University of Calgary

Kenneth DeLong

  • Professor

Research Interests

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


B.A. (Music) Acadia University
B. Mus. (Hons) University of Manitoba
A.M. Stanford University
Ph.D. Stanford University

I was born in Nova Scotia and raised in India, where I began my study of music. I completed a degree in music and European history at Acadia University, which was followed by a year teaching choral music and piano in a high school in Newfoundland. I continued my studies at The University of Manitoba, where I studied piano with William Aide and music theory with Dr. Peggy Sampson. My graduate work was taken at Stanford University, where I completed a masters degree in music theory and my doctoral degree in musicology, with Dr. Leonard Ratner as my supervisor.

I have taught music at The University of Calgary for forty years, first as a professor of music theory and choral music, and more recently as a professor of music history. Within the Department of Music, I established The Early Music Singers, a choral group devoted to the performance of early music. For twelve years I was the assistant conductor of The Festival Chorus. For twenty-five years I taught a course entitled Opera Anyone? for The Calgary Board of Education. For thirty-five years I have been the classical music reviewer for The Calgary Herald. During my years in Calgary I have developed a relationship with both the Calgary Philharmonic and Calgary Opera, and I give regular pre-performance talks on various aspects of orchestral and operatic music. I have been the principal person to present pre-concert talks for all six of the Calgary Philharmonic special festivals. I also provide the program notes for the Calgary Pro Musica concerts and the Wyatt Artist-in-Residence series at Mount Royal Conservatory. 


The principal areas of my research concern Czech music, English Victorian music, Liszt, opera, music for film, and the music of the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona.

My interest in Czech music stems from my dissertation on the piano music of J. H. Voříšek, an early nineteenth-century Bohemian composer. My work in this area has included the writing of the articles for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians on Voříšek and J. V. Tomášek, as well as articles and conference papers on both these composers. I have also published on the orchestral and piano music of Bedřich Smetana. 

My work on Victorian English composers has included articles on the theatre music C. V. Stanford and Arthur Sullivan, especially an extended article on Sullivan's music for Macbeth, based upon work for an international conference in England. I have also presented conference papers and published articles on Elgar, Sullivan's songs, and Victorian music critics.

I have published several articles and book chapters on the music of Franz Liszt, and have presented papers on Liszt at international conferences in Vienna, Utrecht, Heidelberg, and Naples. Together with teaching regular courses on opera and lecturing on opera, I have presented conference papers on different aspects of opera, ranging from Leoncavallo, to Dvořak, to Mozart.

Recently, I have begun to study music for film and have presented papers on various aspects of music and screen media at conferences in Turin, Ottawa, Victoria, Liverpool, and Dijon, especially concerning the film music of Georges Auric. I am currently working on a project concerning the music of Ernesto Lecuona (my wife is Cuban), which has taken me to archives in Havana and has included conference papers in Blacksburg, and Brock University.

Together with Friedemann Salis (University of Calgary) and Robin Elliot (University of Toronto), I edited a book entitled Centre and Periphery; Roots and Exile (University of Waterloo Press).


Books edited:

Centre and Periphery, Roots and Exile: Interpreting the Music of István Anhalt, György Kurtág, and Sándor Varess (with Friedemann Sallis and Robin Elliot) Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2011.461 pp.

Book chapters/contributions:

"Liszt and Smetana in the Mirror of Czech National Music" in Musik in Spannungsfeld zwichen nationalem Denken und Weltbürgertum. Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg, 2014 (In press).

"Baptizing Liszt" in Liszt: A Chorus of Voices, ed. Michael Saffle.  Pendragon Press, 2012. pp. 82-90.

"Arthur Sullivan's Incidental Music to Henry Irving's Macbeth 1888" in Henry Irving: A re-Evaluation of the Pre-Eminent Victorian Actor-Manager. Ashgate Press, 2012. pp. 149-184.

"Revisiting Schubert's Czech Connections" in The Unknown Schubert, ed. Barbara Reul. Ashgate Press, 2012. pp. 219-230.

Selected Recent Conference presentations

"(En) Voicing Sagan: Georges Auric's Film Score to Bonjour tristesse." Music and Media VI: Dijon, France, July 2014.

"From Havana to Hollywood: Ernesto Lecuona in a Transnational Perspective." Latin American Music Symposium, Blacksburg, Virginia, February 2013.

"Narrativity and Voice in Georges Auric's Film Score to Goodbye Again." Music and Media IV, Turin, Italy, June 2012.

"From Malerei to Empfindung: Program and Expression in Liszt' Sposalizio." International Liszt Conference, Utrecht, Netherlands, April 2011.

"(Re) Creating the Past: Identity and Nostalgia in John Estacio's Filumena and Allan Gordon Bell's Turtle Wakes." Canadian University Music Society Annual Meeting, Regina, June 2010.

"Music about Thinking—Thinking about Music: Music and Metaphor in Liszt's Il Penseroso." Word and Music Association, Vienna, June 2009.

"Intimations of India: Zemlinsky's Lyrische Symphonie and the Poetry of Tagore." Mapping Channels: From the Ganges to the Rhine. International Conference, University of Toronto, June 2008.


During my years at The University of Calgary I have taught a very wide range of courses. Initially, I taught core music theory and advanced analysis, but in recent years I have taught almost exclusively in the music history area.

My approach to teaching tends to focus upon developing in students a thorough knowledge of musical literature. This, I believe, is foundational to anyone hoping to make a career in music. Coupled with this, is my focus on the intersection of musical history and the analysis of individual musical scores. All of my courses involve the study of musical scores in detail, dealing with matters of style, form, and ideas of musical expression. I teach my courses with the hope that together with the basic knowledge of music history, student will develop their abilities to understand works of art in all their individuality and expressive world.  With such skills, students will be, I hope, better performers, composers, and music educators.

In recent years I have developed a series of courses whose purpose is to complement the core history program.  These courses include: Choral Music, The Romantic Concerto, Nineteenth-century Art Song, The Music of Schubert and Schumann, The Piano Music of Chopin and Liszt, Romantic Opera, The Operas of Mozart and Verdi, Romantic Nationalism in Music, Music and Culture in Paris: 1870-1918, and Music and Culture in Vienna 1870-1918.

I have also taught a variety of courses for the non-major student, including courses on Mozart, Beethoven, and opera. Recently, I have been teaching a course on The Broadway Musical, a course I offer every other year.

Teaching remains the centre of my university work, the aspect of my job that takes the largest portion of my time and provides me with my greatest satisfaction as a professor.

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