Evenings with the Calgary Philharmonic

University of Calgary Continuing Education

Broaden your understanding and appreciation for classical music.

Ever wondered how an orchestra operates, or the story behind the music you hear at a Calgary Phil concert? Since the 1990s, we've offered a continuing education course covering orchestral repertoire in a combined classroom and concert experience — join us to broaden your understanding and appreciation of orchestral music. Evenings with the Calgary Philharmonic is offered through University of Calgary Continuing Education.

Through listening, lecture, discussion, guest musicians, and attendance at select Calgary Philharmonic concerts, empower your curiosity and explore the world of orchestral music in a relaxed and fun environment.

Each session features a deep dive into an orchestral masterpiece, whether an epic symphony, a virtuosic concerto, or jazzy takes on classical favourites. We delve into a range of repertoire and programming to reflect the variety of modern performance. Along the way, we demystify some of orchestral music’s curious customs, and tackle big questions: What moves us? What makes it great? And what is the conductor even doing up there?


Calgary Phil Double Bassist Matthew Heller teaches the Continuing Education course, HUM 405 – Evenings with the Calgary Philharmonic at the University of Calgary.

A native of Tacoma, Washington, double bassist Matthew Heller joined the Calgary Philharmonic in 2007. He has frequently appeared as a recitalist and chamber musician, including performances with the Mountain View Chamber Music Festival, Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, Kensington Sinfonia, and the Instrumental Society of Calgary. He was awarded the Instrumental Society’s inaugural Janice Waite Scholarship in recognition of his contributions to Calgary’s performing arts community.

Heller also performs as Principal Bass with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, a summer orchestra in Boulder, Colorado. He was previously a member of the New World Symphony (Miami, Florida), Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has been an orchestral fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland and performed chamber music with the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina.

Heller completed studies at the New England Conservatory and Northwestern University. He has studied with some of today’s most accomplished bassists, including Donald Palma, Harold Robinson, Michael Hovnanian, Matthew McDonald, and Joel Quarrington. Heller performs on an Italian double bass attributed to Antonio Gilbertini, dated 1862.