@ClassicalNEXT: Celebrating the Relevance of Classical Music

The world’s biggest classical music meeting, Classical:NEXT, has opened its doors for its sixth edition. Four days of Expo, Conference and the new ‘Seriously – Adventures in Music’ Showcase Festival lie ahead for the expected 1,200 music professionals, who are coming to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, from all over the world and all branches of the classical and contemporary music scenes. Due to the continuing success of the meeting, with a growing expo and programme, organisers Piranha Arts and Rotterdam’s de Doelen Concert Hall and Congress Centre, have announced today that they will continue their cooperation for another three years.

Classical:NEXT

 

The global meeting for all art music innovators Classical:NEXT started its sixth edition today with a break from tradition: for the first time, the Opening was not produced by a single country, but instead was based around the positive answers to the question ‘what’s the point?’. After a music theatre performance ‘Have a Good Day’ as part of associated event Operadagen Rotterdam, the celebratory Classical:NEXT Opening in de Doelen featured the mainland European premiere of the UK’s Chineke! Orchestra, and words from Chineke’s Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE and Afa S. Dworkin of Sphinx Foundation, as well as conductor Marin Alsop and Ahmed Aboutaleb, the popular mayor of Rotterdam, via video.

Growing Expo, Widening Range

Classical:NEXT 2017 is the third time the event is held in the renowned de Doelen Concert Hall and Congress Centre, and it sees music professionals from 44 countries across the world gather to discover, debate and decipher the current, emerging and future trends in classical and art music and beyond across a packed programme including conference sessions, showcase performances, video project pitches and more.

An important part of the meeting is the unique opportunity to network across branches and with colleagues in the growing Expo in de Doelen. This year, the Expo is the biggest yet with 80 stands and almost 300 exhibiting companies and institutions, which amounts to more than a 15% growth compared to last year’s numbers. Classical:NEXT organisers, Berlin-based Piranha Arts, confirmed that delegate registration numbers are already set to match last year’s record number of approximately 1,200 professionals.

 

Music is Better When We Play It Together

In a marked change from previous editions, the Classical:NEXT 2017 Opening Ceremony was presented not as a spotlight of the musical output of a particular nation, but instead asked the question of ‘what’s the point?’ Building upon a prominent topic of last year’s Opening keynotes – the need for continuing relevance – this year, the gala performance was a celebration of just how relevant the classical and contemporary scene can be.

The main performers of the first night were Chineke! Orchestra – Britain’s first black and minority ethnic (BME) orchestra – joined by the resident Doelen Ensemble and musicians and students from Codarts University for the Arts. The concert marked the orchestra’s mainland European debut and featured a selection of pieces by contemporary composers Sarah Kirkland Snider and Errollyn Wallen, as well as Edward Elgar’s Serenade for Strings.

Under the baton of Mortimer Fruber Prize-winning conductor Shaun Matthew, featured soloists included pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, violinist Tai Murray, soprano Nicole Jordan, and double bassist and founder of Chineke! Chi-chi Nwanoku. Nwanoku, who was also a co-director of the Opening, was one of the speakers of the night together with Afa S. Dworkin, president and artistic director of the US-based Sphinx Organization, who enthused:

“I am thrilled to be able to participate in Classical:NEXT this year: particularly, during such a turbulent time for our global society, I am eager to learn from and with colleagues around the globe and explore the immense power of the arts to unite, connect and erase barriers”

As well as those on stage, Classical:NEXT delegates were also joined by speakers via video messages. In this manner, Marin Alsop spoke of the bright future ahead for classical music and asked the pertinent questions: “What can we do to demonstrate our common humanity? What we can we do – individually and collectively – to make positive change?”. Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb used his message to explore connections in classical music, from personal, to city-wide, to world-wide.

Throughout the concert were also introductions to projects that epitomise the relevance and change that classical music can stir in communities around the world. The projects included 3 Thousand Rivers from Colombia, the Refugee Orchestra Project from the US, Gondwana Choirs from Australia, Selam Opera! from Germany, Zohra Afghan Women’s Orchestra from Afghanistan and Buskaid Soweto String Project from South Africa.

Chi-chi Nwanoku summed up the atmosphere of the Opening Ceremony with her words: “There is absolutely no reason why people of all backgrounds cannot enjoy the depth, complexity and beauty of classical music.”

The Opening is a joint production of Chineke! Foundation, Sphinx Organization, de Doelen and Piranha Arts. Chineke! Orchestra appears with the kind support of the GREAT campaign of the United Kingdom Department for International Trade as well as the British Council and PRS for Music Foundation.

 

Programme Overview: Connecting with Audiences Worldwide

The live musical programme for Classical:NEXT is expanded this year, under the title of the ‘Seriously – Adventures in Music’ festival and fully open to the public. Over the span of the event, artists from twelve countries and four continents will grace the Classical:NEXT stages in a range of performance contexts. Performing artists span the scene from emerging stars to art music veterans, including Collectif9, Maarja Nuut and David Krakauer.

In addition to the international jury-selected Showcase programme presented in de Doelen, a fresh format for this Classical:NEXT 2017 will allow delegates and public audiences to explore contemporary classical music in the intimate and informal settings of two of Rotterdam’s hippest club venues, BIRD and WORM. These Club Showcases comprise four live performances curated by Classical:NEXT director Jennifer Dautermann and Nonclassical artistic director Gabriel Prokofiev. A mainstay of the live programme at Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam is Lunch with the Resident, providing audiences with an opportunity to discover the breadth of Dutch musical talent with short lunchtime concerts organised by local partners de Doelen.

Two projects are highlighted in bespoke off C:N showcases. The Nordic Music Days 2017 will be represented by Distractfold Ensemble, and MusMa (partnered with the European Festival Association and European Broadcasting Union) will present the first collected performance of five specially-commissioned 2017 works, performed by Amôn Quartet from Belgium. In a collaboration initiated in 2016, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra will perform as part of the official Classical:NEXT programme, with a concert entitled ‘The Sea, The Sea!’. The performance will feature pieces by Michael Gordon and John Luther Adams, the orchestra conducted by Bas Wiegers and piano by Tomoko Mukaiyama.

For the first time at Classical:NEXT, the EBU will also record the international showcases for national radio stations, as well as making them available for radio stations worldwide, giving performing artists the maximum opportunity for visibility.

Further highlights of Classical:NEXT will be the interactive conference – the core of many Classical:NEXT delegates’ experience – with a total of 59 sessions and representatives from respected companies including Boosey & Hawkes, Carnegie Hall, Naxos, London Symphony Orchestra and many more offering new perspectives and concrete take-home know-how for the delegates.

The event will conclude with Saturday’s Closing Ceremony featuring a showcase of Trip Trip Trip and centred around the third Classical:NEXT Innovation Award, the winning project or person of which is decided by online vote, open to all delegates, from a shortlist selected by industry experts and journalists from 18 countries.

 

Classical:NEXT at Home in Rotterdam for Three More Years

Having grown in both size and reputation in its three years being held in Rotterdam, organisers Piranha Arts and de Doelen Concert Hall and Congress Centre today announced that the Classical:NEXT event will return to Rotterdam for a further three editions. Also revealed were the dates of Classical:NEXT 2018, which will be held 16 – 19 May 2018.

How selected #Orchestras integrate #digital tools

Orchestras around the globe are looking for pathways in the very fast changing digital environment. Only some orchestras can make money from media business, at least only, if they do it on their own behalf.

Home of Berlin Philharmonic and the DCH Ltd.

A good example is the Digital Concert Hall (DCH) of the Berlin Philharmonic. Find more information on this topic in this presentation, which has been hold at 4th International Orchestra Conference in Montreal on May 12, 2017:

Orchestras Integrating Digital Tools

@AirCanada receives #FIMAirlineOfChoice Award – Press Release

On 11 May 2017, the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), which represents professional musicians and their trade unions in more than 60 countries, awarded the newly created FIM Airline of Choice award to Air Canada. The ceremony took place during the opening evening of the 4th FIM International Orchestra Conference hosted by the Quebec Musicians Guild (local 406 of the AFM).

FIM President John Smith, Senior Vice Presdient Air Canada Craig Landry, FIM Vice-President Deborah Cheyne

FIM and its member unions have been campaigning for several years with the aim of improving airlines’ policies so that musicians traveling with their instrument are treated fairly and are fully informed about regulations governing the transportation of musical instruments. The international jury set-up by FIM established that the Canadian company was clearly ahead of its competitors in this respect.

According to Benoît Machuel, FIM General Secretary, “Air Canada goes clearly beyond the requirements of the FAA regulation in the US – which today is the benchmark – by offering a 50% discount on a second seat for an instrument when necessary, as well as giving priority boarding to musicians and their instruments. Air Canada’s policy towards musicians is in our view exemplary.”

The FIM President, John Smith, declared: “It is satisfying to see that the air transport sector is gradually adapting itself to musicians’ needs. Unfortunately, too many companies still have unthought out policies that are often applied in an erratic and unpredictable manner. This is incompatible with a profession that, by its very nature, involves frequent travelling.”

“The Canadian Federation of Musicians has been working with our airlines for some time”, said AFM Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert. ‘We are very pleased that Air Canada listened, and have taken steps to greatly enhance the travel experience for musicians and their very valuable tools of trade.”

“For over 35 years Air Canada has been a long-time supporter of orchestral music in Canada. As official airline of eight major symphony orchestras in Canada from coast to coast, we have proudly flown them and their talented musicians around the world from China to Europe and the U.S. on many tours and to world famous concert halls including Carnegie Hall,” said Craig Landry, Senior Vice President, Revenue Optimization at Air Canada. “Our dedication to orchestras and music extends much further than being Official airline of these outstanding organizations. In 2015 we implemented industry leading enhancements designed to support the specific needs of all musicians travelling with carry-on instruments, including pre-boarding benefits and a generous discount when purchasing an additional seat for their instrument.”

The FIM Airline of Choice award 2017 was received on behalf of Air Canada by Senior Vice President Mr Craig Landry, in the presence of 200 international FIM delegates.

Information

Benoît Machuel, FIM General Secretary

Mobile: +33 660 625 494

office@fim-musicians.org

https://www.fim-musicians.org/

 

Copenhagen Phil in danger – online petition

The current Danish Minister for Culture, Mette Bock, recently wrote a feature article in the Jyllands-Posten (Jutland Post) which suggested that Copenhagen Phil- Zealand region’s symphony orchestra be closed down. At the same time, politician Alex Ahrendtsen from the Danish People’s Party also proposed plans to close down the orchestra.

Copenhagen Phil needs your support!

The Danish Culture Minister aims to strengthen the Danish orchestra landscape.. however closing Copenhagen Phil seems to be the least constructive way to achieve this. According to Politiken newspaper, “..of the 5 Danish regional orchestras, Copenhagen Phil has been the most proactive in re-thinking the idea of what a symphony orchestra can contribute with new concert partnerships, pop-up concerts in the metro, and a strong working relationship with private businesses. Copenhagen Phil is an innovative center for the presentation of music for a growing and diverse audience in the whole region”.

Copenhagen Phil is the island of Zealand’s symphony orchestra and it plays for just as many audiences in Copenhagen as in the rest of Zealand. The orchestra is Zealand region’s local sympony orchestra, which regularly meets residents from all over Zealand and in the concert hall in Copenhagen. If the orchestra is closed, one entire region in Denmark will not have a symphony orchestra- a region with 2.6 million inhabitants and with the largest land area. How is it possible that Zealand may no longer have it’s own regional orchestra?

Help the orchestras  fight to save an innovative and modern symphony orchestra, which works in and for all of Zealand, including Copenhagen.

Sign the petition here!

Please note that you have to confirm your signature in the confirmation e-mail.

#Classical #music 2017 business is more vibrant than ever

It’s not fake news. It’s true: the classical music business seems to be more vibrant than ever before. “A few decades ago, I would not have put money on the survival of the concerto, except as an antiquarian curiosity. Celebrity soloists continued milking the classics, but the rest of the music world seemed to have moved on from all that gladiatorial bravura, the individual versus the collective story line that made the genre such a Romantic-era staple”, writes Justin Davidson about the topic situation in New York.

 

Tenthousands of people listen to classical music – Oper für alle – Berlin

In Germany there are more crowds joining classical live music pereformances, festivals and events than the national soccer league, according to a STRAD report. A couple of new concert halls and music theatres in Bochum, Berlin (Pierre Boulez Hall at Barenboim-Said Foundation), Dresden and of course Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie) as well as refurbished venues in Munich, Dresden and other German cities (topic issue of the magazine “das Orchester”) show the refreshed power of classical music on major markets. German orchestras have doubled their education and outreach activities since 2004. For example: last week West German Radio Orchestra Cologne rushed out of the concert hall.13 chamber music ensembles visited some 100 primary schools in 55 cities in Northrhine-Westfalia and reached out to 20.000 kids. In one week! This is good news!

Upcoming International Conferences

The arts and orchestra conferences circus is taking speed again in 2017.

International Orchestra Conference

The IAMA (International Artist Managers Association) 27th International Conference takes place in the Paris Philharmony from April 5 to 7.

Find more information on this event here.

The international orchestra community will meet in Montreal (Canada) for the 4th FIM International Orchestra Conference from May 11 to 14. Experts from orchestras around the globe will discuss topic issues and developments in the  orchestra sector.

More information

The latest edition of the Classical:NEXT Fair takes place in Rotterdam (Netherlands) from May 17 to 20.

More information

Time marches on. Make you conference choice!

US Orchestras loose subscribers and audiences

The League of American Orchestras has released Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014, the organization’s first comprehensive longitudinal study of American orchestra finances and operations.

Survey says: US orchestras loose subscribers and audienees

Survey says: US orchestras loose subscribers and audienees

Using an extensive variety of organizational and external data sources, the study depicts the enormous breadth and scope of the American orchestra field, along with the complexities and resiliencies inherent in the art form’s business model. With its focus on the nine-year period from 2006 to 2014, including topline trends, five-year trends, and one-year snapshots, Orchestra Facts examines the effects of the recent recession, as well as broader trends around audience attendance, orchestra finances, and accessibility.

Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 reveals a remarkable breadth of activity and commitment of resources on the part of orchestras in service to their communities,” said League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “Our first-ever longitudinal study provides an authoritative fact base for analyzing orchestras’ finances and operations, as well as new metrics for understanding orchestras’ education and community engagement activity.” The report finds that the scope and scale of the orchestra field in the United States is vast: in 2014, 1,224 orchestras contributed $1.8 billion to the U.S. economy and attracted a total audience of nearly 25 million. Two out of every three orchestras operated with annual expenses budgets of under $300,000. Cost barriers traditionally associated with attending orchestra performances are coming down: the number of free concerts has increased, while the cost of purchasing paid-for tickets fell.

 

An 18% growth in the number of households subscribing shows that demand for subscriptions is still growing, even if spend per subscriber is down. Overall, audiences declined by 10.5% between 2010 and 2014, broadly in line with other performing arts sectors. However, audiences for classical series concerts declined by 5.5% (corresponding roughly to a 3% decline in the number of classical series performances offered). The report also finds that orchestras’ work continues outside the concert hall through a wide array of education and community engagement activities for diverse audiences.

Generally, the report confirms recession recovery for the field as a whole, but individual orchestras may have different experiences. The study also illustrates the complexity of the orchestra business model as orchestras balance multiple forms of earned, contributed, and investment revenue. Looking at Change in Unrestricted Net Assets (CUNA), defined as the difference between unrestricted income and total expenses, the proportion of orchestras reporting deficits dropped from 40% in 2010 to 18% in 2014.

 Report Highlights*:

See report’s Key Findings (pp 4-5) and Conclusions (p 20) sections for more details.

Download the Full Report Here

 

For the first time, this report publicly reveals a detailed picture of the scope and scale of the orchestra field in the United States:

  • In 2014, the orchestra field contributed $1.8 billion to the U.S. economy and attracted a total audience of nearly 25 million.
  • That same year, there were 1,224 U.S. orchestras, distributed widely across all 50 states, and two out of every three orchestras operated with annual expenses budgets of under $300,000.

Orchestras perform, but also teach, lead, facilitate, and train.

  • Their work drives a vast array of education and community engagement (EdCE) activities.
  • A segment of the report analyzes survey responses from 98 orchestras EdCE activities: these 98 orchestras alone reported 19,000 EdCE performances, musical activities, and events, with 2.1 million people participating in these EdCE events.
  • Two thirds participated without charge.
  • Thirty-eight percent of the EdCE participants were African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaskan Native. Sixty-two percent were white.

Cost barriers traditionally associated with attending orchestra performances are coming down:

  • Between 2010 and 2014, the number of free concerts increased, while the cost of purchasing paid-for tickets fell.

Orchestras find themselves at a moment of transition:

  • 2013 saw a significant shift in the traditional orchestra business model as – for the first time – income produced by single ticket and group sales was higher than that earned from subscription revenues.
  • The subscription model remains important: an 18% growth in the number of households subscribing shows that demand for subscriptions is still growing, even if spend per subscriber is down.
  • Overall, audiences declined by 10.5% between 2010 and 2014, broadly in line with other performing arts sectors.
  • However, audiences for classical series concerts declined by 5.5%, corresponding roughly to a 3% decline in the number of classical series performances offered.
  • The stability of contributed income through the recession years and the large number of small gifts made to orchestras (around 75% of the gifts made by non-trustee individuals were under $250) indicate a broad base of continuing community support for – and appreciation of – orchestras’ work.

The orchestra business model is complex but resilient:

  • Orchestras depend upon a complex portfolio of revenue sources that includes multiple forms of earned, contributed, and investment income.
  • Orchestras successfully maintained contributed income levels through the recession while containing growth in expenses.
  • Many orchestras rely on investment income, though this makes them more vulnerable during leaner times.
  • Between 2006 and 2014, total asset value increased by 4% while liabilities decreased by 7.5%, having peaked at the recession’s height. Consequently, net assets grew at a rate exceeding inflation by 6.6%.
  • In general terms, these measures indicate improved organizational stability over time, despite the impact of recession on the field.
  • Looking at Change in Unrestricted Net Assets (CUNA), defined as the difference between unrestricted income and total expenses, the proportion of orchestras reporting deficits dropped from 40% in 2010 to 18% in 2014.
  • It’s important to note that the report confirms recession recovery for the whole field; individual orchestras may have different experiences.

Orchestra Field-wide 2014 Snapshot: 1,224 orchestras in the NCAR and OSR data sets for financial year 2013-14

Orchestra Field 2006-14, 9-year Trends: The 547 orchestras with annual expenses of $50,000 or more that submitted data each of the five financial years from 2005-06 to 2013-14

The OSR data set was also exclusively analyzed in the following two ways: OSR2014 Snapshot: The 107 League member orchestras participating in the Orchestra Statistical Report for financial year 2013-14;  OSR 2010-14, 5-year Trends: The 65 League member orchestras participating in the Orchestra Statistical Report for each of the five financial years from 2009-10 to 2013-14

Figures in the report are adjusted for inflation.

Orchestras surveyed include both professional and semi-professional orchestras, but do not include school, college, or military orchestras.

Youth orchestras are partially represented in the data sets, and are identified by footnotes throughout the report.

Read the full press release here.