I reckon 150 to 200 relevant emails a day show up in my inbox, so it’s hard to say what the particular attributes are that make one stand particularly tall in the crowd. But this one did.
IAMA: Part One
“Given the scope of issues and ideas you explore across The WholeNote’s various platforms,” the writer said, “I wanted to let you know about an event taking place in November (10-12) - the International Artist Managers’ Association (IAMA) is holding its annual conference in Toronto.”
This event, the writer went on to say, is usually held in Europe (this is only the second time it has been held in Canada), and attracts an impressive group of classical music industry leaders to tackle issues facing the industry. This year’s focus is “Diversity and Changing Societies,” and there are to be five main sessions: a keynote interview with Peter Oundjian, music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; a session on the unique role of conservatories; a discussion of how artistic directors are programming their seasons given the changing demographics of their communities; a session on “creating and cultivating relationships, overcoming challenges to engage with communities”; and finally a session on “reaching people and engaging them on a more meaningful level through digital media.”
Hmm. Given the scope of issues we regularly explore across The WholeNote’s various platforms, it does all sound interesting. But I’ll have to get back to it. I have a couple of items of “usual business” and a thank you or two to deal with first.
If you’re a regular reader, print or otherwise, take special note. We’re counting on the fact that one way or another you will become increasingly aware, over the coming months, of the Patreon campaign we have just launched to enlist the ongoing support of readers who believe in, and benefit from, what we do. It’s all explained (rather succinctly, if I say so myself) in the little video on our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/thewholenote, so I won’t repeat it here, except to say this is not a “keep the lights burning” crisis campaign. If anything it’s a “keep the lights burning later and longer” kind of campaign, so that we can accelerate the pace at which we are exploring and expanding the media we deliver our message in, and keep up with our readers’ ever-changing information-gathering preferences. And so that we can continue to expand both the geographic base of the community we serve, as well as, in our digital media, an ever-widening range of musical practices and practitioners, reflective of our continually changing society.
Slip of the tongue
I do have to own up to one little slip of the tongue in that otherwise elegant-if-I-do-say-so-myself little video on the Patreon page. At some point in it, I talk about our “more than half a million free copies printed and distributed,” over the course of our 21 seasons. Make that 5.6 million, actually! Definitely more than half a million. Just thought I would point it out myself before some eagle-eyed reader sees the Patreon ad on p.12, and scolds me roundly.
Errors in Print
Speaking of eagle-eyed readers, we have our share. And believe it or not, the agonies of having our errors pointed out to us are always outweighed by the pleasure of being made aware that people read our stuff carefully enough to notice.
So, thank you, John Beckwith, for pointing out three in the October issue!
First, in David Jaeger’s ongoing series of articles “CBC Radio Two: The Living Legacy” (see page 86 this issue, for the second installment), Murray Schafer’s 1974 North/White is described as being scored for full orchestra and snowblower, whereas, as our reader states, “the non-instrument in question was in fact a much louder one, a snowmobile.”
Second, he points out that Marshall Pynkoski (Opera Atelier co-artistic director) is quoted in “On Opera” on p.22 as claiming that Opera Atelier’s inaugural production, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, was “Canada’s first staged production” of this opera. “Staged productions of Dido took place in Toronto in 1974 (under the internationally known director Colin Graham) and before that in 1929 at Hart House Theatre.”
And finally (mea culpa) Mr. Beckwith points out that, in my own choral feature on Mendelssohn’s Elijah, on p.14, the conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Noel Edison, is quoted as saying that his predecessor Elmer Iseler had programmed the work “several times.” “In fact he never did it as far as I can find out,” Beckwith writes. “I can recall, in the 80s when I worked with Iseler in the summer Music at Sharon series, I asked why as head of the Mendelssohn Choir he hadn’t performed any of the major Mendelssohn choral works. At Sharon, he conducted, at my suggestion and with my reduction of the orchestral score, half a program of excerpts from Mendelssohn’s other oratorio, St. Paul, and went on to present this piece in its entirety with the Mendelssohn Choir.”
“But Elijah? Several times?”
So now, as promised, let us cycle back to the first item in this “Opener,” the release about the upcoming IAMA conference in Toronto. The publicist who sent the heads-up about the conference certainly got it right in suggesting that the conference agenda would be of interest given “the scope of issues and ideas [we] explore across The WholeNote’s various platforms.”
You don’t have to look very much further than this month’s issue for evidence of that.
Starting with the Keynote interview with the TSO’s outgoing music director, Peter Oundjian, it will be fascinating to hear how he filters the items on the conference agenda through the lens of his ten year tenure here as the TSO’s music director. As music director he has not, as some of his predecessors have done, taken a top-of-the-cultural-pyramid approach to the TSO’s place in the artistic life of the town. In terms of lessons learned and hoped-for legacy, what might he say?
“The unique role of conservatories” could also be an interesting topic. Ivars Taurins (Conversations <at> TheWholeNote podcast, October 11) had some quite trenchant things to say about an academic environment hyper-focused on preparing people for solo performance careers. And the series launched in this issue on Music and Health (“Musician, Heal Thyself!” p.65) promises a searching look, over time, at issues relating to musicians’ health and wellbeing that currently receive as little attention at some music faculties and conservatories as courses on business ethics do in all too many MBA programs.
As for the other sessions: programming for changing demographics, engaging with communities and “reaching people on a more meaningful level through digital media” are the nitty-gritty issues facing us too. So it will be interesting to hear what a gathering of “classical music industry leaders” has to say on the subject. And just as interesting to observe who they are interested in listening to.