The first edition of FUSION: A conversation with Gaëlle Le Gallic from Radio France-France Musique

January 30, 2014 | By Diana Murray Watts
Gaëlle Le Gallic © Radio France-France Musique: Christophe Abramowitz

The promotion of young talent is at the forefront of the music programming by the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France. Seeking to establish a device for the advancement of young musicians from France and the United States, American violinist Miranda Cuckson performed at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. on Friday, January 24th, followed by a concert by the French guitar quartet from Paris, Quatuor Eclisses, at the Phillips Collection on Sunday, January 26th. Through this first musical weekend, Fusion was born.

There was a quality of hearing, of silence, and of sharing between the audience and the artists,” describes Gaëlle Le Gallic, renowned music journalist and producer at France Musique for Radio France. Le Gallic traveled from Paris to accompany both the Cultural Service and the Phillips Collection in this new musical venture. She has worked as a producer for Radio France-France Musique for over 25 years, during which she has led broadcasts on the profiles of famous opera singers, including Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé, Teresa Berganza and Joseph Van Dam.

For the last eight years, however, Le Gallic has dedicated her work in Radio France-France Musique to the promotion of young, emerging talent in the music world. Through her monthly radio show, Géneration Jeunes Interprètes, Le Gallic records and broadcasts a concert by a young musician in the genre of classical music, offering him or her the support of Radio France-France Musique for the promotion of the first CD as well as advertisement throughout the series of music festivals under the Radio France-France Musique label. Among these stands out the Radio France music festival that takes place every month of July in the French city of Montpellier.

In addition, Le Gallic further serves as a promoter of these young musicians by selecting work samples to be carefully studied by the two orchestra directors in Radio France-France Musique. As both the director of the National Orchestra and that of the Philharmonic Orchestra listen to Le Gallic’s proposals, the selected musicians are given the opportunity to tour with either of these orchestras throughout France and abroad.

For us in Radio France-France Musique, the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France is a label. Our efforts are certainly 50-50 and for the artists, we give them a chance to perform abroad,” explains Le Gallic about the operation of Fusion.

New technology,” she explains, “allow us to quickly move forward in the field of musical promotion, yet this is not something spontaneous. It does not allow for human discovery and vibrations. For this matter, nothing will replace the live performance. Nothing will replace having the musician before us.”

In this regard, Le Gallic strongly believes in the future of Fusion as a tool to further advance the careers of so many talented musicians in France and in the United States. “A concert allows sharing and an exchange between the audience and the artist; it is like a “business card with sound,” describes Le Gallic. “Nothing will replace the first encounter with the musician,” she restates confidently.

The engagement of the Phillips Collection in the development and launch of Fusion is extraordinary. This reputed museum in Washington, D.C. has been offering Sunday concerts for decades and generously accepted to regularly include in their programming the performance of French musicians under the label of Fusion. So what lies ahead for this one-of-a-kind project?

The first two concerts were very exciting for me. The public was numerous and included a lot of young people,” says Le Gallic. “Through Fusion, we would like to develop four musical seasons,” she continues, “so that young talent can inaugurate each cycle, giving the project a beautiful resonance.”

In a parallel way, we would also like to develop two seasonal concerts in France, as part of my radio show. For the September-December season and that of January-June, I would invite American artists to give a concert at Radio France-France Musique, record their performance, and distribute their work through the label of Fusion. We could also envision the American Embassy in France giving its support to host such concerts at their premises. This compromise with Fusion would allow the public to discover young American talents in Europe, which would evidently open them many doors,” explains Le Gallic.

Meet us again in October 2014 to continue this musical adventure at the Embassy of France and the Phillips Collection, with vibrations that have the potential to resound in many other corners of the world.

Fusion is the result of a partnership with The Phillips Collection and under the label of Radio France-France Musique. 

Fusion is made possible through the generous support of Safran.

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