2017 Innovation Award Longlist

This is the longlist for the Classical:NEXT 2017 Innovation Award. These nominees were named by the Nominating Committee, who will select from it the ten-strong shortlist. The winner will then be determined from this shortlist by an online vote open to the entire Classical:NEXT community, i.e. the almost 3,000 delegates who have registered for any of our editions, from 2012 to 2017, and who are linked via the online networking platform C:N NET.


bastille musique

bastille musique (Germany)


A new classical label faces stark choices. It can stand up for the music, or try to hide from its essence; dig up new treasures, or “administer” the accepted canon; follow a clear aesthetic line, or attempt to follow the whims of taste; create beautiful, high-quality packaging, or rely on the easier tactic of name recognition. After four releases, the value of a principled stance becomes clear: that’s how a new label can succeed.


Borusan Klasik Radio Station

Borusan Klasik Radio Station (Turkey)


Borusan Sanat and Karnaval Media partnered in 2013 for “Turkey’s first radio station dedicated to webcast classical music”. Borusan Klasik Radio has 20 enthusiastic programmers with the mission to expand classical music listeners.


Christian Kellersmann, by Sergio MenezesPhoto: Sergio Menezes

Christian Kellersmann (Germany)


Christian Kellersmann is without doubt one of the proponents of new ways in classical music with the most sustainable impact. As CEO of Universal Classics and Jazz, he launched milestones such as the Yellow Lounge Classical in Club series and the reComposed series.


Classical Trancelations in Concert, by Fredrik LindbladPhoto: Fredrik Lindblad

Classical Trancelations in Concert (Finland)

Facebook page

Classical Trancelations in Concert combines the visual grandeur and production of raves with the world of classical music. The concert is a unique meeting of many talents, memories and the joy of music.


Cuarteto Q-Arte, by Valeria CastroPhoto: Valeria Castro

Cuarteto Q-Arte (Colombia)


Q-Arte, a string quartet focused on Latin American music, has become one of the most interesting and innovative chamber music ensembles in Colombia, as well as one of our continent’s music ambassadors to the world.



CutCommon (Australia)


OCutCommon is an online publication dedicated to young classical musicians. It aims to expose new talent, create a sense of community, and educate its 10,000 monthly readers about life in the arts industry.



Daryl Jamieson, by Hiroshi IwamotoPhoto: Hiroshi Iwamoto

Daryl Jamieson's atelier jaku (Japan/Canada)


Daryl Jamieson and atelier jaku produce experimental intercultural music theatre in unconventional venues (like antique tea houses). They integrate deep knowledge of traditional Japanese aesthetics with a boundary-crossing, collaborative approach to music.


Finnish Baroque Orchestra (FIBO), by Jaakko PaarvalaPhoto: Jaakko Paarvala

Finnish Baroque Orchestra (FIBO) (Finland)


New commissions for period instruments, fresh interpretations of old repertoire, courageous and innovative working methods, unique concepts that engage a diverse audience – FiBO offers all this while being an influential force in the Nordic cultural scene.


Fumiaki Kuriyama, by Chikara WatanabePhoto: Chikara Watanabe

Fumiaki Kuriyama's Ritsuyu-kai (Japan)


Fumiaki Kuriyama is music director and conductor of Ritsuyukai, a collective chorus group comprising 12 diverse choirs. He also masterminded Ongaku no Ki or Music Tree, a cohort of diverse artists involved in music making.


Grant Gershon, by Tao Ruspoli & Marie NoorbergenPhoto: Tao Ruspoli & Marie Noorbergen

Grant Gershon (USA)

Grant Gershon at the Los Angeles Master Chorale website

Hailed for his adventurous and bold artistic leadership and for eliciting technically precise and expressive performances from musicians, Grant Gershon is currently in his 16th season as the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and his fifth season as the Resident Conductor of LA Opera.


TSO Visual Listening Guides

Hannah Chan-Hartley's TSO Visual Listening Guides (Canada)


Created by musicologist Dr. Hannah Chan-Hartley for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the TSO Visual Listening Guide is a new way to discover a symphonic masterwork in a visually engaging and comprehensible manner, regardless of one’s musical background.


Ilan Volkov, by Simon ButterworthPhoto: Simon Butterworth

Ilan Volkov's Tectonics (UK)


Born in 1976, Ilan Volkov is the electricity powering 'new music'. Since 2012, his Tectonics festivals in Reykjavik and Glasgow have been exemplars of vibrant and diverse programming, reflecting his omnivorous interests in experimental classical, free improvisation, electronica, folk, world music, new hip-hop and more.


Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival

Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival (Israel)


The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival headed by renowned pianist Elena Bashkirova is one of Israel’s most important cultural events, presenting a series of concerts performed by leading Israelis and international artists. The concerts are held at YMCA concert hall in Jerusalem.


Lucy Railton

Lucy Railton (UK)


Lucy Railton is a curator and performer, co-founder and co-director of the London Contemporary Music Festival and Kammer Klang new music series, presenting an international programme of new and experimental music in unusual spaces around the city.


Malgorzata Walentynowicz, by Anna PawlowskaPhoto: Anna Pawlowska

Malgorzata Walentynowicz (Poland)


Malgorzata Walentynowicz is a pianist who specialises in contemporary music, including projects with multimedia and performance art. Winner of the Gaudeamus Interpreters’ Competition in Amsterdam. She is a soloist and an ensemble player performing at music venues worldwide.


Playing for Philharmonie, by Rochat MoudicPhoto: Rochat Moudic

Mécénat Musical Société Générale's Playing For Philharmonie (France)


An orchestra and choir combining professional musicians and Societe Generale staff members and bankers : Playing for Philharmonie de Paris took place every year at the Paris Philharmonic.


Michael Bojesen, by Soren SolkaerPhoto: Soren Solkaer

Michael Bojesen & Copenhagen Opera Festival (Denmark)


In his position as director of Copenhagen Opera Festival (2012-16), the versatile Michael Bojesen has taken innovative and untraditional measures to spread opera-joy across all boundaries, hence making opera of the highest quality accessible to a broad and varied audience.


Molyvos International Music Festival, by akriviadis.grPhoto: akriviadis.gr

Molyvos International Music Festival (Greece)


The Molyvos International Music Festival has been founded in 2015 on the Greek island Lesvos (North Aegean). It aims at creating an international classical music festival and at the same time to involve the local society, boosting its cultural, social and economic life at a time of crisis.



NEUE MEISTER-Label (Germany)


In 2016 Edel/Berlin Classics launched the label Neue Meister. The label is dedicated to the new generation of todays classical composers. So far eight albums have been released: Tamar Halperin, Sven Helbig, Federico Albanese, Christian Jost, Johannes Motschmann, Nigel Kennedy and Arash Safaian. Next to these releases four label-nights happened in Berlin and Hamburg. Will be continued in 2017...


PODIUM Festival Esslingen, by Leonard HigiPhoto: Leonard Higi

PODIUM Festival Esslingen (Germany)


PODIUM Esslingen is an incubator of new formats and processes for presenting classical and contemporary music. Run by a diverse, international network of young people, PODIUM has been pioneering new concert designs, interdisciplinary work and innovative outreach since 2009.


Relevant Tones

Relevant Tones: In the Field on 98.7 WFMT Chicago (USA)


In the Field is a recurring segment on Relevant Tones, the world’s only weekly syndicated contemporary music radio program, in which host Seth Boustead travels the globe to showcase interviews and music by a diverse range of composers.


Remy van Kesteren, by Peter van der HeijdenPhoto: Peter van der Heijden

Remy van Kesteren (The Netherlands)


Remy is a harp virtuoso who introduces the instrument to new (pop) audiences, creates new genres and pioneers with new instruments. A fully original risk-taker who is able to reach his own generation.


Scottish Ensemble, by Hugh CarswellPhoto: Hugh Carswell

Scottish Ensemble (UK)


A string ensemble creating bold, adventurous cross-artform and cross-genre collaborations, inspiring new audiences by fusing classical music with theatre, contemporary dance, visual art, electronic music and more.


Soundstreams' Electric Messiah, by Alice XuePhoto: Alice Xue

Soundstreams' Electric Messiah (Canada)


Electric Messiah deconstructs/reimagines Handel in a totally immersive experience. Extraordinary singers, electric organ, guitar, turntables and live processing reflect Messiah’s universal themes through diverse heritages, languages, genres, including Canadian Indigenous, Caribbean, jazz, Finnish and hip-hop.


Stephen Malinowski

Stephen Malinowski (USA)

YouTube channel

"Thanks to your channel, I got into classical music". "Thank you! Finally I understand this music!" Multiply these comments by the thousands and you can begin to grasp the educational impact that music visualizations pioneer Stephen Malinowski single-handedly created with his Youtube channel of hand-crafted score-based classical music animations.


Talking Musicology

Talking Musicology (Ireland)


Talking Musicology is a podcast in which the writer Liam Cagney and academic Stephen Graham discuss recent publications in the field of musicology, focusing particularly on contemporary and classical musics.


Teddy Abrams, by O'Neil ArnoldPhoto: O'Neil Arnold

Teddy Abrams & Louisville Orchestra (USA)


At only 29 years old, Teddy has breathed new life into the once-nearly-bankrupt Louisville Orchestra with his ability to integrate elements of pop, country and jazz into classical music with natural ease, his embrace of contemporary composers like Mason Bates and Michael Gordon, and his own multiple talents as a conductor, composer, pianist and clarinetist.


The Buskaid Soweto String Academy of Performance and Teaching, by Graham de LacyPhoto: Graham de Lacy

The Buskaid Soweto String Academy of Performance and Teaching (South Africa)


Since 1997, Buskaid has offered high quality string tuition to young people from disadvantaged circumstances in Soweto. Its job-creation programme has enabled a number of them to develop careers as performers and teachers.


Universidad a Escena, by Marta VillegasPhoto: Marta Villegas

Universidad a Escena (Spain)


“So you think opera is only for the elite? Think again”. For the last eight years, we have turned students’ prejudices into fascination and a sense of true emotional connection. Yes, opera speaks about them too.


Victorian Opera, by Charlie KinrossPhoto: Charlie Kinross

Victorian Opera (Australia)


Victorian Opera is a leader in the Australian opera scene and is highly regarded for its innovative programming, diverse repertoire and new work. VO has commissioned 16 new Australian operas in its eleven-year history and stages at least one new work annually.