In order to improve the usability of our Catalogue, we established a set of criteria that are as objective as possible for deciding which piece to send to which organiser/festival etc. These criteria include the pieces’ subject, aesthetics, instrumentation, duration, year of composition and the awards it has won. As a consequence, the rules for our reading committees had to be refined also, in order to guarantee that the jury reports will contain all the information needed. You can consult our Catalogue on http://www.iscm-vlaanderen.be/index-en.php?page=16 and the pieces at Matrix (http://www.matrix-new-music.be).

Our annual Call for Works this year resulted in 23 submitted pieces, 6 of which have been granted the ISCM-Flanders Quality Label and are now part of our Catalogue. Jury chairman Jean-Luc Fafcamps (Wallonia), assisted by Gilles Gobert (Wallonia) and François Sarhan (France) were very enthusiastic about being “provided a perspective from which to view the Flemish scene, and to see that there is a serious interest in less obvious instruments and combinations, something unknown in France and Wallonia”. For more details, see http://www.iscm-vlaanderen.be/index.php?page=6&newsId=36.

January 25th, 2008 marked our annual meeting with the contemporary music scene of Flanders. Our 2nd ISCM Festival took place in Antwerp, a collaboration between ISCM-Flanders, Flemish Music Centre and deSingel, with support from the Flemish Government and our national authors society SABAM. We succeeded in presenting no less than 8 pieces from our Catalogue - performed by 7 ensembles - to a mixed audience of national and international specialists in contemporary music. Canadian composer Analia Llugdar, winner of the Flanders-Québec prize 2007, was handed this prestigious award in the presence of Mr. C. Sirros, delegate of Québec in Brussels and Mr Van Rillaer, representative of the Flemish minister of Culture. ISCM-Canada vice-president André Ristic and ISCM Secretary General A. van der Drift honoured us with their visit. For a detailed program, see http://www.iscm-vlaanderen.be/index-en.php?page=10&newsId=30.

Several pieces from our Catalogue have been sent to the WMD 2008 in Vilnius (Filip Rathé. Das Utopias was performed by the Kremerata Baltica on November 5th 2008) and the WMD 2009 in Sweden (Bert Van Herck’s 7 Chansons and Daan Janssens’ ...nuit cassée have been selected).

For our next ISCM Festival day, which will take place in Bruges, April 17th, 2009, we have set up an exchange with the Portugese ISCM Section, following a similar procedure as for the WMD. Each section sends a few recent scores to the other, one of which is chosen by the receiving country to be performed during an ISCM concert. For ISCM-Portugal, Pedro M. Rocha’s To a world free from beliefs will be performed on our ISCM day in Bruges April 17th, 2009, for ISCM-Flanders Cathy Van Eck’s Zwischen Schlaf und Schlaf will be performed in Portugal in fall 2009. During these concerts a delegate from the sending country is given the opportunity to present contemporary music life in his home country towards a specialized audience in the receiving country. We intend to further develop this formula in the coming years and involve other countries.

Most of our time in 2008 was given to the realisation of two longer-term projects. In close collaboration with Flanders Music Centre, IAMIC, the Nordic Composers Council and the European Music Office, a European Network for the exchange of contemporary art music repertoire has been formed: Re:new Music. Current partners include Croatian Composers’ Society, Danish Composers' Society, Finnish Composers Society, Flanders Music Centre (B), Music Centre Slovakia, Nordic Composers' Council, Norwegian Composers' Society, Polish Music Information Centre & Polish Composers Union, PRS Foundation (UK), SACEM (FR), Swedish Composers' Society and Wallonie-Bruxelles Musiques (B). ISCM-Flanders is part of the working group that coordinates the starting up of this Network Pilot.

Also the preparation of the WMD 2012 in Flanders is proceeding with increasing intensity. All partners are meeting regularly in order to give form to this challenging enterprise, for which we were very happy to get an approval on the base concept from the GA in Vilnius (2008). Separate working groups have been established for fundraising, artistic issues, communication etc. At this moment we are working very hard towards the formal application, which includes setting up the artistic framework and budgets for approval by the GA in Sweden later this year.

Apart from these section-specific activities, a lot of contemporary music concerts and festivals take place continuously. There are the annual Klarafestival van Vlaanderen, Happy New Ears, Transit and November Music festivals. And of course the regular concerts of the different ensembles (Champ d’Action, Emanon, Hermes, Het Collectief, Prometheus, Spectra Ensemble, …) continue to bring contemporary music and first performances on a regular basis (on average between 20 and 40 concerts a year each).