Photo: Eric van Nieuwland

Conference Sessions

Read about the first speakers and topics confirmed for Classical:NEXT 2017.
The full programme of conference sessions will be announced throughout the coming months, many more speakers and topics are still to be announced!

An international panel, chaired by British Council’s Director of Music, Cathy Graham, will discuss the impacts of Brexit, Trump and the newly-formed populism on the arts, what role classical and contemporary music can and should play in today’s society. Jury member Genevieve Lacey will present a session on new career models and possibilities for musicians, together with Amy Rhodes, representing the Carnegie Hall-based Ensemble Connect (currently celebrating their 10th anniversary), and Martel Ollerenshaw of Serious, both of whom work in combining creative production, participation and talent development on a high artistic level with international success.

The role of the ‘free scene’ in classical music will be debated with Australian violist and curator Phoebe Green and David Dramm of Amsterdam’s artist-run venue Splendor. Andrew Balio of the Future Symphony Institute will introduce the concept of 'Slow Music', suggesting more intimate and calmer experiences as a new model in which art music can shine, paralleling the ‘slow food’ and ‘Cittá Slow’ movements, for example. You will also be invited to engage in small group discussions on diversity in classical music under the direction of composer Shirley Thompson.

Brazil’s Anahi Ravagnani and Leonardo Martinelli will speak about the artist as a social actor, exploring the expectations, limits and actions of musicians and its institutions as part of social change and personal growth.

The conference programme has established itself as one of the key features of Classical:NEXT. For Classical:NEXT 2017, the conference will once again offer a wide variety of useful and inspiring themes for delegates from all sectors. Set up to keep delegates up-to-date with new developments and provide the right know-how to cope with current issues, the conference is also a place to network, find new partners from different sectors and form new alliances. You (with your numerous proposals), the jury and the Classical:NEXT team have put much effort into adapting the conference to the community‘s needs: interactive exchange and hands-on information is the key. The Classical:NEXT Conference is split into four main categories: Conference Sessions, Network Meetings, Mentoring and Project Pitches.

A full list of all currently-confirmed Classical:NEXT 2017 speakers:

  • Andrew Balio
  • David Dramm
  • Cathy Graham
  • Phoebe Green
  • Genevieve Lacey
  • Leonardo Martinelli
  • Martel Ollerenshaw
  • Anahi Ravagnani
  • Amy Rhodes
  • Shirley Thompson


Project Pitches

Project Pitches are short, jury-selected video presentations that allow insight into some of the most intriguing and NEXT developments in the art music sphere. The pitches are each held by the artist or a project representative live on site. The Project Pitch programme will be extended for Classical:NEXT 2017.

Click here for a full list of Project Pitches that were presented at Classical:NEXT 2016.


Network Meetings

Classical:NEXT provides professional, international networks with a platform for their meetings and the chance to get together, connect with other delegates to broaden the network and develop ideas.



Book 15-minute consultations or roundtable consultations, both free of charge, with our special mentors from various fields and occupations.

The mentoring sessions were extremely well attended last year. Check the Classical:NEXT newsletter to be informed when next years mentoring sessions are available for booking; first come first served.


All formats will be presented in English.

The conference sessions are selected from a multitude of proposals by an independent jury.

For further information and to share your views please do not hesitate to contact