What is Classical:NEXT?

Quartet New Generation at Classical:NEXT 2012, by Eric van NieuwlandQuartet New Generation perform at the very first Classical:NEXT in 2012, by Eric van Nieuwland


"I’ll say unequivocally that the 2017 edition of Classical:NEXT was the most vital music get-together I’ve participated in in the last 12 months, quite possibly even longer. And, more importantly, I think Classical:NEXT has the potential to be the most viable international gathering place for open-minded music-focused people."

Frank J. Oteri, New Music USA


  • …which is dedicated exclusively to classical and art music.
  • …which is truly international.
  • …where all sectors within the genre meet.
  • …which welcomes all approaches, from traditional to experimental, major to niche.
  • …which addresses both the economic and the artistic aspects of the industry.
  • …which offers an open platform – the participants create the content.



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 ways for classical and contemporary music. Since the first edition in 2012, about 3000 classical music professionals from more than 1000 companies and from over 45 countries have engaged with Classical:NEXT and made it into the world's most important classical music meeting.



Classical:NEXT 2017 was our sixth edition (the third to be held in Rotterdam), and took place between 17 – 20 May 2017.

  • 1200 professionals
  • from 45 countries
  • representing 640 companies
  • 300 exhibiting companies on more than 80 stands
  • 230 presenters and promoters
  • 150 publishers
  • 380 label representatives and distributors
  • 210 artists (not including performing artists)
  • 140 artist managers
  • 80 international journalists
  • 22 showcasing acts with a total of 130 performers, from 10 countries (not including the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • 14 Project Pitches
  • 45 conferences, mentoring sessions and network meetings
  • More than 100 speakers, presenters and mentors.



The structure of Classical:NEXT consists of four sections – showcases, conference, project pitches and expo. The conference section is set up to offer presentations, seminars, discussions, one-to-one and roundtable mentoring and other formats to help delegates keep up with changes, trends and innovations. The expo exhibits the work of labels, publishers, agents, festivals, associations and others, and serves as a meeting point for all delegates. Showcases are where artists and productions can be presented in a series of short concerts or video screenings, offering artistic directors, concert bookers, journalists and more a unique opportunity to gain an overview of artistic activity within a short space of time. From 2015 onwards, video showcases were complemented by project pitches so that a range of video projects, videos on larger scale projects and works-in-progress can be presented to the Classical:NEXT delegates.



"Classical:NEXT unites the global classical community, creating a worldwide movement to explore potential paths forward into the future."

Classical:NEXT mission statement, as early as 2012

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. That was in 2011. Since then, around 3,000 art music professionals representing 1,000 companies from more than 45 countries have engaged with Classical:NEXT and made it into the world's most important classical music meeting.

See what is in it for you!



The idea of innovation expressed in the event's name is evident throughout the entire project: In addition to being a networking event, Classical:NEXT has established itself as a key opportunity to promote and explore new talent, new creative ideas and future-oriented business practices. In order to achieve that Classical:NEXT features a conference, an expo as well as showcase concerts and screenings. During four days the hundreds of a delegates meet, discuss, and learn more about as well as from each other.


95% of delegates would like to come again and would recommend Classical:NEXT to colleagues

From a Classical:NEXT online survey of all delegates.


Classical:NEXT community members are cultural multipliers ranging from grass-roots DIYers to the most established companies and institutions such as Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Opera, Spotify, Universal, China National Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonics, Amsterdam Concertgebouw etc.

See a list of who attended Classical:NEXT in 2017.


How can I Take Part?

The next edition will take place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 16 – 19 May 2018. Become a delegate or book an expo stand for Classical:NEXT 2018 now.

See our registration page for more information pertaining to Classical:NEXT 2018, including prices, deadlines and how to register.


Online Network C:N NET

Classical:NEXT is not just an annual meeting: it is a year-round worldwide movement for all sectors and all approaches in art music. In five editions, the Classical:NEXT network of art music professionals has grown to more than 2,000 delegates, and they're all connected via the online database and network C:N NET. Keep in touch with contacts old and new, and find new and exciting connection using this invaluable resource! You can reach C:N NET at www.classicalnext.com/net/.



See our archive and check who came to which edition, where they took place and how they went.



For photographs, logos, videos and other media from Classical:NEXT 2017, see our Media Downloads page. You can also find photos of previous editions in Rotterdam, the Netherlands at the Classical:NEXT Flickr page.