Five Years of @ClassicalNEXT – Opening in Rotterdam – 2017 Dates and Location

Congratulations! Classical:NEXT, the global meeting for all art music innovators, opened its 2016 edition on May 25 with a ‘Dutch Mountains’ gala opening in de Doelen concert hall, including keynote speeches by Dr Clemens Trautmann, CEO of Deutsche Grammophon; Hans-Hermann Rehberg of the Berlin Radio Choir; and Beth Morrison of Beth Morrison Projects, as well as the star conductor Michael Tilson Thomas via video.



Classical:NEXT celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, gathering music professionals from 45 countries from all over the world for four days of conferences, showcase concerts and networking at the expo. The registration numbers were up by more than 10% before the event even started, with more one thousand participants confirmed by organisers Piranha Arts – exact numbers are to follow with the final press release on Saturday.

Immediately embraced by many labels and distributors when it was initiated in 2012, the Classical:NEXT community has expanded considerably within five editions, as the live sector and music media have also made it their international platform. Meanwhile, the event has developed into the biggest meeting for artists, entrepreneurs and multipliers from all branches of the classical and contemporary music scene.

This year marks the second time Classical:NEXT, which is organised by Berlin-based Piranha Arts, takes place in Rotterdam with the main venue and local production partner being Rotterdam’s renowned de Doelen concert hall and congress centre.

“It is truly amazing to see the development of Classical:NEXT – it appears to flourish in its Dutch home,” believes Classical:NEXT Director Jennifer Dautermann. “Not too surprising, actually, considering the context of the optimal conditions offered by our hosts, the city and the cultural scene in the Netherlands overall.”

Neil Wallace, programme director of de Doelen and also producer of this year’s opening enthuses: “This year feels even more exciting than last year – you can literally feel the Classical:NEXT vibe throughout the city, running into international artists and classical music professionals networking everywhere.“

Dutch Mountains Opening presents Netherlands’ finest

After Austria, Luxembourg and Canada, this year’s opening country was the Netherlands. The ceremony was produced by Classical:NEXT 2016 hosts De Doelen, who are also celebrating their 50th anniversary this month.

For a country renowned for its flatness, the heights the Netherlands’ art music were very much on show at the Classical:NEXT 2016 gala Opening. The “Dutch Mountains” Opening featured a wide range of Dutch talent. The concert was heralded by contemporary marching band 9 x 13 and featured classical guitar innovator Aart Strootman (who performed the world premiere of his ‘Counterpoint 21’), sonic adventurers Ensemble Klang, boundary-breaking collective LUDWIG (who tonight announced the inclusion of Barbara Hannigan as a member of its collective), celebrated proponent of ‘pianism’ Ralph van Raat and anti-traditional percussion ensemble Slagwerk Den Haag all took to the stage. These glimpses into the Dutch art music world were connected and interwoven with specially-commissioned work by pioneering video-maker Jules van Hulst of the acclaimed 33⅓ Collective. A tutti performance of Louis Andriessen’s piece ‘Workers Union’ wrapped-up the tightly-curated evening that brought together such disparate  as operatic spinning tops, jawbones-as-percussion and tales of Buddhist moss-gardens.

The opening was produced on behalf of, and with the support of, Dutch Performing Arts. The opening artists were selected by De Doelen, advised by young Dutch curators Masa Spaan, Shane Burmania and Floris Kortie.

“Create works that tell the story of our time”: Keynotes give food for thought – Deutsche Grammophon and Apple Music announce new cooperation

A highlight of the evening was the keynote address, which was split four ways: statements were made by Dr Clemens Trautmann, CEO of Deutsche Grammophon, Hans-Hermann Rehberg of the Berlin Radio Choir, and Beth Morrison of Beth Morrison Projects, and a specially-recorded video message was delivered by world-famous conductor and orchestral director Michael Tilson Thomas.

Acknowledging Classical:NEXT as one of the industry’s most important events, Trautmann exclusively announced Deutsche Grammophon’s new initiative with Apple Music, creating a curated online space which can become a “prime destination for veteran followers, as well as new listeners”. (More details will follow in their press release on Thursday 26 May).

A prominent topic of the keynote was the need for continuing accessibility and relevance. Morrison urged the art music world to “create works that tell the story of our time”; Trautmann gave advice for the assembled Classical:NEXT delegates: “Stay curious, stay hungry and stay paranoid. As we know, only the paranoid survive. But most importantly, have fun!”; and Rehberg summarised the core tennet of Classical:NEXT in proclaiming “the reason why I am here is to talk to many of you in order to get new ideas, be inspired and create something new for both the Berlin Radio Choir and its audience”.

For downloadable press photographs from the Opening concert, see below.

New Programme Items, New Networks and Fellowships

New features this year include focuses on “NEXT:Tech” and music theatre, with extra conference programme as well as Operadagen Rotterdam and the Music Theatre Now competition being held parallel to Classical:NEXT, next door. New networks are also present at Classical:NEXT and engaging with the programme, e.g. with Codarts (Rotterdam’s renowned conservatory and university for the arts) and PRS for Music Foundation (the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development across all genres) starting a Classical:NEXT Fellowship programme for young composers and artists. The two organisations have both selected three outstanding talents and are enabling them to visit Classical:NEXT 2016 in Rotterdam to engage with more than 1,000 classical music professionals.

Ongoing network initiatives include and international orchestra network as well as an “indie classical” network. The world’s largest distributor and classical label Naxos held their meeting earlier in the week of Classical:NEXT and both organisers announced that they will continue to find the most convenient solution possible for international delegates to attend both events. Head of Naxos Klaus Heymann will speak in a talk, which will be part of the public Classical:NEXT Festival. The Festival will feature eleven international showcase acts, plus further Dutch talent and an appearance of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and a Classical Music Rave from Thursday until Saturday. The final day of the event will see proceedings come to a close with the ceremony of the second Classical:NEXT Innovation Award for outstanding projects, which were voted on by the Classical:NEXT online community.

Classical:NEXT 2017 – in Rotterdam again

With the success of what are now two editions and the location very well accepted among delegates and artists alike, Piranha Arts and de Doelen have agreed to hold Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam again next year; the dates of this sixth edition will be 17 – 20 May 2017.

Useful links for press

You can find photographs from tonight’s Opening concert at the dedicated Dropbox folder, as well as more from the event to be updated throughout the week, at the Classical:NEXT 2016 Press Photos Dropbox.

More downloadable media, including audio and video to come, can be found in the press section of the Dropbox.

For more information on the Classical:NEXT 2016 Opening concert, visit the Opening page at

@ClassicalNEXT is ready to start May, 25

Classical:NEXT is a professional forum for classical and art music, the next edition of which will take place in Rotterdam from 25 – 28 May 2016.



It is planned as an annual event that aims to unite the international art music community. The event’s structure consists of three sections – Showcase, Conference and Expo: Showcases will present artists and productions in a series of short concerts or video screenings. The event is on its way to become one of the most exciting international platforms and marketplaces for the future of  classical music.

Conferences will offer presentations, seminars, thinktanks, mentoring, matchmaking and other formats. The Expo is an exhibition place for companies and institutions and offers a meeting point for hundreds of delegates. Classical:NEXT is initiated by CLASS and produced by WOMEX.

Find more information here!

@ClassicalNEXT Calls for Programme Proposals for 2016

The classical music meeting and worldwide innovators network Classical:NEXT has opened its annual call for proposals. Classical music professionals from all over the globe can submit their suggestions for showcase artists as well as for video presentations and conference sessions to be held at Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 25-28 May 2016.


To offer an exceptional programme, Classical:NEXT assembles a handpicked selection of artists, speakers and projects each year. All proposals will be considered by an independent jury of international experts – guaranteeing a neutral and balanced selection of only the best showcases and most pressing conference topics for Classical:NEXT 2016 at Rotterdams de Doelen concert hall and congress centre. Proposals can be made for Live Showcases and Video Showcases as well as for short Project Pitches and entire Conference Sessions.

Deadline to apply via the online proposal system is Friday, 25 September 2015.

Building on the Classical:NEXT Momentum
Hundreds of proposals are expected again, with the numbers being likely to rise, given that this May’s Classical:NEXT meeting was attended by a record number of 1,000 professionals from 45 countries. The entire Classical:NEXT network now unites over 2,000 international movers, shakers and everyday innovators from all sectors of the classical music business and 2015 sees an increased attention in the live sector as well as in the media.

For more information and to submit proposals, please visit:

@Classical:NEXT 2015 is on the way

Classical:NEXT 2015 fair will be held in Rotterdam from May 20-23, 2015 in Rotterdam (NL).



The interesting schedule is fully packed with topic issues and perspectives for the classical music industry. Classical:NEXT was born out of the simple idea to bring the diverse scenes of classical music together and offer them a forum to exchange and develop new ideas around classical and contemporary – or in a wider sense – art music. Since 2011, around 2.000 art music professionals representing 1,000 companies from more than 40 countries have engaged with Classical:NEXT and made it into the world’s most important classical music meeting.

Delegates waiting for Daniel Hope's keynote


Rotterdam (Netherlands) – The organisers of Classical:NEXT, the global meeting for all art music innovators, have just opened their call for proposals for the 2015 programme. Professionals from across the world concerned with classical and art music are encouraged to submit their ideas, projects or music as well as put forward innovative and interactive conference formats.



After three successful editions, Classical:NEXT has established itself as the event for progressive themes in classical and art music, with its emphasis on mutual collaboration allowing those active within the genre to play a role in developing its future. In 2015, the event will once again be shaped by delegates with Classical:NEXT Director, Jennifer Dautermann, calling on everyone to take part.

Submission Deadline 26 September 2014

Submissions must be received by Friday, 26 September 2014. Following this date, the Classical:NEXT jury, an independent group comprised of five experts from within the classical and art music world, will meet to make the programming selection. Proposals are being accepted in the following three categories:

  1. With a focus on groundbreaking approaches, soloists and ensembles perform for Classical:NEXT delegates and the general public in short evening concerts of 30 minutes each. Proposals that one normally will not find on the traditional competition circuit are particularly encouraged. These might use unusual concert formats, audience interaction, multimedia or unconventional techniques and inspirations. The jury will be looking for “the NEXT”!
  2. Video showcases have the same purpose as live showcases and also last up to 30 minutes. However, using video to present allows large ensembles or staged productions a showcase opportunity with a minimum of fuss or expense. Project pitches are lightning quick “find and seek” sessions. Make a pitch to the international classical community to try and find a partner, a funder, a record label or whatever it is you might seek. For a total of 9 minutes, show the audience what you’ve got using video, power point or just your own powers of persuasion!
  3. The conference programme covers both business and creative themes, featuring today’s burning issues and paths forward into tomorrow. Subjects must be of relevance to multiple sectors. Interactivity and audience participation are highly desired. The conference section of Classical:NEXT can include numerous formats including discussions, brainstorming and/or networking sessions, mentoring and presentations.

More information on proposals for Classical:NEXT 2015

The programme of Classical:NEXT 2014 was also selected from community proposals:

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