and the process of bringing it from conception to full production.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 – “Cultural identity and the artists’s life”
with Dinuk Wijuratne
Sri Lankan-born Canadian Dinuk Wijeratne is a JUNO and multi-award-winning composer, conductor, and pianist who has been described by the New York Times as ‘exuberantly creative’ and by the Toronto Star as ‘an artist who reflects a positive vision of our cultural future’. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he is equally at home in collaborations with symphony orchestras and string quartets, tabla players and DJs. His boundary-crossing work takes him to international venues ranging from the Berlin Philharmonie to the North Sea Jazz Festival. Dinuk deconstructs creativity across professions, and talks about how, having lived in five different countries, he uses his music-making to reconcile multiple cultural identities.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 – “The Monkey Orchestra: social satire in baroque music and art”
with Mary Ann Parker and Domenico Pietropaolo
The monkey orchestra was created in 1753 at the great Meissen porcelain factory in Germany. Its 21 small figurines drew on a long tradition in European art genres, in which monkeys satirically “ape” human behaviour – a tradition with links to Commedia dell’arte theatre. The monkey orchestra is one of the most enchanting examples of baroque art, revealing a complex story of aesthetics, social class, anti-feudal mentalities, humour and the grotesque. Musicologist Mary Ann Parker and theatre historian Dominico Pietropaolo explore that story and reveal some of its secrets.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 – “Music, identity, and memory”
with Joshua Pilzer
Joshua Pilzer teaches ethnomusicology in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on music in modern Korea and Japan, and the relationships between music, survival, memory, traumatic experience, marginalization, socialization, gendered violence, public culture, mass media, social practice and identity. He is particularly interested in the links between music and other forms of social expression. His first book, Hearts of Pine, about singing in the lives of Korean survivors of the Japanese “comfort women” system, was published in 2012.