PODIUM Festival Esslingen

PODIUM Festival is a classical music festival that originated in Esslingen, Germany in 2009. By focusing on specific contextualizations of each performance in the festival, with a clear focus to speak to young audiences, the PODIUM Festival serves as a laboratory for new performance formats and communication strategies for classical music. At the same time, both the young decentralized team and the young performers get deeply involved in that research and become multipliers for unusual, innovative approaches in their studies and careers.
Classical music is made accessible to a new, possibly unfamiliar audience by breaking out of classical rules and customs. PODIUM creates contentual such as formal innovations in the classical scene where it can feel vindicated by winning numerous prizes and awards (Echo Klassik, Kulturmarken Award, red dot award, Funkenflug Award).
PODIUM ist not only a festival with satellites all over Germany and Europe, but rather sees itself as a think-tank and incubator for new ideas and projects within the field of classical and contemporary music. Also digital projects such as the music curator HENRY are result of the dynamic young network.
PODIUM has spread throughout Europe with independently organized festivals in Austria, Norway, Iceland, Spain and Croatia besides of Germany.

What the nominator wrote:
I nominate the PODIUM Festival for the cN Innovation Award because the combination of laboratory for performance formats for young musicians, cutting edge communication methods and training ground to foster innovation with young musicians, plus, not to forget the very young team are innovative and a true model for independent, entrepreneurial "Best Practice". PODIUM is a classical music festival by and for young people. In addition, the level of partnerships achieved by the team, be it with presenters like the Radialsystem V Berlin, institutions like the German Bundesjugendballett or sponsor KPMG, and a replication model that has led to the festival being active in 6 countries are outstanding. The PODIUM Festival is also a co-operative protagonist and opinion leader in the emerging international indie classical network and has recently launched Henry, a mobile app in the making that will become an independent discovery platform for interesting classical and contemporary music with a young twist.