Toronto Plays Host to its First-ever Classical Concert for Dogs & People–With a 43-piece Orchestra, June 8, 2013 at Echo Beach ( next to Molson Canadian Amphitheater)

Apparently classical music is good for dogs. That’s according to a research study by Colorado State University published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior. It demonstrated kenneled dogs were calmed by classical music, while heavy metal made them anxious.

That’s timely news for the thousands of dogs and their peeps expected at Toronto’s first-ever orchestral concert for dogs and people.  Canine Culture’s Bianca Kapteyn conducted an email conversation with Classical orchestra conductor Kerry Stratton about the June 8 event.

Tell us about yourself?

I am conductor and Music Director of Toronto Concert Orchestra and Wish Opera as well as an international guest conductor. Every Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.  I host Conductors Choice on classical 963FM,CFMZ.

Do you have a companion pet? 

We have two children under 12 so pets play an important role here. Our cat is a Norwegian Forest Cat, which is a specific breed we just adore. He is a joker and a companion and a lover and a hunter and an occasional pain in the neck. That’s what makes him family. Our daughter is campaigning for a puppy…I’ll get back to you on that. Additionally we have a tank of fancy goldfish…the cat is indifferent to them…

How did you choose the music to be performed by a 43 piece classical orchestra geared to dogs and their peeps?  Why these arrangements?

We are so blessed to have a great arranger on staff here at the TCO, Bobby Herriot. There’s nothing that man can’t arrange. And wait until you hear his version of Cruella DeVille. It’s a hoot! Basically aside from the dog-themed medley, we’re looking at some great positive upbeat symphonic music suitable for a day in June. Our objective is to have people attend a concert, feeling free to bring Fido and enjoy themselves!

Classical music and dogs have a long history together, which composer do you think today’s modern dog might prefer Mozart or Chopin?

Unload the question!  Mozart loved his dog by the way–but to answer your question as well as possible, you have to attend the concert with your dog and watch the reaction–ask them and they’ll show you.There’s seldom been a dog that wasn’t a good communicator.

Do you think the fans of classical music and their dogs share the same likes?

Actually, that sort of makes sense. Again, we’ll just have to run the show and see what happens.

Its not everyday dogs have their very own classical concert; do you expect much howling?

Well, maybe we should all raise a howl of thanks to IAMS for not only sponsoring great music, but for realizing that a family concert has to include the whole family. Everybody’s welcome!


WHEN: SATURDAY, JUNE 8  (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

WHERE: ECHO BEACH (next to Molson Canadian Amphitheater)

                999 Lakeshore Blvd. West. Toronto


The Iams SO GOOD! Doggie Jam is designed for every member of the family. The event will offer attendees a free product coupon sample – redeemable for a new Iams SO GOOD! With demonstrations booths and music for everyone.