• 13 - 17 May 2024
  • Berlin, Germany

Innovation Award Longlist 2018

We are happy to present to you this year’s nominees for the Classical:NEXT 2018 Innovation Award. Each project or person has been singled out by the 23 expert members of the nominating committee for their outstanding profiles from amongst the myriad of other candidates in their respective home countries and across the globe. Longlist, shortlist, public vote - read here how our Innovation Award works.

This year for the first time, our Nomination Committee were given a theme for their selections. They were asked to choose the most outstanding projects involved with orchestras or large ensembles. The focus could be narrow or wide, the connection direct or indirect.



photo Christoph Soeder

Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra (Germany)

A self-organized, independent group of likeminded individuals, AMEO is unlike any other orchestra: It’s a steadily working ensemble with a steady focus on experimentation. Comprised of 18 young, in-demand musicians hailing from various countries and musical backgrounds, its members have previously worked in constellations that couldn’t be more diverse – including Ensemble Intercontemporain, Tony Allen’s Afrobeat, Jazz-Legend Kenny Wheeler, Camerata Bern, and post-conceptual artist Cory Arcangel. Daniel Glatzel. The orchestra’s leader and saxophonist, has been the main composer over the last decade. “A witty musical understanding and collages rich in citations that nevertheless make you forget postmodern arbitrariness, combined with a technical level of musicianship so high and yet far from being an end in itself: mutable, contrasting, subtle.” (Jazzthing)



The Seoul Phiharmonic Orchestra

Ars Nova by Seoul Phiharmonic Orchestra (South Korea)

Ars Nova is a contemporary music series incorporating two orchestral and two chamber concerts a year, with co-commission, composition masterclass and other related activities under the leadership of Unsuk Chin, the Composer-in-Residence of SPO. Ars Nova began in 2006 and is hailed as one of the most prestigious contemporary music series in the world, with its high calibre as well as the one and only contemporary music focused concerts in Asia.



photo Nick Rutter

Aurora Orchestra (UK)

A chamber orchestra for the 21st century that combines world-class performance with adventurous programming and trailblazing concert experiences. Through its pioneering ‘Orchestral Theatre’ series, memorised performances, and cross-art form collaborations, Aurora challenges expectations of what an orchestra can and should be.



photo Justin Ridler

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (Australia)

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, lead by Artistic Director Paul Dyer and made up of specialists from around Australia, celebrates 16th, 17th and 18th century music with excellence, flair and joy. Dedicated to historically informed performance, they create the sounds of baroque on rare period instruments and collaborate with other artists to bring their sounds to a wide audience in innovative ways. Australian Brandenburg Orchestra is nominated for their sustained commitment to innovation in concert presentation format which allows performers and audiences to re-think how they experience old and new music.



Athens Philharmonia Orchestra

The Athens Philharmonia Orchestra (Greece)

The Athens Philharmonia Orchestra is a private organization. It gave its first concert on November 20, 2016. The orchestra’s prime goal is to perform Modern Greek art music which is often neglected and virtually unknown to the public.



photo Lisa Tomasetti

Biographica by Sydney Chamber Opera (Australia)

Biographica is a world premiere production with music by Mary Finsterer and libretto by Tom Wright, produced by Sydney Chamber Opera and Sydney Festival in association with Ensemble Offspring. Biographica is a portrait opera inspired by the life and demise of Renaissance polymath Gerolamo Cardano.



photo Jag Gundu

Canada Mosaic by Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Canada)

To mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra proudly presented Canada Mosaic—a year-long, national celebration of the nation’s diverse musical landscape and a Canada 150 Signature Project funded in part by the Government of Canada.



photo Juha Tanhua

Carbon-free Lahti Symphony Orchestra (Finland)

Carbon-free Lahti Symphony Orchestra – a contribution to the efforts to reduce the pace of global climate change by gradually making the orchestra’s activities carbon-neutral. The orchestra’s carbon footprint was calculated and an action plan was created. The Lahti Symphony Orchestra is taking the lead as an environmentally responsible artistic organisation by adopting carbon neutrality as one of its operational objectives. The orchestra’s general manager Teemu Kirjonen, sees the orchestra’s climate project as a natural part of the City of Lahti’s environmental strategy, according to which the city is committed to halving per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared to 1990 levels. The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s musicians and administrative staff have been involved in making the decision to launch the project, and in associated brainstorming activities.



photo Mathew Imaging

Chad Smith (USA)

Chad Smith, Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is responsible for the artistic oversight of the orchestra’s programming, production, orchestra operations, media, and educational initiatives. Smith’s tenure has been defined by ground-breaking artistic initiatives, working closely with Music Directors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel, launching new orchestral series, major multi-disciplinary projects, dozens of festivals, and an unparalleled commitment to composers and the music of today.



photo Zen Grisdale

Chineke! Orchestra (UK)

The Chineke! Foundation was founded in 2015 by double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for Black and Minority Ethnic classical musicians, both professional and juniors in the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s motto is: Championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music.



photo Rafa Martin

Concert Series “Descubre” by Orquesta y Coros Nacionales de España (Spain)

Descubre suggests to "Spend the perfect Sunday in Madrid... discovering the stories behind the most amazing music ever written... Film, images, storytelling, dramatic lighting, live performance, parallel workshops for kids aging 3-9 years... and GREAT, GREAT music with The Spanish National Orchestra and Choir."



Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s “Accessible to all: Community supported DSO strategy” (USA)

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra actively pursues an inclusive mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences. Through free digital webcasts, patron-minded ticket prices, and a strong commitment to the community, the DSO aims to be the most accessible orchestra on the planet.



photo Felipe Cabello Guiñez

Francisco Cila (Chile)

Francisco Cila is the conductor of the Elisa Valdés School Orchestra and Chorus. Founded in the year 2012, this orchestra and chorus (belonging to the Elisa Valdés School in Santiago de Chile) is made up of more than 90 students between eight and seventeen years old. The student orchestra is known for playing contemporary pieces commissioned by Chilean composers who have worked closely with the orchestra. Furthermore, this project fosters students’ creativity through improvisation sessions and the composition of pieces made by the members of the orchestra.



photo Heikki Tuuli

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s Godchildren (Finland)

The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra invited for the second time an entire age group – babies born in Helsinki in 2012 – to be its godchildren and offers them concerts twice a year.



photo Erdal Rahmi Hanay

Hezarfen Ensemble (Turkey)

Infectious energy, with signature large projects including transcultural operas (Deniz Küstü, Istanbul Music Festival), Music of Displacement I (Klangzeit Festival) and II (Ruhr Trienalle) integrating Turkish traditional instruments into a contemporary sound world make Istanbul’s Hezarfen Ensemble a must-hear.



photo Marco Borggreve

Iván Fischer (Hungary/Germany)

In 1983, Iván Fischer founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra in his home town, an ensemble for which he still serves as music director. The partnership between Fischer and the BFO has been one of the greatest success stories in the classical music world for the past 25 years. He has introduced many reforms in order to encourage the artistic growth of each individual orchestra member and has developed new concert types to serve a wider community. As well as being an international conductor, he is also an excellent composer and an opera director. He received the Golden Medal Award and the Kossuth Prize in Hungary and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services to help international cultural relations.



The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra making music together

KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (South Africa)

Based in the city of Durban and the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra is widely regarded as Africa’s premier orchestra. Consisting of 70 fulltime professional musicians who come from more than 20 countries, the orchestra has, over the past 30 years, earned a reputation for excellence and innovation amongst South African orchestras. A strong vision of high artistic values combined with a comprehensive education and community engagement programme has been fostered by Mr Bongani Tembe, a Juilliard School graduate, who joined the Orchestra in 1994 at the dawn of South Africa’s democracy. The KZN Philharmonic’s dynamic approach to its responsibilities in education and community engagement has resulted in the growth of one of South Africa’s most vibrant community-centred programmes. These endeavours encompass arts exposure, skills training and performance opportunities that contribute to the ongoing sustainability and growth of this art form in South Africa. It also ensures that thousands of school children are reached annually through school concerts, in addition to the numerous community concerts and rural residency programmes.



phtoto by Melle Meivogel

NedPhO GO! By Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (the Netherlands)

NedPhO GO! is the on- and off stage education, outreach and talent development programme of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra| Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. With innovative projects NedPhO GO! connects participants from all layers of society with classical music.



NoMadMusic’s NomadPlay

NoMadMusic’s NomadPlay (France)

Lots of adult amateur musicians stop playing their instrument because it is hard to keep practicing alone. NomadPlay is a play-along app, which enables one to virtually replace a musician on a tape. A digital tool to experiment the thrill of playing with an orchestra in your living room. It is developed by the label NoMadMusic, which has gathered institutional and artistic partners around the project: the Orchestre national d’Ile de France, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Orchestre de Paris, Fondation Orange, Culture Ministry, Festival de Saintes. NomadPlay is based on a powerful algorithm which can separate the audio sources from a recording, and remove any instrument selected.



photo Lenon Reis

Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej (Poland)

For 20 years OMN (New Music Orchestra) as aspired to engage audiences in contemporary music and astonish with remarkable performances by a proficient and outward-looking team of players striving to reshape the way music is created and experienced. Under the leadership of Szymon Bywalec, the orchestra has undertaken artistic challenges of first performances (over one hundred), interdisciplinary events and more.



photo Lenon Reis

Orquestra Juvenil da Bahia (Brazil)

Orquestra Juvenil da Bahia was created in 2007 under the artistic direction of its founder, conductor and pianist Ricardo Castro. The orchestra has performed with artists such as Martha Argerich, Midori Goto and Maxim Vengerov and held seven international tours in Europe and USA. It is the first ensemble of NEOJIBA - one of the priority programs of the State of Bahia, located in the Northeast region of Brazil. Members of the Orchestra act also as trainers or youth multipliers responsible for spreading NEOJIBA’s social and educational model. They help spread the program’s theme and essence of work methodology while practicing NEOJIBA’s motto, in their daily lives “Aprende quem Ensina-“ meaning “learns who teaches".



photo Peter Adamik

Parallax by Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in cooperation with Berlin Atonal (Germany)

At the Kraftwerk Berlin, on 29, September 2017, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and its new music director Robin Ticciati explored very different territory. Under the title ‘Parallax’ and in cooperation with the festival ‘Berlin Atonal’, the monumental industrial building on the Spree became a meeting point where Bach, Berio, Debussy, Ives and Ligeti encountered new compositions by the electronic sound artists Valerio Tricoli, PYUR and Paul Jebanasam. The soundscapes finally blended in the premiere of 'La Reminiscenza' for orchestra and electronics by Moritz von Oswald, one of the pioneers of Techno. Russian soloist Alina Ibragimova and DSO solo harpist Elsie Bedleem performed as soloists.



photo Lukas Beck

passwort:klassik – Music education Projects by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Austria)

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra wishes to develop enthusiasm for music among young people by allowing them to participate in dialogue between great conductors and musicians and, by means of this personal contact, give them insight into the professional world of classical music.



New World Symphony

Project 305 by New World Symphony (USA)

Miami residents were invited to share their impressions of, and emotions for Miami, via audio and video clips. The submissions were used to compose a symphonic video reflective of the city as seen through the eyes of its people. The collaborative project—a partnership between the New World Symphony, MIT Media Lab, Miami-Dade County and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation- invited all of Miami’s communities and cultures to work alongside composer Ted Hearne and filmmaker Jonathan David Kane through community events, workshops and gatherings. The resulting work, ‘Miami in Movements’, was premiered in October 2017 and simultaneously viewed outside as a WALLCAST® concert in SoundScape Park, and online by audiences around the world via Facebook Live. In addition, immersive 360-degree videos transported the viewer to eight distinct Miami neighborhoods. These videos were experienced firsthand by audiences attending the premiere but also viewable on the project website.



photo Hugh Carswell

Scottish Ensemble (Scotland)

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.



photo Thomas Salva Lumento

Les Talens Lyriques’ t@lenschool (France)

t@lenschool is three free-of-charge musical practice and listening apps for composing, conducting and playing the harpsichord. A ‘leap motion’ movement sensing camera is used to promote an entertaining and lively approach to teaching. Each pupil takes part in an artistic experience, becoming a contributor to the production of music. This novel project is under way in Balzac junior high school (17th Arrondissement of Paris), with a hundred or so pupils and is aimed at children and adults with no musical training , and realised together with the musical ensemble Les Talens Lyriques, which was founded twenty-five years ago by the harpsichordist and orchestral conductor Christophe Rousset. The ensemble promotes a wide lyrical and instrumental repertoire ranging from early baroque to the dawn of romanticism, performing rare or unpublished works that are genuine missing links in the European musical heritage. Their musicological and editorial work is a priority for the ensemble.



Toru Takemitsu Composition Award

Toru Takemitsu Composition Award (Japan)

The Toru Takemitsu Composition Award was established by the Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation, to realise the intension of the Foundation’s first artistic director, the late Toru Takemitsu; in order to inspire younger generations all over the world to contribute to the creation of new musical compositions. The unique selection system helps the creation and showcasing of innovative and original orchestral music. It reflects the distinctive perspective and vision of a single judge and there is no dilution of the aesthetic criteria for the selection of pieces. Since its start in 1997, the award selected unique judges including Tristan Murail (2010),Peter Eötvös (2014) and Kaija Saariaho (2015). Past winners have gone on to receive other awards including the Rome Award and Akutagawa Composition Award and their pieces have been performed by major orchestras. The paramount aim of this award is to foster the talented composers of next generations. Applications from all over the world ensure it is an important platform for the innovation of ‎orchestral music.



The Work Music Project by Japan Century Symphony Orchestra

The Work Music Project by Japan Century Symphony Orchestra (Japan)

The Work Music Project has been designed and delivered by the Osaka based Japan Century Symphony Orchestra and its community project director and composer Makoto Nomura. In partnership with Hello Life, an Osaka based charity whose support improves the skills and employment prospects of young people. The project enables young people to engage and create music with orchestra members, leading to public performance so that they become integrated into society and gain confidence in themselves and fresh ideas for their career.