Classical:NEXT 2015 dates announced: 20 – 23 May

After the third edition of Classical:NEXT (which was held in May 2014 in Vienna) has once again been very well received, the organizers Piranha Arts announced the dates for next year. In order to enable newly interested professionals to join the Classical:NEXT network immediately, the year-round online platform C:N NET now offers a membership for non-delegates as well.



The fourth edition of the classical music expo and conference will take place from 20 – 23 May 2015. The location is not confirmed yet.

General manager Fabienne Krause: “We are very pleased to see Classical:NEXT going so well. Now it is on all of us to consolidate the project and to develop it further year by year. Of course, Classical:NEXT will always take place in a European city that is attractive to our delegates and easy to reach. As long as the final negotiations are running, we unfortunately can not confirm the location. We will do this very soon, though, in time
for everybody to arrange their stay comfortably.”

A record number of 900 delegates representing more than 500 companies and coming from more than 40 countries attended Classical:NEXT in Vienna this May.


Vienna, May 17, 2014: Classical:NEXT 2014 came to a close, following four fruitful days of expo, conferences and concerts where the art music community demonstrated how adapting and diverse it has become. More than 900 professionals from over 40 countries passed through the doors of the
Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna to build networks, develop ideas or to create new projects on site.



In its third year, the international forum for classical and art music has increased its rate of attendance by more than 10 percent. The number of exhibitors rose from 120 in 2013 to 170 organisations and institutions from across the world, an increase by almost 50%, in 2014. The event, which ran from 14 – 17 May, was particularly lauded for its outstanding atmosphere as well as the exchanges that occurred between sectors: more than 100 different concert and festival
promoters; more than 150 press and media representatives, 150 artists and hundreds of labels, distributors as well as key players from the field of education and many more took part in Classical:NEXT 2014.

A new enthusiasm
Classical:NEXT Director, Jennifer Dautermann, connects the growth of Classical:NEXT to the newfound enthusiasm developing within the classical world: “Our continuing success shows not only the demand for a tailored art music meeting, but also how adaptable the community has become. It is wonderful to see so many concert hall managers, artists, promoters and educational experts sitting together with tech companies, labels and
music institutions, forming new alliances and initiatives – at Classical:NEXT they set new standards for what a music conference can achieve.”

Star baritone Thomas Hampson, who launched proceedings for Classical:NEXT on Wednesday, 14 May with a keynote speech, found similar words in an interview with the online TV channel, Klassik.TV: “I think Classical:NEXT is a wonderful invention. The idea to have people from all different levels and strata, from performing artists to presenters and agents, the whole gamut of people that are either busy with or passionate about the world of classical music, come together and share their experiences so that each one of us on the other side of the business better understands what is going into it.”

Further quotes and video statements:

Classical:NEXT delegates programme

Video of the flashmob (and more)

Interview with Thomas Hampson by Klassik.TV (keynotes will be made available here in due course):
From Trial and Error to Stories of Success – Conference Programme – Pioneers the Way Forward

The third edition of Classical:NEXT further established the crucial role the event now plays within the classical and art music community, with the diversity of topics explored at this year’s conference programme testament to this. The conference programme was expanded for 2014 and featured 59 speakers leading more than 25 sessions plus special formats across four days.

The 2014 conference programme left no stone unturned, exploring relevant themes from across the musical spectrum: David Pay (Music on Main, Canada) and Sean Hickey (Naxos, US) examined how the entrepreneurial spirit can and is benefitting the classical world; Christopher Gruits (Interlochen Centre for the Arts, US) laid out strategies for reaching audiences using live, digital and broadcast
platforms; Chris O’Reilly (Presto Classical, UK), Christopher Widauer (Vienna State Opera, Austria), Steve Long (Signum Records, UK) and Jared Sacks (Channel Classics, The Netherlands) outlined how
streaming and subscriptions can work in classical music’s favour; Andrea Thilo (Germany) and Kai-Michael Hartig (Körber Foundation, Germany) discussed the necessity of keeping music education alive; and Mark Pemberton (Association of British Orchestras, UK) and Claire Mela-Nelson (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, UK) debated ways to reinvent audience engagement and classical world opening itself up more to its listeners.

Joby Burgess, percussionist of Powerplant is very satisfied with his Classical:NEXT experience, as have most delegates: “It’s been fantastic to be at Classical:NEXT for the last few days and bring my act from the UK, Powerplant, to showcase and perform in front of an international audience of delegates from all across the world. I’ve made some brilliant new friends and brilliant new
contacts with likeminded people. It’s been a really wonderful experience.”


Classical:NEXT Facts & Figures
900 Delegates coming from more than
40 countries, representing
550 companies

100 promoters
100 publishers
More than 200 labels and distributors
150 members of the national and international press
160 music institutions including many from the education sector.

100 artists plus
51 live showcase artists
8 live showcases
2 off C:N showcase concert evenings
6 video showcases
30 Conference and mentoring sessions with
59 speakers
2 film screenings
plus the IMZ Video Library

International Conferences coming up soon

Conference year 2014 has taken up speed.

The 3rd International Orchestra Conference is going to start on Sunday, February 23, 2014, in Oslo (Norway). Until February 26 managers, musicians, unions and arts organization from around the globe will discuss topic problems of orchestras, health issues, as well a labor conflicts. More information


International Orchestra Conference 2014

International Orchestra Conference 2014

Artist managers and agencies will gather for the 24th International IAMA Conference in Milton Court, London (UK) from April 10 to 12, 2014. The title of this conference: “Time for change”. More information


The organizers of the successful classical music expo Classical:NEXT announced the 2014 edition: the international professionals’ forum for classical and art music will take place from 14 until 17 May 2014, a little earlier in the calendar than the first two editions. The main venue will again be the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna. More information


The League of American Orchestras Conference 2014 will be held June 4–6, 2014, Pre-Conference June 2 to 4 Seattle, Washington. Conference will take place at the Westin Seattle, 1900 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98101. The Seattle Symphony is co-host of Conference 2014. More information

Daniel Hope: Music needs to be communicated

Daniel Hope hold an encouraging keynote speech when he adressed the delegates of the Classical:NEXT 2013 in Vienna, on May 29. It is packed with anecdotes and fresh ideas. How to re-invent classical music, how to reach out for new audiences etc.

Delegates waiting for Daniel Hope's keynote

Delegates waiting for Daniel Hope’s keynote

Classical music world would be a better place if we would have more advovcates and communicators like this extraordinary one.

Enjoy and share it with others: Daniel Hope’s keynote

Orchestra Now – But How (And Why?) – Presentation at Classical:NEXT, Vienna

The task: How can the orchestra find an authentic voice in the modern world? What should an orchestra embody and represent? These questions apply to all orchestras, but specifically to ensembles that are consciously developing their own distinctive voice. What does it mean to be an orchestra musician today? How can orchestra and its members find new narratives that represent their true voice? How about their managers, agents and the concert halls in which they perform?



The solution: Orchestra managements very often only have an internal perspective on the current challenges and on their in-house-problems. Here you’ll find a more or less external perspective. The President of the Federal Republic of Germany Johannes Gauck recently said in a speech: “Listening to good music is a meeting with good luck!” In this sense every concert announcement is an invitation to be lucky. Have you ever seen it like this?

Whenever orchestra managers meet on a national or international platform, they discuss almost the same problems about a) money (funding), b) audiences, and c) a lack of music education. Especially talking about audiences means younger or aging audiences, more diverse or shrinking audiences. In the last few years there have been lots of best practice examples and tools developed to tackle these questions.

Very often we are talking about a “crisis”. If there is one, it’s   n o t   a crisis of classical music. However, there is a crisis. It’s in the professional promotion of classical music to the society: orchestras, concert halls, agents, record companies, publishers etc. There is a severs lack of networking between stakeholders. At the Classical:NEXT: where are all the orchestra managers at this conference? Why don’t they take the opportunity of cross-the-border-networking?

Where are the potentials of our sector? We can make four points for the orchestras:

1. raising hidden audience potentials: take the example of the NY Philharmonic. When the orchestra did a rebranding process the outcome of a survey said that there are some 40.000 attendees entering the concerts. But there were more than 600.000 people who “liked classical music, but don’t attend”. This is a huge potential audience to researched and developed carefully.

2. strategic developing of artistic vibrancy: the quality of the orchestra performance is not only a result of combining a first class artist with a highly motivated ensemble. It’s an artistically driven management process. A wonderful tool for this task is the Artistic Reflection Kit, developed by the Australian Arts Council.

3. implementing a quality management system: take the example of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. Some 300 different management processes have been surveyed and standardized: How do we welcome a visitor at the front door?  How do we consult ticket buyers on the phone? etc.

4. strengthen involvement of musicians:  take the example of the Berlin Philharmonic. It’s the artistically and economically most successful orchestra in Germany. Musicians are involved in more than 30 different chamber music ensembles. The democratic structure gives the musicians the right to elect the chief conductor and to vote for the CEO. The mission of the orchestra is perfect, authentic and brief: “128 soloists – one orchestra”. The musicians feel and behave as ambassadors of their orchestra. It’s not simply a job, it’s a special honor to be a Berlin Phil musician.

I do believe that there is a mutual responsibility of the whole classical music industry for the future development of our sector. The core question is: How do we create a new common spirit?

Classical:NEXT conference is a step into the right direction. But we all must and could do more.

Classical:NEXT take off today in Vienna

Classical:Next is going to open its doors in Vienna today. Visitors are in line at the registration desks. There will be three fully packed days of discussions, meetings and showcases.

Registration Desk in Vienna

Registration Desk in Vienna

What’s the idea?

“Preserve the past – work in the present – look to the future

The classical music community is fragmented: early or contemporary, traditional or experimental, live or recorded, independent or major – to mention only some of thedivisons. Individual factions meet and network separately at their own events, rarely conversing with other groups. This is business as usual, yet old models and practices can no longer be relied on to sustain audience numbers or the financial health necessary to survive and thrive. The future of music is at stake and music professionals must orient themselves towards it.

An international Forum

Classical:NEXT is a new, annual event that addresses head on the challenges facing the international classical and art music community, both in its entirety and within its various sectors. Classical:NEXT also offers an ideal opportunity to promote new talent, new creative ideas and future-oriented business practices.”

Find more about the program here

Upcoming events and conferences

A couple of interesting national and international events and conferences are coming up for the orchestra and arts management sector:

The China Symphony Development Foundation is preparing the National Conference 2013 in Xiamen, April 16-18.

The 23rd IAMA (International Artists Managers Association) Conference will take place in Vienna Konzerthaus from April 25-27. Title of the conference: “Innovating Tradition”.



Second edition of the fresh and innovative conference format Classical:NEXT 2013 is announced from May 29 to June 1 in Vienna, too. Classical:NEXT is a new, annual event that addresses head on the challenges facing the international classical and art music community, both in its entirety and within its various sectors. Classical:NEXT also offers an ideal opportunity to promote new talent, new creative ideas and future-oriented business practices.

The League of American Orchestras National Conference 2013 will be in St. Louis, June 18-20, with pre-conference seminars June 16-18.

The date and placed for the next National Conference of the ABO (Association of British Orchestras)  have already been announced: The 2014 Conference will be held in London from January 29-31, hosted by London Symphony Orchestra in association with the Barbican.

Finally: The 3rd International Orchestra Conference is to be prepared in Oslo (Norway) for 2014 , April 24 -26.

Classical:Next – Development is possible

After the first sessions, presentations and showcases at the new fair in Munich: Classical:Next could be developed to a new and fresh format of international networking in the classical music business. The branches seem to be too seperated. Labels meet at MIDEM, artist managers at IAMA, musicians, orchestra managers meet almost at their national conferences etc. But where is the location to meet all of them? Classical:Next could have this potential.

But this would need more official collaboration with the exisiting national and international associations, publishers media. And it would need more commitment and contribution from those as partners. From a new forum one could expect a more visionary approach. Where are successful models which work in practice? Who are  the pathfinders, the real entrepreneurs in the different sectors.

Discussion at Classical:NEXT

Discussion at Classical:NEXT in Munich, Germany

For example – and this was mentioned today by an owner of a medium size  high end CD label from Germany: “CD market is still shrinking. Where do we earn the money which we need to develop and promote new artists, the “Alfred Brendels” of the future?”  This could be a good topic to be dicussed in near future. Another example: One of todays forums was titled “What is better, a community or a crowd?” To me a silly question. If you have got a community which gives public or private support, feel happy. And if you can get crowd funding for special projects – brilliant! But as an alternative? I wouldn’t recommend this.

You may see: It is good to meet your peers at an international forum. But if you want to get the right answers you have to put the right questions. Let’s see what comes Next in Classical music development in near future.

Classilcal:NEXT – An Ever First New Professionals Forum For Classical And Arts Music

The idea has been a little bit adventurous: 1. creating a new fair for classical music presenters, new forms of music presentation and promotion and 2. let the stakeholders create the content of the fair by themselves. Some 300 delegates and exhibitors had been expected. But today there are more than 500 (!) joining ther Gasteig in Munich. Classical labels (majors as well as indipendents), recording studios, arts promoters, publishers, music magazines from Europe and from other continents come together from May 30 to June 2, 2012: Classical:NEXT.


They will discuss and promote new trends in promotion of classical music in the 21st century. What really strikes me: Only the Munich chamber orchestra and some freelance ensembles are represented. What about the big symphony orchestras? And the big concerthalls? No idea. This is really a pitty. The future of classical music depends on innovation. Innovation needs exchange of new ideas.

During the next few days one should open eyes and ears to catch up these new ideas for the classical music business.