First @ClassicalNEXT 2018 Conference Speakers Official

Know-how from print to video and from business to art

Rotterdam/Berlin As the early bird registration deadline approaches (19 January), the global art music meeting Classical:NEXT has announced the first speakers and conference topics for its 2018 edition in May. Delegates will be presented a wide array of insights, tackling the role of print programmes, of engagement through video and of reconciling business and artistic demands better.


An international expert panel of seven has selected the most forward-thinking approaches from hundreds of proposals, offering solutions to the crucial issues of classical and art music today. Successful network formats and interactive workshops are to be continued. Although less than a third of the conference programme is announced, a trend is already recognizable: The 2018 programme of Classical:NEXT will go deeper into the specifics of topics – building skills and offering insights the expected 1,200+ delegates can take home and use in their everyday work.

For 2018 speaker Dr. Stefan Rosu, artistic director & ceo  of the South Netherlands Philharmonic this couldn’t be more important today: “Concentrating on core-competencies and exploring new ways to collaborate are in my opinion the key factors to the long-term survival of the professional classical ensemble. Classical:NEXT is currently THE platform to discuss those issues.”

Learn more:



@OrchLeague National Conference in #Detroit – Watch opening in livestream June 6, 4pm ET


Opening Plenary

League of American Orchestras; 72nd National Conference

from the

Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 4:00pm-5:30pm Eastern

Detroit Rising: Stories of Renewal

Home of DSO downtown Detroit


Economics, race, immigration, urban versus suburban, arts and culture, and of course transportation – this being the Motor City – all converge in a story about transformation and how to lead in the face of tremendous adversity.

Watch and listen to the Opening Plenary of the League’s 2017 Conference as civic, business, and cultural leaders reveal the powerful interplay of their paths and how they’ve become change agents in building a new Detroit for all.


Welcome Speakers

Mark Davidoff, board chairman, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Anne Parsons, president and CEO, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Jesse Rosen, president and CEO, League of American Orchestras

Patricia Richards, board chair, League of American Orchestras

Welcome from Ford Motor Company

James G. Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Gold Baton Award Presentation

Ann Hobson Pilot, former principal harp of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will receive the League’s 2017 Gold Baton Award, the League of American Orchestras’ highest honor, given annually for distinguished service to America’s orchestras.

Panel Discussion, Detroit Rising: Stories of Renewal

Matt Cullen, principal, Rock Ventures LLC; CEO, JACK Entertainment LLC

Hassan Jaber, executive director, Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)

Mariam Noland, president, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Shirley Stancato, president and CEO, New Detroit

Moderator: Mark Stryker, arts reporter and music critic, Detroit Free Press (1995-2016)


Watch live at 4PM ET, Tuesday, June 6.

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

Read full press release here.

Wallace Foundation offers #arts #management tools for free

The US based Wallace Foundation offers several arts management tools, which give access to a series of studies describing strategies of arts organizations that sought to build their audiences.



Find more information in the Knowledge Center. This is really useful stuff.


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!