Canadian Universities

August 1, 2005 at 03:01 AM · Hi, everybody,

I'm going to be a senior in high school this fall, and I'm beginning to start the college app. process. I'm not familiar with Canadian higher educational institutes, besides McGill University, which I know has an excellent music department.

However, I just wanted to know if you guys know of any other universities in Canada with music and liberal arts departments as strong as those of McGill's.

I'm considering many schools in the U.S. already, and I'm just curious about Canada. Thanks!

Replies (21)

August 1, 2005 at 03:20 AM · Toronto, Western Ontario, Montreal (if you speak French)

August 1, 2005 at 03:21 AM · UBC is good, so is UofT. Other than that, most string faculties are weak.

Laurier has the Penderecki and I beleive David Zaefer but the student quality there in terms of players is not the best.

Also, whether or not you speak french is irrelevant in Montreal. I know english people who have lived here for like 20 years who have horrible french... most McGill students are purely English.

August 1, 2005 at 04:10 AM · Sorry, I got confused... what I meant was Laval, which is exclusively francophone.

August 1, 2005 at 05:14 PM · Hi Julie,

There are many excellent teachers in Canadian universities. Some of them have small department and some quite large. McGill is good, but l'Université de Montréal is also very good and has good faculty members (Anne Robert, Vladimir Landsman and Claude Richard). Others worth looking into are Ottawa University, where David Stewart teaches, U of T where there is Scott St.John. Among the Universities with Faculty members whose names escape me at the moment are UBC and University of Alberta (I think that Martin Risely and Guillaume Tardif teach there).

Hope this helps!


August 5, 2005 at 01:41 AM · The UBC faculty has Andy Dawes (Orford quartet and Vancouver Shymphony CM), and David Harding on viola.

August 5, 2005 at 08:39 PM · Andrew Dawes is retiring I think. So Jaspar Wood is taking over for him at UBC

August 5, 2005 at 09:48 PM · ubc has taras gabora, andrew dawes, eugenia choi, jasper wood, and nancy di novo.

August 6, 2005 at 01:12 AM · Hi,

Jasper is at UBC?! Cool! He is a good violinist and a hilarious guy! Cheers to him!

August 20, 2005 at 04:11 PM · Andrew Dawes is in fact retired from teaching at UBC as of this past school year. He is a great teacher though!

Jasper Wood is an excellent teacher and the UBC string facutly in general seems to be of great calibre!

The Penderecki String Quartet has an excellent reputation as both a performing and teaching force.

If you speak French University of Montreal is also rated as having a good music program (I even know some who would say it's better than McGill).

Brandon University in Manitoba is small but is also extremely well respected for their music program and puts out a lot of great players.

August 23, 2005 at 01:50 AM · Wow, thanks for the information on Jaspar. I didn't know that he was teaching, but I continue to see articles about him that my teacher hangs up outside our studio at school.

August 23, 2005 at 02:24 AM · I have a friend who studies under Mr. Jasper Wood and she finds him to be a spectacular teacher as well as performer. Her playing has improved immeasurably since she has started under him. And very nice, too. I emailed him once, expressing my admiration of a recent performance I heard of his on CBC, and he wrote me back and said if I was ever in the Vancouver area, to contact him and see if we could arrange a lesson sometime! Very sweet guy.

August 23, 2005 at 06:17 PM · As I understand it Eugenia Choi is taking the place of Andrew Dawes. I believe Jaspar Wood was already on faculty before Dawes retired. Eugenia is a great player and a fine person. She'll make an excellent addition to the faculty there. The combination of these two excellent young Canadian musicians at UBC is very exciting for Western Canada!


August 23, 2005 at 06:46 PM · Preston, they were both hired at the same time and started working there last year. From what I understand Choi and Wood are both assistant professors at the moment and Wood was selected to take over Mr. Dawes' position.

August 23, 2005 at 07:22 PM ·

August 23, 2005 at 07:20 PM · That's a very young faculty.

McGill hired Johnathan Crow to a full time teaching position starting in 2005. It's good to see that Canadian schools are choosing young artists from this country to teach.

August 23, 2005 at 07:51 PM · Kelsey,

Thanks for the clarification. I think it's great to have such a brilliant young combo on faculty there.


August 24, 2005 at 11:51 AM · Hi,

I agree with Preston. That's awesome! Great for Eugenia and Jasper (not to mention UBC).


September 4, 2005 at 11:17 PM · Kelsey,

Just heard from Eugenia and according to her she and Jasper were both hired to take the place of Dawes. Neither is soley taking the position left by Dawes; I understand it's more of a "work as a unit".


September 5, 2005 at 01:52 AM · Hi Preston,

Thanks for the clarification! I must have recieved some wrong information then. Thanks for letting me know.


June 21, 2011 at 04:12 PM ·

Hi all, I'm bringing this topic back up as I'm currently looking into taking up a degree in Music Education in Canada.

Any advice on which schools to consider? I'm quite intrigued by Brandon in particular, because it's likely to get more guidance in a smaller class setting. But I can't seem to find any further information.


June 23, 2011 at 01:51 AM ·

Hi Valerie,

Brandon is interesting of course, James Ehnes had his initial training there. But it is a rather small program. Don`t know if they actually have a degree program .

You might consider Mt Royal Conservatory in Calgary: definitely a program smaller than McGill or Toronto but excellent teachers.  The Advanced Performance Program for Gifted Youth is an intensive training program with a lot of personal instruction. Auditions close by the end of April but who knows if any cancellations.  Here the URL :

Bill vanderSloot is an outstanding teacher, internationally recognized.  He was one of the judges at the 11th Wieniawski competition for young violinists  in Poland ( with Zachar Bron and others ). Nikki Chooi is one of his former students, the only Canadian competing in the last Indiana Competition and Tchaikovsky  competition .  Bill has  students from Eastern Canada flying in for lessons every 2 weeks.


This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Anne Akiko Meyers Shining Night
Anne Akiko Meyers Shining Night

Johnny Gandelsman at The Wallis
Johnny Gandelsman at The Wallis

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Mio Cannone Violini
Mio Cannone Violini Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Heifetz Institute: Crescendo

Metzler Violin Shop

Bein & Company

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

String Masters

Bobelock Cases

Things 4 Strings LLC



Sleepy Puppy Press

Jargar Strings

J.R. Judd Violins, LLC

Southwest Strings

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine