41st Nordic #Orchestra Conference, Oulu, Finland

The 41st Nordic Orchestra Conference will be held in Oulu, Finland on September 20-22, 2017. All orchestra managers and other representatives of Nordic orchestras are warmly welcome to take part. We are very happy to invite you to join us in Oulu in the centenary of Finland´s independence. In the conference we will be discussing for “Best practices in community involvement”, “How to survive the inevitable change in the orchestra field”, “Opportunities and challenges in private funding” and “Challenges of digitalization”. Our key note speakers are Ragnar Lund (SWE), Hannes de Vries (NL), Søren Friis Møller (DK) and Katri Saarikivi (FIN).

Welcome to Oulu!



The conference sessions will be held at Oulu Music Centre and Oulu City Theatre. In addition to the in-depth talks, we can hear a concert by the Oulu Symphony Orchestra conducted by Johannes Gustavsson and enjoy a delightful social life with our wonderful orchestral “family”.
Welcome to the conference!

To be sure of getting a room at our conference hotel, the Radisson Blu Hotel Oulu, please send your registration before August 25th. Tel. 020 1234 730, sales.ouluradissonblu.com.
Code SINFONIA. A single room 105 €, a double room 125 €.

The fee for the full conference is 520 €. If you want to join the tour from the river delta to country side, smoke sauna and traditional Finnish dinner on Friday, you will pay additional fee
75 €. Please send your registration before August 30th.

Please pay the fee to our IBAN
Account:
Suomen Sinfoniaorkesterit ry
FI83 5724 1120 0177 95
OKOYFIHH
Please mention the participant´s name.

More information:

The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras:
Helena Värri, Executive Director +358 50 556 9781, helena.varrisinfoniaorkesterit.fi
Elina Tuomola, Secretary +358 40 594 3079, elina.tuomolasinfoniaorkesterit.fi

Oulu Symphony Orchestra:
Leena Pälli, General Manager +358 44 703 7210, leena.palliouka.fi
Katariina Kummala, Marketing +358 44 703 7220, katariina.kummalaouka.fi
Virpi Länkelä, Sales +358 44 703 7221, virpi.lankelaouka.fi

The Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras reserves all rights to changes in the conference programme.

YOU WILL FIND THE REGISTRATION FORM BELOW THE PROGRAMME INFORMATION.

Wednesday 20th of September
Tulindberg Hall, Oulu Music Centre, Leevi Madetojankatu 1-3, Oulu

09:30 – 10:30 Registrations in Oulu Music Centre
10:00 Bus from Radisson Blu Hotel to the Tulindberg Hall

10:30 – 10:45 Welcome, Mayor of the City of Oulu Päivi Laajala

11:00 – 11:45 Country reports / panel hosted by Gordon Alsing, (DK)
Denmark: Asbjørn Keiding
Finland: Helena Värri
Iceland: Arna Kristín Einarsdóttir
Norway: Rolf Lennart Stensø
Sweden: Mikael Brännvall

11:45 – 12:00 Coffee

12:00 – 13:00 100 years of Music in Finland
Minna Lindgren, Music Writer and Journalist

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:00 Opportunities and challenges in private funding
Key Note Speaker Ragnar Lund, Researcher and Lecturer, KHT Royal Institute of Technology

15:00 – 16:15 Best practices in community involvement in the nordic countries
Annika Kukkonen (FIN), Uffe Savery (DK), Marco Feklistoff (SWE), Arna Kristín Einarsdóttir (IS), tba (NO)

16:30 Bus to the hotel

//

19:00 Dinner at the City Hall, Kirkkokatu 2a, Oulu

Thursday 21st of September “Times are changing.”
Tulindberg Hall, Oulu Music Centre, Leevi Madetojankatu 1-3, Oulu

9:30 Bus from the hotel to the Tulindberg Hall

10:00 – 11:00 From democratization of culture to cultural democracy. Organizational and managerial changes for symphony orchestras.
Søren Friis Møller, External lecturer, PHD, B.A, Copenhagen Business School

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee

11:15– 11:45: The renewal process of the state subsidies in Finland
Helena Mustikainen, Project Director of Sitra Fund

11:45 – 12:30 The change in the orchestra field in the Netherlands and how they survived it.
Key Note Speaker: Hannes de Vries, Co-owner at GE#sharp artists events, Member of the board of the International Artist Managers´ Association

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 13:50 Auditions from the musician’s perspective.
Lucy Abrams, Clarinetist, Oulu Symphony Orchestra

13:50 – 14:15 Coffee

14:15 – 15:00: HR Policies on senior musicians.
Hanna Fontana, HR manager of Finnish National Opera and Ballet

15:00 – 15:15 Summary

15:30 Bus to the hotel

//

18:30 Bus from the hotel to the Madetoja Hall

19:00 Oulu Symphony Orchestra concert at the Madetoja Hall

Johannes Gustavsson, conductor
Jamie Barton, mezzosoprano

Juha Pisto: Symphony no 1 (first performance)
Lili Boulanger: D’un soir triste
Gustav Mahler: Rückert Lieder

Intermission hosted by the International Artist Managers´ Association (IAMA) Chairman Aino Turtiainen-Visala, Introduction of “The Heirs of Sibelius” project by Kalevi Aho.

Bus to the hotel leaves after the concert. Dinner by your own cost.

Friday 22nd of September
Oulu City Theatre, Vinttikamari, Kaarlenväylä 2, Oulu

9:00 – 10:00: Music as a gateway to empathy in the digital realm
Key Note Speaker Katri Saarikivi, Cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Helsinki

10:00 – 10:45 Can orchestra field benefit from the game industry and vice versa?
Tony Manninen, CEO of Ludocraft, designing games and play

10:45 – 11:00 Coffee

11:00 – 12:00: The future leadership in the orchestra field
Vesa Puhakka, Professor of Management at the University of Oulu´s Business School.

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

//

14:00 Gathering at the hotel

14:15 Oulu Tour from the river delta to country side.
Additional fee 75 €. Please wear sporty casual, waterproof, windproof, everything proof. Bring your swim suit. Towels provided by the host.

Experience:
– M/S Angelina river boat – smoke sauna – traditional Finnish dinner

22:30 – Bus back to the city

YOU WILL FIND THE REGISTRATION FORM HERE:

Signup form

US #Orchestras to Examine their Role in a Changing Public Policy Landscape

League of American Orchestras’ 2017 National Conference, June 6-8 in Detroit: Celebration of League’s 75th Anniversary

The League of American Orchestras’ 2017 National Conference in Detroit, June 6-8, will focus on the ways forward for orchestras in an uncertain public policy landscape. Using the story of Detroit’s revitalization and resurgent creative community as a backdrop, the Conference will include a diverse array of civic, business, and cultural voices, including many from the Motor City.

Detroit Symphony Hall

Detroit Symphony Orchestra is host of the 2017 Conference

Nearly 1,000 orchestra constituents from across the country – managers and staff, musicians, trustees, and volunteers – are expected to attend the Conference, taking place at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center and at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, home to Conference host Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Leonard Slatkin. This is the third League Conference in Detroit; it was held there previously in 1964 and 1986.

The 2017 National Conference will include live performances, social and networking events, and an assortment of sessions highlighting diversity, artistic innovation, fundraising, audience development, technology, financial sustainability, and more, including a special behind-the-scenes look at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s groundbreaking live video webcasts.

“As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, we find one of the League’s core mandates – that together we are stronger than individually – more prescient than ever,” said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO, League of American Orchestras. “At the Conference, we will hear from diverse voices, using the city of Detroit’s remarkable transformation as a symbol of what we can accomplish together, through effective partnerships, advocacy, and innovative practice.”

“The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to be the host orchestra for this year’s League of American Orchestras’ Conference,” said Anne Parsons, president and CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. “Our resurgent city that we are so proud to call home is sure to surprise and delight the Conference delegation. We know everyone will come away inspired and enriched by the content of the meetings and as well as their experiences in the great city of Detroit.

The Conference Opening Plenary kicks off at Orchestra Hall on June 6 with Detroit Rising: Stories of Renewal, a panel discussion of how economics, race, immigration, urban versus suburban, arts and culture, and transportation converge in a story about transformation and how to lead in the face of tremendous adversity. Ann Hobson Pilot, former principal harpist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will receive the League’s highest honor, The Gold Baton. She will also perform.

On June 7, the Luncheon and Annual Meeting will celebrate the official launch of the League’s 75th anniversary and League Giving Day, a new one-day fundraising campaign. Five musicians and their orchestras will receive the Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service, and The Annie Moses Band will be featured in a special showcase performance.

The Closing Plenary and Luncheon on June 8 will feature national thought leaders Melanca Clark, president, the Hudson Webber Foundation; Maria Rosario Jackson, member, National Council on the Arts, senior advisor to the arts and culture program, the Kresge Foundation; Rip Rapson, president and CEO, the Kresge Foundation; and Steven J. Tepper, dean, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University will discuss Pathways Forward as they examine the role of arts and culture in these uncertain times.

Conference delegates will enjoy a variety of events, including an evening performance at Orchestra Hall on June 6 by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Leonard Slatkin, of Mohammed Fairouz’s Pax universalis, Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Something for the Dark, Michigan native Jonathan Bailey Holland’s Equality (text by Dr. Maya Angelou), and Mason Bates’ Warehouse Medicine. Detroit resident Shara Nova is the vocalist and Dr. Tonya Matthews the narrator. The concert will also feature a special performance by the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. Immediately following the concert, the venue’s Atrium will be the site of an all-delegate Tune-Up Party; the next evening, on June 7, a social event for young professionals will also take place at the Atrium, followed by a DSO Mix @ The Max concert with Detroit’s Shigeto in the DSO’s flexible performance space The Cube. Conference attendees will also have the option of attending a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park on the evening of June 7.

The inspirational story of Detroit and its orchestra, as well as advocacy strategies for orchestras navigating the current public policy environment, will be woven into in a number of Conference sessions, including:

  • Opening Plenary
  • Closing Luncheon and Plenary
  • Mapping the DSO Journey
  • No Sound Barriers: Sphinx at 20
  • Changing Orchestra Culture: A Conversation with DSO Musicians
  • Make the Case Now!
  • Activating and Nurturing Community Alliances
  • Cultural Equity

Additional Conference Elective Sessions on June 7 and 8 will cover a range of topics including diversity and inclusion, community engagement, artistic programming, digital marketing, audience development, pricing, and philanthropy. Highlights include:

  • Bold and Informed: Researching Audiences on a Budget
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Action
  • Market Smarter: Insights and Strategy for Digital Marketing
  • The Strategic and Artistic Understanding of Pops
  • Classical Musicians of African Descent: Perspectives, Aspirations, and Outlook
  • Pricing: The Heart of the Matter
  • Socially-Conscious Musician-initiated Projects in Haiti and Seattle
  • Change Before You Have To (featuring the League’s Emerging Leaders Program Class of 2017 with lead faculty John McCann)
  • Musicians as Organizational Leaders
  • What is the Relevance of the Western Orchestral Canon in America Today?

Other Pre-Conference sessions include:

  • Foundations of Collective Bargaining
  • Leadership Seminar with Horst Abraham, faculty, Ross School of Business, Executive Education, University of Michigan
  • Education and Community Engagement Half-Day Meeting
  • Everyone is a Fundraiser: A Fundamentals-rich Application-robust Crash Course on Fundraising
  • Knowing Your Audience: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • 2017 Diversity Forum, the League’s third national convening of leaders from the field addressing major initiatives and topics, including a national diversity audition fund, national instrumentalist mentorship and audition training, field-wide board and staff diversity, and music education pathways.

For a full Conference schedule, including online registration, hotel accommodations, and travel discounts, visit http://americanorchestras.org/conference2017/

Read full press release here.

@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.

@ClassicalNEXT 2017 Programme Announced

Classical:NEXT 2017, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 17 – 20 May 2017, has announced the programme and further details.

Classical:NEXT

Classical:NEXT

Showcase artists (including the launch of the new public festival!), Conference sessions, Project Pitches and Innovation Award nominees, plus news in brief from around the classical world in our Worldwide Community News. You can also see which delegates and companies will be coming to Classical:NEXT 2017.

@ClassicalNEXT 2017, 17 – 20 May – Registration & Booking is open

You can now register to attend Classical:NEXT 2017 –  classical music’s most important industry event! Booking a stand in the Expo is also possible now: Visit the registration section of the website to see more information.

Classical:NEXT

Classical:NEXT

Classical:NEXT will return to de Doelen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands to host its sixth edition, which will be held 17 – 20 May 2017. Keep your eyes out: the very first programme elements for Classical:NEXT 2017 will be announced on 30 November. For the third year in a row, registration prices remain exactly the same. The earlier one registers the better . One can register before 13 January for the very best prices, and before 3 March to make sure to be included in the Classical:NEXT Guide.

It is possible to register now via the website. Registration only takes a few minutes. One can use last year’s registration data. Participantb will join professionals from all round the globe – delegations and umbrella stands from the countries listed below are already confirmed, and more stands and delegations from all over the globe will follow in the coming weeks and months.

  • Australia (Sounds Australia)
  • Belgium (Flanders Arts Institute & Wallonia / Brussels Music)
  • Canada (Canada Council for the Arts)
  • Denmark (Danish Arts Foundation)
  • Estonia (Music Estonia & Estonian Music Information Centre)
  • Finland (Music Finland)
  • France (Business France)
  • Latvia (Latvia/Letland)
  • Lithuania (Music Lithuania)
  • Luxembourg (music:LX)
  • Spain – Catalonia (Creative Catalonia)
  • Sweden (Export Music Sweden)
  • Switzerland (Fondation Suisa)
  • The Netherlands (Dutch Pavilion)
  • UK (British Music Stand / BPI)
  • UK – Scotland (Creative Scotland)

@ClassicalNEXT: Open Call for Proposals for 2017 Edition

The leading classical music meeting and worldwide innovators’ network Classical:NEXT has opened its annual call for proposals. All classical music professionals from around the globe can submit their suggestions for showcase artists, project pitches and conference sessions to be hosted at Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 17-20 May 2017.

Classical:NEXT

Classical:NEXT

As every year, Classical:NEXT is calling for outstanding artists, projects, future-oriented topics and interactive conference formats from all corners of the classical music world, whether that be early or contemporary, traditional or experimental. Proposals can be made in four categories: Showcases, nighttime Club Showcases, Conference Sessions of various, preferably interactive formats and Project Pitches. Classical:NEXT offers a dedicated online proposal site, to submit the proposals. All proposals will be considered by an independent jury of international experts.

Deadline to submit proposals is Friday, 30 September 2016.

Increase of Proposals Expected

Organisers Piranha Arts and de Doelen are expecting an increase in proposals due to the success and increased outreach of the meeting’s last edition. Classical:NEXT Director Jennifer Dautermann:
“As awareness of and participation in Classical:NEXT grows, we expect the already outstanding quality as well as substantial quantity of proposals to increase. Our jury have their hands full each year. We hope those hands will be filled to overflowing when this year’s Call for Proposals phase closes.”

1,200 international classical music professionals visited Classical:NEXT for its fifth edition in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, this May. One of the reasons for this success is the acclaimed and well-attended conference featuring interactive sessions, debates and project pitches as well as the Showcases, enabling new talent, new formats and unorthodox approaches to reach out to the international market.

 

Programme Selected from Proposals – This is How it Works!

To offer this exceptional programme, Classical:NEXT works with a proposal system “by the community, for the community”: Experts and everyday innovators from all sectors of the scene are invited to submit their proposals for the showcases and the conference, regardless of whether they have attended Classical:NEXT before or not, as Jennifer Dautermann explains: “We are looking for the outstandingly innovative, the bearers of ‘wow!’ moments, the eye-openers the and horizon-broadeners. We seek the best and brightest on the trail of innovation and excellence. Community – this is your call! The ball is in your court!”

From the hundreds of proposals submitted by 30 September 2016, an international jury of experts from all fields of the scene will assemble a handpicked selection of artists, speakers and projects – guaranteeing a neutral and balanced selection of only the best showcases and most pressing conference topics for Classical:NEXT 2017.

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

Classical:NEXT

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.com.