Mahler 4 Listening Guide

Musicologist Dr. Hannah Chan-Hartley has created a series of visual listening guides with the goal of “enhancing the understanding of classical music through engaging visual design”. For this concert, we’re delighted to provide you with a Visual Listening Guide to Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.

Access the Guide

What is the Visual Listening Guide?

The Visual Listening Guide is a new way to discover a symphonic work in a visually engaging and comprehensible manner, regardless of musical background. Created by musicologist Dr. Hannah Chan-Hartley, the Guide uses a distinctive blend of graphics, colour, and text to help you structure your listening of the piece—and thus, deepen your understanding of it.

The Visual Listening Guide is a kind of sonic “map” of a musical work. Providing a “big picture” view of the work’s form, the Guide shows when the main musical themes and motives first appear, are developed, and recur within a movement and/or entire symphony.

While there’s no one way to experience a symphonic work, a Guide to the composition’s structure can shed light on the composer’s creativity and help us understand and appreciate the various ways conductors and orchestras interpret it.

When do I use the Visual Listening Guide?

You are welcome to use the Visual Listening Guide during the live performance, at your discretion. Otherwise, it can be used, at your leisure, for personal study at home with any of your favourite audio or video recordings.

One Last Music Talk

Eric Paetkau conducting.

At the end of his 7 season, Maestro Eric Paetkau steps down from the role of Music Director. Ahead of his final concert as Music Director, Eric sat down with CEO Mark Turner for one final chance for a music talk.

Exploring the highlights, memorable moments, and special stories never told before the pair reminisce about performances spanning back to Eric’s SSO debut in 2014.

It’s a walk down memory lane and a chance acknowledge Eric’s considerable achievements at the helm of the SSO.

One Last Music Talk is available to view at

A Fond Farewell

Eric’s last concert as Music Director is Mahler 4 on May 7th. While we hope you can join us there, we know it might not be possible to say goodbye in person. If you have a message or memory you wish to share with Eric, enter it in the form below! We will make sure he gets all your kind messages as we celebrate his incredible tenure here at the SSO.