Some highlights from last year stand out. A concert
featuring Tan Dun conducting the Montreal Symphony Orchestra as part of McGill''s
MusiMars at a sold-out 600-seat Pollack Hall proved that contemporary music can
sell. It also showed what is good and bad about today''s music. While I cannot
hum any parts of Tan Dun''s cello concerto, I found the work riveting. Like
finely crafted writing, the enticing opening was sustained throughout with a
continuous stream of ideas that caressed my sensibilities. Great compositions in
the past had a vision of the whole, which in the hands of a skilled conductor is
shape in a sustained musical line. The key lies in the linking of the
sections of the composition, an element that is true for music as well as for
the literary and performing arts. It is a simple concept that was, alas,
forgotten by twentieth-century composers in their rush to create the next new
The first Jeunesses Musicales Montreal International Music
Competition in voice was a success. Canada did particularly well with three of
the top four prizes, showing that our singers are developing into excellent
musicians. Musicianship won out as Measha Brueggergosman took home the top
honours with the most intelligent and musically convincing interpretation.
Vocally, singers could learn a lot from the South Korean contingent; they had
the most refined technique, with four of their five singers among the best
voices in the competition. Indeed, three Koreans made it to the final ten, but
in the end did not place high because their singing seemed to lack
Have the three tenors sung their swan song? This was the
question after this summer''s World Cup of Soccer. If we could present a
Canadian Three Tenors, we would see onstage Ben Heppner, Richard Margison and
Michael Schade. This September, Schade is the featured cover artist in this
first issue of The Music Scene, a special English-language issue of La
Scena Musicale, serving southern Ontario and western Canada.
Both The Music Scene and La Scena Musicale are
brought to you by the dedicated team of staff and volunteers of La Sc?ne
Musicale / The Music Scene, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting
classical music. Our other activities include the award-winning free classical
music website LSM Online <scena.org>, The Student Writing Contest,
and the "Bring a Teen" outreach program.
When we introduced the bilingual magazine La Scena
Musicale six years ago, our aim was to create a national magazine that would
do its part to unify the music community and bring a new public to classical
music. Our method was to be available and the focus was at once local, national
and international. La Scena Musicale has always been available in the
province of Quebec and in Ottawa, and in music schools and record stores across
Canada. Our national summer festival issue (June) has twice been distributed in
the major cities in Canada. The yearly growth of LSM from a 2-page newsletter to
a 24-page magazine in its second year to the latest 80-page magazine shows that
there is a continuing interest in our cultural vision.
Like La Scena Musicale, The Music Scene is
distributed free of charge, and the hybrid glossy/newsprint format was chosen as
a cost-effective way of reaching the largest possible audience. We are proud to
present a magazine that has something for all readers, from novices to experts.
Furthermore, our calendar is one of the most detailed resources in print and on
the Internet. Among our new features, we present an "Introduction to Music"
column (on clapping) and a column "Maestro''s Choice" (Yannick N?zet-S?guin tells
us why Mahler''s Third turns him on).
We hope that you will enjoy this first issue of The Music
Scene, and that we will keep contact with you as a regular reader. We
continue to work to improve every aspect of our features and services. Our
readers'' feedback is crucial, and we invite you to fill out the readers'' survey
at the back of the magazine, which will earn you a chance to win a collection of
CDs and an espresso machine.
Have a great 2002?2003