IAMA Toronto to address cultural crossroads

IAMA is heading north to Toronto for its second conference of 2016. Whereas its April meeting focussed on how artist managers could ‘shake it off’, this event (the second time IAMA has visited Canada in its history) puts ‘cultural crossroads’ on the agenda.

Conductor Peter Oundjian and artist Kinan Azmeh will deliver the keynote speech, with IAMA collaborator Ontario Presents providing the entertainment. This includes IAMA affiliate the Toronto Symphony, who will be conducted by Oundjian. The conference will be hosted by Koerner Hall, Roy Thomson Hall and Aga Khan Museum.

At a time when Brexit is at the centre of the news agenda, the cultural crossroads theme seems particularly pertinent.

‘Toronto has one of the most culturally diverse population groups in the world,’ said IAMA chief executive Atholl Swainston-Harrison. ‘Connecting with the audience and how classical music might become significant to a community’s life is on every organisation’s agenda. This is not just the case in Toronto: it applies to many major centres around the world where mobile human capital is evident.’

‘For our members, Brexit will create winners and losers as with any big decision but we simply don’t know at this stage what it will mean,’ he added – not to mention, of course, that the conference will happen just days after the controversial US presidential election.

Speakers in the programme include Paola Prestini (creative and executive director at National Sawdust); Dr Peter Simon (president and CEO at The Royal Conservatory of Music); Jenny Bilfield (president and CEO at Washington Performing Arts); Krishna Thiagarajan (chief executive at Royal Scottish National Orchestra); Josephine Ridge (artistic director at Luminato Festival); and Emmanuel Hondré (artistic director at Philharmonie de Paris).

Other performers include violist Teng Li as well as throat singers Inukshuk Aksalnik and Pauline Pemik. Featured composers include Patrick T Carrabré, Sibelius, Walton and Ravel. The confer- ence runs from 10-12 November 2016.

Delegates can also get a discount for CINARS, which takes place the following week in Montréal.