Innovation Award 2016

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

2016 award

Classical:NEXT 2016 ended on a particularly positive note with 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.

The award was selected in two phases by the Classical:NEXT community-at-large: first, an international jury of journalists, bloggers and “industry insiders” created a longlist of the most innovative and boundary-pushing projects from around the world, then narrowed it down to a shortlist. This was then opened to votes from the members of the global Classical:NEXT professional community via of C:N NET, Classical:NEXT’s online networking platform with almost 3,500 members resulting in four clear winners, the finalists. While all four finalists received a similar number of votes, Ensemble Resonanz narrowly topped the other three.

“I’m extremely happy about this Classical:NEXT Innovation Award, the special thing about it is that it’s not a jury decision, it’s elected by thousands of delegates, it makes it even more exciting to be one of the finalists and to win it. It’s encouraging, it’s fantastic support for the musicians of Ensemble Resonanz to go on with their work to connect classical music culture with the everyday urban in Hamburg.”

Tobias Rempe, Ensemble Resonanz managing director

The awards were presented by Classical:NEXT director Jennifer Dautermann and William Norris, managing director of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir and member of the voting community. The runners-up were also honoured in the ceremony, and statuettes were presented to Michael Bock of Erased Tapes (UK), Santiago Gardeazabal of Nova et Vetera (Colombia) and Hans-Hermann Rehberg and Jochen Sandig of Human Requiem by Berlin Rundfunkchor (Germany).

The 2015 Award

Fresh from being named CEO of Luminato Festival in Toronto, Anthony Sargent CBE moderated this year's closing event which featured music by Dutch sextet Fuse.

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, which was presented during the Classical:NEXT closing event. The winners were selected from among 21 pioneering projects, with all members of Classical:NEXT's online platform, C:N NET, called upon to vote online for their favourite. Women's Conductors at Morley and Groupmuse were both named as runners-up. For a full list of the nominees and nominators, see the 2015 Award archive page.