Classical:NEXT Innovation Award

Rosemary Nalden with the 2017 Innovation Award on behalf of Buskaid Soweto String Academy of Performance and Teaching, by Graham de LaceyRosemary Nalden with the 2017 Innovation Award on behalf of Buskaid Soweto String Academy of Performance and Teaching, by Graham de Lacey.

The Classical:NEXT Innovation Award was a new initiative to the 2015 edition, designed to place the spotlight on forward-thinking activities taking place around the world. The new award is complementary to already existing industry awards, The goal of this honorary prize is to raise awareness about innovative activities going on all over the world. The composition of the Nominating Committee (see below) is intended to inform classical music professionals about worthwhile experiments and approaches taking place beyond their own respective national scenes or from locations which receive much publicity.

"This award aims to give international recognition to the people who are doing the most to push things forward with daring yet intelligent, effective and successful “out-of-the-box” thinking, planning and action. I firmly believe the time has come to add such a distinction to the list of already existing awards. As with Classical:NEXT itself, the Innovation Award is a global, democratic, community effort"

Jennifer Dautermann, Classical:NEXT Director

2017 Award

The Classical:NEXT 2017 Innovation Award was awarded to the Buskaid Soweto String Academy of Performance and Teaching in South Africa. With their projects, Buskaid provides high-quality tuition in bowed strings to young people from disadvantaged circumstances in the Soweto township of Johannesburg, South Africa. Close runners-up accolades were also awarded to Molyvos International Music Festival in Greece – a festival which was started in 2015 on the island of Lesbos amidst the economic crisis and a wave of Syrian refugees arriving on the island – as well as Germany's PODIUM Festival Esslingen, whose founder and director Steven Walter said in his acceptance speech:

"At Classical:NEXT we've been talking about the future a lot and i think that's really important for us as a business and as a generation and as people making music…it's really hard to predict the future and we're not in the business of predicting, we're in the business of inventing, and I think the best way to predict the future is to invent it"

Steven Walter, PODIUM Festival Esslingen

Following the system introduced for the 2016 Award, the Classical:NEXT 2017 Innovation Award used a three-tiered selection process: the Nominating Committee – our most international yet – each nominated innovative and boundary-pushing projects from around the world to create the longlist. Together, the committee voted the longlist down to the shortlist, which was then opened to the global Classical:NEXT professional community to vote for the winners via C:N NET. The winner was revealed and the award presented at the Classical:NEXT 2017 Closing, which took place at de Doelen on 20 May 2017.

 

Previous Awards

At Classical:NEXT 2015, Lucerne Festival's Ark Nova and the Southbank Centre's The Rest is Noise Festival were the recipients of the first-ever Classical:NEXT Innovation Award. Classical:NEXT 2016 then saw the presentation of the Innovation Award to Ensemble Resonanz from Germany. Ensemble Resonanz and their project Urban String bring a club atmosphere to classical music, and often feature guest soloists, DJs and electronic musicians.

For lots more information on these previous Innovation Awards, including full lists of the nominees and nominators, see the links above.