Readers, know this: like all of our issues, the magazine that you hold in your hands is the result of a small miracle produced by a very small team. For twenty years, while many publications have unfortunately shut their doors, or exist now only in digital form, La Scena Musicale stayed the course, despite the well-known issues facing print media, be it readers’ changing habits or lower advertising revenues, among other problems.
Each of our issues was the result of the efforts of true enthusiasts, a persistent band of people who devote their time and perseverance so that the classical music community in Quebec has its own magazine. I salute the dedicated work of my colleague Wah Keung Chan, founder of the magazine, who has made countless sacrifices to lead this company, as well as the work of several long-serving collaborators: Lucie Renaud, Marc Chénard, Réjean Beaucage, among others.
I started working at La Scena Musicale in 2010. For an independent journalist like me who is used to working in newspapers, writing for a magazine gives me a unique opportunity to deepen my coverage of issues as well as sketch portraits of the most sought-after artists. Over the years, I have written many cover articles for La Scena, which allowed me to meet exciting young artists who deserve nothing less than front-page coverage: Jean-Willy Kunz, Stéphane Tétreault, Dina Gilbert, to name a few.
I still remember the excitement around Charles Richard-Hamelin when he won the silver medal at the International Chopin Piano Competition in October 2015. While our editorial deadline for the November issue had already passed, we had no choice: this was the first Canadian pianist to win such a prestigious award! Having followed the different stages of the competition online, needless to say, it was a great pleasure for me to write this article. I had the opportunity to talk to Charles Richard-Hamelin several times over the course of the competition and I was delighted to address the subject in greater detail in the magazine.
Some of my other favourite memories include a recent interview with eccentric American organist Cameron Carpenter, who was our cover artist in February 2016. Initially, his agent scheduled a 15-minute interview, but the impulsive and talkative musician launched into an exciting explanation of his philosophy of the organ and the future of the instrument for more than half an hour. I drank in his words, lucky to hear such an iconoclast in person. Certainly, Cameron Carpenter has never enjoyed unanimous support in the musical world (and never will), but beyond his extravagant outfits, he is a true virtuoso with an exceptional gift. His counter-current opinions deserve to be heard.
Indeed, all of the artists featured in the pages of La Scena Musicale have something important to say. Moreover, those of which who are at the beginning stages of their professional careers need media platforms to promote themselves. At a time when newspaper, radio, and television have gradually abandoned their coverage of classical music, the survival of our magazine is more critical than ever. I wish La Scena Musicale a long life and the prosperity it deserves for many more years.