From the Editorby Wah Keung Chan
/ December 1, 2015
La Scena Musicale’s December/January issue returns to a bilingual format and is combined with the La SCENA arts news magazine: two magazines and two covers in one. The music cover features Canadian baritone Gino Quilico, and the arts cover subject is film director Jean-Philippe Duval.
The issue also includes full-page articles on the various arts sections, including topics on French Theatre, English Theatre, Dance, Visual Arts and Literature, as well as an Arts Events Highlights section and an Arts Events Calendar. With the approaching holidays, we have a section devoted to gift ideas and a Guide to Winter Festivals. When combined with our music regional calendar, which includes all the holiday concerts in December plus listings until February 7, our magazine is clearly the most complete guide to the arts.
In addition to our regular Jazz section, we continue our series on piano manufacturing with a feature on Estonia Pianos, a feature on the organ, an excerpt from Kent Nagano’s new biography and a tribute to composer Jean Sibelius on the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Next Great Art Song
Finally, we continue our series on the Art Song with Richard Turp’s look at why many composers flock to the texts of certain poets. We are also pleased to launch Phase III of our Next Great Art Song project, the call to all Canadian composers to create the next Great Canadian Art Song, as part of the Canadian Art Song Writing Contest. The song can be up to five minutes long and set to any text; a video will be posted on our website for a period of public voting. The top songs will be narrowed down to ten finalists. These finalists will then be divided among five leading Canadian singers and two pianists who will perform the songs at La Scena Musicale’s 20th Anniversary Gala in the fall of 2016. There, the audience’s votes will determine the ultimate winner of the first annual Next Great Canadian Art Song. Find details at www.nextgreatartsong.com.
Phase I began in June with the Great Art Song Challenge, a survey of the greatest art songs of all time. The deadline to submit your vote is January 15.
Phase II is a discussion on the art of the Art Song throughout 2015-2017, which started in September. We will publish a series of 20 or more articles on the Art Song, including this issue’s article, and counting down the top 10 songs.
Fundraising and Subscription Campaign
This issue also signals the end of our 17-year agreement with the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM) to produce the Pullout calendar (the last one was in the French edition of the November issue), meaning a $5,100 reduction to our 2015-16 budget and $7,300 per year going forward (this amount had already been reduced from $14,600 two years ago). Last June, the CQM was cut $40,000 by the Quebec Arts Council (CALQ), and consequently they passed the austerity along to us.
We must therefore rely more on fundraising, rather than advertising, which traditionally accounted for 80% of our budget. Thanks to the generosity of two of our regular donors, every donation received before December 31, 2015, will be matched up to $15,000: LSM Ambassador and advisor Michel Buruiana will match the first $5000, while board member Sandro Scola will match the next $10,000.
We are launching our 20th anniversary subscription campaign with a contest: subscribers as of May 1, 2016, will have a chance to win a handcrafted string bow, a violin case, a set of handmade strings, a professional copy of the Finale software, and a box set of Shostakovich CDs. All subscribers get a whiter paper version of the magazine (this issue’s subscription copy is printed on even whiter paper), full translations, a monthly Discovery CD download and a chance to win free concert tickets and recordings (congratulations to Louis Huot for winning two tickets to the Charles Richard-Hamelin concert). This would make a great holiday gift for a music student, a musician and a relative. Our goal is to reach 1000 subscribers by the end of 2016. See our subscription page at www.lascena.ca.
Finally, thanks to a contribution from the Canada Periodical Fund, we hope to launch our new website in mid-January. It will use technology to create a closer arts community. In the meantime, please sign up for our weekly e-newsletter at enews(a)lascena.org for the latest news, promotions and contests.
Have a great musical artistic holiday season!