The Mahler Project

Program Outline

What is the Mahler Project?Mahler Project_1

The Mahler Project is a song performance course for singers and pianists aged 30 or older who would like to improve their interpretive, collaborative, and performance skills as part of an intensive course on the songs for voice and piano of Alma Mahler-Werfel and Gustav Mahler.

Taught over a series of weekends in Spring 2019, the course is run as a joint project between the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the SongArt Performance Research Group (UK), a research arm of the Institute for Musical Research at the University of London.

Culminating in three concerts on the first two weekends in June 2019, the project offers singers, pianists, and non-performing auditors the chance to take part in a unique joint performance project exploring the music, poetry, and performance tradition of the songs of two of the finest song composers of the past 150 years.

Following our previous courses on the songs of Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and Ralph Vaughan Williams, we welcome all pianists and singers to participate in our course, whether amateur and professional.

For further details about the project, including examples of the songs we will be studying and details about student categories, see the project website:  For information regarding program cost and how to register, please see further below.


April 6 to June 2, 2019 (weekend afternoons)
See the project website for group class calendar and timeline.

How to Apply:

Places offered on a first-come first-serve basis. Auditions for placement of new students will follow registration.

Register online now! You can also register in person at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, 900 Johnson Street, or by phone at 250.386.5311

Returning Students: If you have taken one of our song projects in the past, you do not need to audition unless you are changing student category (i.e., from understudy to performer). If you are a returning student, follow the link above to register.

New students: If you have not taken one of our song courses before, we are very happy to hear from you! Please reserve your place on the course by registering before you audition. Once you have registered, we would like to hear you play or sing so we know where to place you on the course. You can audition by sending in a recording, or by singing or playing for the instructors in person. Audition Requirements can be found here.


Performers: $899 ($100 deposit upon registration. $799 due by March 1, 2019.)

Understudies: $625 ($100 deposit upon registration. $525 due by March 1, 2019.)

Observers: $125 (Fee payable in full upon registration.)

Please note that the VCM additionally charges a administrative fee of $2.50 per transaction.

Bursaries and payment plans are available. For information or to apply, please visit or call the VCM front desk: 900 Johnson Street, 250.386.5311.

More information on fees and course provisions can be found here.

Program Details

For further details, including information about this course, examples of the songs we will be studying, and details about student categories, see the project website:



Kathryn Whitney

Canadian/British singer Dr Kathryn Whitney was raised on Vancouver Island and now divides her time between Britain and Canada. A versatile musician whose work combines concert and recital performance with a wide range of collaborative research, educational and other projects, she is a lyric mezzo-soprano with an “impressively wide dynamic range” (Oxford Times) and a “special gift” for interpreting text (Nanaimo News) whose singing has been described as “meaty”, “prophetic” (Oxford Times) and “very touching” (Sir John Eliot Gardiner). Kathryn is a freelance performer, teacher, researcher, and solo and choral clinician. She is currently an Associate Fellow at the Institute (…)

Anna Cal

ANNA CAL is trained in the famous tradition of Russian piano schools. She studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg with well-known Russian performers and professors including Vitaly Berzon, Pavel Yegorov and the late Helen Shishko. She holds Master degrees with high distinction in three fields: piano performance, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. After studying in Russia, Anna spent two years in Rome, Italy where she worked as a soloist and a voice coach. Anna is a senior teacher at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where she teaches piano, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. She is Director of Collaborative piano and Interpretation in German Lieder Projects. Anna is a frequent performer in Victoria as a soloist and in collaboration with vocalists and instrumentalists.