• 14 - 17 MAY 2024

2017 Innovation Award Nominating Committee

The nominees for the Classical:NEXT 2017 Innovation Award will be selected by a committee of 21 music journalists and experts from 18 countries and every continent, who in their work focus on renewal and trends in classical music. The Nominating Committee is not fixed and varies every year. These are the members for 2017, in alphabetical order:


etienne_abelin_by_marco_caselli_nirmal_200 Photo: Marco Caselli Nirmal

Etienne Abelin (Switzerland)

C:N NET profile

Etienne Abelin is a musician and cultural entrepreneur with a passion for new directions in classical music. He is the founder of classYcal, a start-up that produces the Ynight club nights ("Best of 2013" Tagesanzeiger Zurich) and the Apples&Olives Indie Classical Festival Zurich. With the music visualization approach Music:Eyes, he has toured worldwide and held two TEDx talks/performances. With his ensemble bachSpace - Bach & Electronics, he gave his Concertgebouw Amsterdam debut in 2014 and with Nik Bärtsch's Mobile Extended, he recorded for ECM. A member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and from 2004 - 2011 principal second violin of the Orchestra Mozart Bologna, both founded by Claudio Abbado, he was also an Artist-in-Residence and music curator at the Festspielhaus St.Pölten, Austria. Etienne initiated Superar Suisse, a start-up that brings music to socially disadvantaged children and is helping to build the “Sistema Europe” network inspired by El Sistema Venezuela. He's a co-founder of the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra (SEYO) which he conducted together with the Youth Orchestra of Caracas at La Scala Milano in the summer of 2015.


anu_ahola_by_jussi_puikkonen._200_200 Photo: Jussi Puikkonen

Anu Ahola (Finland)

C:N NET profilewww.fmq.fi.com

Anu Ahola studied at the University of Helsinki and the Universitá Ca' Foscari in Venice, graduating with a Master's degree in music. Currently the editor in chief of the Finnish Music Quarterly (FMQ) magazine, she has long and varied experience in the field of classical and contemporary music. Alongside her work as a music journalist, she has managed the communications (including the editing of festival brochures) for many music festivals, acted as classical music product manager for EMI Finland, designed compilation albums, and worked at the Finnish Music Information Centre (Fimic). She is also well-versed in children's music and music education, and co-edited the first chronicle of children's music in Finland.


Serhan Bali, by Sinan Cakmak Photo: Sinan Cakmak

Serhan Bali (Turkey)

C:N NET profile

Serhan Bali is the founder and editor-in-chief of Andante magazine, the only nationwide music periodical in Turkey since 2002. Bali is also among the jury members of the International Classical Music Awards-ICMA. He's also the presenter and scriptwriter of a documentary series on the Turkish channel IZ TV on the topic of great composers and their birth cities.


Harriet Cunningham

Harriet Cunningham (Australia)


Harriet Cunningham is a freelance writer based in Sydney, Australia. In print she is best known as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's classical music critics. She is addicted to listening and thinking about live music – any kind of live performance, in fact. She has been known to play the violin.


Nikos Dontas

Nikos Dontas (Greece)


Nikos A. Dontas holds a PhD in Musicology and a MSc in Architecture. He is the music critic of the Athens daily newspaper Kathimerini and, as of 2006, Head of the Dramaturgy Department of the Greek National Opera. He has lectured widely, collaborated extensively with institutions such as the Athens Megaron, the Athens and Epidauros Festival etc. He has produced many broadcasts and has contributed articles to music lexica (MGG) and numerous journals.


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Séverine Garnier (France)

C:N NET profile

"Classical music is not a has-been": this is Séverine Garnier's motto. Webjournalist since 2001, she writes portraits, revues and interviews as a free-lancer for a national newspaper Le Parisien. She also gives lectures about modern music. In 2010, she started her own blog.


Richard Ginell, by Bonnie Perkinson Photo: Bonnie Perkinson

Richard Ginell (USA)


Music critic Richard S. Ginell is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, and is the Los Angeles correspondent for American Record Guide. In addition, he is currently the West Coast regional editor for Classical Voice North America, and maintains a blog on that website entitled From Out Of The West.


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Kai-Michael Hartig (Germany)

C:N NET profile

Kai-Michael Hartig trained as a classical pianist before going on to study arts management. He has worked in arts sponsorship, cultural politics and European cultural affairs. He is now head of the culture department at the Körber-Foundation in Hamburg where he has helped to develop new cultural an educational activities.



Lorena Jiménez (Spain)


Lorena Jiménez is a musicologist, classical critic and PR Manager. Her reviews and interviews have appeared in magazines such as Ritmo, Audioclásica, Pro Ópera and La Scena Musicale. She has a Degree in Musicology from the University of Oviedo and a Master's in Arts Administration from the University of Dresden.


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Christian Kellersmann (Germany)

C:N NET profile

Born 1960. MA of Musicology, University of Hamburg. Musician (played with Die Zimmermänner, Doraus & Marinas and Palais Schaumburg), from 1990-2013 at Polygram/Universal Music (1990-94: product manager Jazz at Polydor; 1994-99: Director of Jazz at Motor Music; and from 1999 GM/MD of Universal Music Classics and Jazz). Initiated the Yellow Lounge, the Recomposed series and signed artists such as Francesco Tristano, Till Brönner, Max Raabe, Spark etc. 2013-14: sabbatical year in Rio. Since 2014, Director of Creative and Content at Edel:Kultur (MPS, Berlin Classics and the new label Neue Meister).


David Kettle

David Kettle (UK)


David Kettle is a journalist and writer on music based in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a particular interest in contemporary music. He is a music critic for the Scotsman, the Daily Telegraph and The Arts Desk, and writes widely across numerous other publications.


Deano Maduramuthu

Deano Maduramuthu (South Africa)


Deano Maduramuthu is a broadcaster on Classic FM 102.7. He has a degree in music as well as a Management Advancement Programme qualification from the University of Witwaterstrand Business School. Based in Johannesburg, Deano presents the Classic Breakfast on Classic FM 102.7 and does the pre-concert talks for the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.


Peter Meanwell, by Magnus Haaland Sunde Photo: Magnus Haaland Sunde

Peter Meanwell (UK)


Peter Meanwell curates new experimental and composed music, live and on radio. As artistic director of Borealis – en festival for eksperimentell musikk in Bergen, Norway he commissions new pieces, and as Executive Producer of BBC Radio 3's Late Junction he works with a whole world of new recorded music.


Guido van Oorschot

Guido van Oorschot (The Netherlands)

Guido van Oorschot (1961) is a music journalist, writing for Dutch national newspaper de Volkskrant. He studied the recorder in Amsterdam and musicology in Utrecht. As an editor and organiser, he has been working with the Utrecht Early Music Festival. He has been the editor-in-chief of the Dutch classical music magazines Klassieke Zaken and Luister.


Monika Pasiecznik

Monika Pasiecznik (Poland)


Monika Pasiecznik is music critic and curator from Poland. She has graduated from Theory of Music at the Academy of Music Wroclaw and Polish Philology at the University of Wroclaw. She has published texts and interviews in Polish and international music magazines. She cooperates with Polish Radio Program 2 and many culture institutions. She is author of two books (about Karlheinz Stockhausen and new music theatre). In 2016, her translation of the Harry Lehmann’s book “Die Digitale Revolution der Musik. Eine Musikphilosophie” was published. As a curator she has collaborated with festivals such as Musica Electronica Nova (Wroclaw), Poznan Spring, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Gothenburg Sound Art, Nuova Consonanza Rome, European Capital of Culture Wroclaw, Exposition of New Music (Brno). In 2015, she was nominated for her unique projects to the international Classical:NEXT Innovation Award. She lives in Warsaw.


Mauricio Peña Cediel (Colombia)

C:N NET profile

Mauricio Pena is the director of the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango's recital hall in Bogotá, Colombia. Before dedicating himself fully to directing the hall, he blogged at Bogomusic, a blog dedicated to the classical music scene in Bogota which was positively reviewed by Revista Semana, Colombia's main weekly magazine. He now writes in the blog sporadically.


Nikolaj Skinhøj, by Bjarke Ørsted Photo: Bjarke Ørsted

Nikolaj Skinhøj (Denmark)


I am the editor of the Danish music magazine KLASSISK. The magazine is about classical music in a broad sense, from Baroque opera to new young composers. The key issue is that the music shall have roots in the "old school" classical music and performed with analogue instruments made out of wood, brass, silver etc. Some says that the magazine is conservative, but from the beginning it has been a cornerstone in our strategy to present the music and the scene in a modern way, with a relaxed approach – being inclusive instead of exclusive. I have studied at the University of Aalborg and Copenhagen and have a Master in musicology from Copenhagen University – in addition I have a degree in journalism from Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX).


Rudolph Tang

Rudolph Tang (China)

C:N NET profile

A Musical America journalist, Rudolph Tang has been covering classical music and opera since 1999. He was the Editor of Gramophone magazine Chinese edition from 2005-08, jury member of MIDEM Classical Awards in 2008, Head of Communication of the China Symphony Development Foundation and the Alliance of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras from 2008-2013. Based in Shanghai and Beijing, he is now pursuing a career in music criticism and journalism in China and globally. His second book, The Many Faces of Musicians in China, was published by the Beijing Normal University Press in 2014.


Michael Vincent, by Mylene Wasfy Photo: Mylene Wasfy

Michael Vincent (Canada)


Michael Vincent has worked as a senior editor for La Scena Musicale and web editor for author Norman Lebrecht. In January 2014, he went for lunch and left as the publisher of Musical Toronto. Later that year he found himself as classical music critic for the Toronto Star, the former employer of his favourite author Ernest Hemingway. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.


hartmut_welscher_by_christine_fiedler_200_200 Photo: Christine Fiedler

Hartmut Welscher (Germany)

C:N NET profile

Hartmut Welscher is editor-in-chief of VAN Magazine, a digital fanzine for classical music and its subculture. Hartmut studied anthropology, philosophy and Asian studies in Berlin, Edinburgh and Seoul and holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. He worked as a consultant on international development cooperation projects in Southeast Asia and Africa for over ten years before founding VAN in 2013. Since its launch, the magazine has had a major impact, quickly establishing itself as a leading voice on the German classical music scene. In early 2016 VAN launched its English edition. Alex Ross recently wrote on his blog, The Rest Is Noise, that VAN Magazine "has rapidly established itself as a venue for unfettered music writing."


Akiko Yanagisawa

Akiko Yanagisawa (Japan)

C:N NET profile

Akiko studied aesthetics and philosophy at Gakushuin University, Tokyo, and obtained MA in Arts Management at City University, London. She founded mu:arts, a creative producer of music and arts which has brought established and emerging musicians and artists from Japan to festivals and venues in over 25 countries. She is enthusiastic about creating cross-cultural and interdisciplinary arts collaborations. She contributes columns about cultural topics on Japanese national newspapers.