Tanya Tagaq at the 2015 Classical:NEXT opening ceremony, by Eric van Nieuwland

Tanya Tagaq at the 2015 Classical:NEXT opening ceremony, by Eric van Nieuwland

The Opening Ceremony of Classical:NEXT is always a big occasion: not only does it signal the beginning of the the global important music meeting for another year, but it also brings this spirit directly to the stage. Both the intercontinental and innovative perspective of Classical:NEXT are underlined at the opening ceremony. Every year, Classical:NEXT kicks off with an opening gala that showcases the NEXT music of a specific country, as well as keynote speeches from some of the biggest names in classical and contemporary music. Past keynote speakers include Martin Hoffmann, Thomas Hampson, Daniel Hope and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and galas have been curated by representatives of the Austrian, Luxembourgian and Canadian music scenes.


Classical:NEXT 2016 Opening

For Classical:NEXT 2016, the opening programme has been curated by de Doelen for their 50th anniversary, highlighting the range and scope of exciting and boundary-breaking art music that can be found in our host country of The Netherlands. The show will include live performances by six truly NEXT Dutch artists (detailed below) as well as featuring the all-important Keynote.

Regarding the Opening's live performances, Neil Wallace, programme director of de Doelen, said: "We approached three young music programmers and curators to help select ensembles and artists for this special occasion. From the long list of candidates provided by Masa Spaan, Shane Burmania and Floris Kortie the team managed to choose only six to help convey the diversity of the Netherlands’s teeming and innovative classical world."

A total of five speakers are confirmed for the opening keynote: Dr Clemens Trautmann, CEO of Deutsche Grammophon, Hans-Hermann Rehberg of the Berlin Radio Choir, and Chi-chi Nwanoku of London’s Chineke! Orchestra, as well as Michael Tilson Thomas via video.

The opening will also feature film by video maker, Jules van Hulst, co-founder of the Netherlands’ legendary 33⅓ Collective. This visual component emphasises an important message in the Dutch presentation – the interdisciplinary qualities found so often in Dutch music making.

The artists who will perform live at the Classical:NEXT 2016 Opening are:

9 x 13, by Wim van den Haak9 x 13, by Wim van den Haak

9 x 13




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Aart Strootman, by Jostijn LigtvoetAart Strootman, by Jostijn Ligtvoet

Aart Strootman




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Ensemble Klang, by Ronald GunawanEnsemble Klang, by Ronald Gunawan

Ensemble Klang




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LUDWIG, by Elmer de HaasLUDWIG, by Elmer de Haas





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Ralph van Raat, by Simon van BoxtelRalph van Raat, by Simon van Boxtel

Ralph van Raat




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Slagwerk den Haag, by Fedor ReunisseSlagwerk den Haag, by Gerrit Schreurs

Slagwerk den Haag




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De Doelen hosts the official opening of Classical:NEXT on behalf and with the support of Dutch Performing Arts. Dutch Performing Arts is a programme that promotes Dutch music, theatre and dance on the international stage.