Musical Toronto to re-brand as part of a new national network called “Ludwig Van”
August 31, 2017
Since taking on Musical Toronto over three years ago, my goal has been to keep conversations about classical music alive in Toronto. What started as a small niche blog four years ago has grown into a team of fourteen writers, serving a readership of 72 thousand monthly readers. And we haven’t stopped there. We are still trying to find ways to establish a perspective that is both local, positive, and relevant, and are just as excited as we have ever been.
Musical Toronto has been the first to cover most of the major classical music stories in Canada over the last few years, many of which became the focus of international attention. What was amazing to us was that the big players in media are increasingly unwilling to invest the time it takes to cover our field adequately. We are more than happy to take up the mantle.
MT is operating well today, but we think it is time to take the stakes a bit higher. We are launching a new network of websites under a new name, Ludwig Van, which will cover local classical music scenes in cities across Canada, the largest of which are Toronto and Montreal. We are starting there, and will add more cities as we go.
The idea is to bring our voice to other markets, and scale into communities that we feel can best be served with a dedicated local perspective.
This means MT will be officially changing our name to Ludwig van Toronto, effective September 14, 2017. We will continue with the same daily content, but will produce it on a bigger scale. We will also be adding some new writers to our local team to keep up with the countless events and stories that cross our news desk every day.
Our Quebec office will launch our new sister site Ludwig van Montréal, on the same day. It will be run by our new editor-in-chief Caroline Rodgers, who comes to us from La Presse, where she worked as a classical music journalist for nearly ten years. She will be leading a team of experienced writers, who are dedicated to representing Montreal’s unique musical culture. The site will launch with a bang at Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur on Thursday, September 14. There will be some food, libations, gifts, and a few surprise guests to help us live it up — so if you’d like to join us, let us know.
So why the new name? We choose Ludwig Van because Beethoven is symbolic for us. Beyond composing the most famous four notes in music history, he composed much of his greatest work while deaf. He couldn’t hear what other composers were doing, or what was popular at the time; he just blazed his own path. Thus the basis of our brand. Don’t listen to the naysayers, play your own music, march to your own drum. Everything else is noise.
As part of our new voice, we are developing a new podcast series launching this December, which will be unlike anything you have heard before. The podcast centres on a mysterious email we received about a set of chairs associated with a certain world-famous pianist with a special connection to Toronto. We can’t say much more for now, other than each episode embarks on a journey to uncover the mystery in real-time.
To keep the business end running smoothly, Ludwig Van will be operated under our new company Museland Media Inc. This will ensure that we remain an independent and feisty voice, free from ulterior motives found within larger media groups. The company structure will allow us to develop opportunities including our new in-house ad agency, Ludwig van Creative, which will bring bespoke branded content to our readers both on and off our sites. We’ve heard the message from our advertising clients that they want more organic ways to engage with the public, and this is a direct response to that demand.
Caroline and I are super excited about our progress, and it is clear to us that this is a golden opportunity to make our voice heard and establish our footprint. We feel very fortunate to build this team surrounding Ludwig Van, and to continue to scale our aspirations. We are in the business of starting new things and laying the framework for the future of arts journalism in Canada.
We are excited about…
- Telling your story and celebrating all that you do;
- Investing at the scale of the opportunities and resources we see;
- Improving the transparency and oversight of what we’re doing;
- Making Ludwig Van better through greater focus;
- And hopefully… because of all this, improving the sense of community surrounding our shared love of classical music in Canada and beyond!
What could be better? Don’t worry; we’re still getting used to the name too!
CEO & Publisher,
Museland Media Inc — Ludwig Van