From the Editor


This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Welcome to the fourth issue of La Scena Musicale published in the midst of the pandemic. 
 Since our November/December issue, the COVID-19 lockdown in Quebec has been extended until Feb. 8. A further extension is possible. Consequently, music and arts organizations are questioning whether to continue their activities online or postpone them to a later date. We have adapted our events calendar to keep you informed of the virtual events not just in Quebec, but also across Canada. Note, most virtual events remain available for about two weeks. To stay up to date, please visit our online calendar at

Still, the show must go on. The Conseil québécois de la musique will stream their annual Opus Awards Gala on Sunday, Feb. 7. In honour of the Prix Opus Hommage being awarded to Kent Nagano, we publish Arthur Kaptainis’s retrospective look at the former Montreal Symphony Orchestra music director, along with my own Canada Magazine Honourable Mention profile in both English and French. Coincidentally, the MSO made news in January with the announcement of Venezuelan Rafael Payare as its new music director. You will find a preview article in this issue as well as a review of his first online concert at the helm.

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Race and diversity were the other big themes of 2020. Since February is Black History Month, we have a 14-page special section on Race and the Arts. Among the articles is a lookback at great Black sopranos, a critical examination of blind auditions and a surprising portrait of the violinist who inspired Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata. (It wasn’t Kreutzer!)

Our cover story is devoted to conductor Janna Sailor and the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, which opens the biennial Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques contemporary music festival on Feb. 18. The concert combines instrumentalists from different traditions and is given, of course, online.

February is also the month of love, and we begin the second decade of our Singing Valentines fundraiser with several changes:
• Videos: In addition to live phone serenades, we will also be offering personalized video serenades, a natural extension of our Corona Serenades;
• More singers: We have expanded our roster of singers;
• Concert: We will be streaming a virtual Singing Valentines Concert on Feb. 14;
• Helping Musicians: For this year only, 50% of the donations will be shared with our singers, as paying performance opportunities have dried up during the pandemic;

Because of the pandemic, we have changed our distribution from street distribution to home delivery, and many of you are holding a free sample issue. We hope we have sparked your interest with our passionate team of writers and editors. To make sure you continue to ­receive the magazine at home, please take out a ­subscription for yourself, or give it to someone special. It is ideal for parents or an artist.

Subscription and Donation Drive

The pandemic has had its consequences for ­publishing. We are pleased to plan a subscription year of five issues for 2020-21, a small cutback from our usual schedule of seven. Although we were able to bring back most of our staff through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the amount of subsidy has decreased from 75% to 50%. Since our annual budget depends largely on advertising ­revenues (about 70% of which are ­related to ­concerts), we saw a decrease in advertising of 88% in the spring and summer, to 60% in ­September and 50% in November. We hope you will consider supporting our magazine through a donation or a subscription.

As always, La Scena Musicale maintains a ­vigorous presence on Facebook, Twitter and ­Instagram. The website offers new resources daily. Pandemic or no pandemic, the arts will thrive. As will La Scena Musicale.
Have a great musical and artistic 2021!

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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