Massey College Music Club

The Massey College 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 – “Women, Music and the Art of Survival in Post-War South Korea”
with Joshua Pilzer

Ethnomusicologist Joshua Pilzer explores women’s music in contemporary South Korea, and its relationship to traumatic experience and survival. For fifteen years, he has studied the role of music in the lives of Korean survivors of the Japanese military “comfort women” system, as well as Korean victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Women’s music, in circumstances of traumatic experience, provides a forum where survivors can find emotional and physical control, cultivate voices, and struggle for mastery over traumatic memories. It is also a means of forging and reinforcing links between self and society, challenging the edifices of male power, and creating different kinds of ritual transformation in everyday life.