• 14 - 17 MAY 2024

Innovation Award Nominating Committee 2018

The nominees for the Classical:NEXT 2018 Innovation Award is selected by a committee of 23 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 2018, in alphabetical order:



Akiko Yanagisawa (Japan)

Akiko studied aesthetics and philosophy at Gakushuin University, Tokyo, and obtained an MA in Arts Management at City, University of London where she studied orchestra management and cross-cultural music management. She founded mu:arts, a creative producer of music and arts, which has brought established and emerging musicians and artists to festivals and venues in over 30 countries. She is enthusiastic about creating cross-cultural and interdisciplinary arts collaborations and has produced successful projects including "Noh Reimagined" festival which explores innovative and interdisciplinary collaborations with the 650 year-old music theatre tradition from Japan.

C:N NET profile | Muarts


Photo by Nina Merikalli

Anu Ahola (Finland)

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 and a book on composing and composers in schools of the future.

C:N NET profile | Finish Music Quarterly


Photo by Jeff Marano

Bastian Zimmermann (Germany)

Bastian Zimmermann, born in 1985, is a freelance writer, dramaturge, filmmaker and curator of new composed and improvised music, theatre and performance. He writes for music magazines (Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Dissonance, VAN online etc.) and works as a dramaturge for music theatre productions such as Blackhole (2016) with the Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop or Tiferet (2017) with Amir Sphilman.

Bastian Zimmerman


Photo by Sergio Menezes

Christian Kellersmann (Germany)

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).

C:N NET profile | Edel | Kellys Diary


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.

David Kettle


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.

Classic FM


Photo by Caselli Nirmal

Etienne Abelin (Switzerland)

Swiss conductor and violinist Etienne Abelin follows his passion to explore new ways in classical music and to inspire people, from conducting Bach & Electronics with pianist Francesco Tristano, the Youth Orchestra of Caracas together with the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra at La Scala Milano, to World- and Swiss premieres of orchestra pieces with the Basel Sinfonietta, indie rock singer Shara Nova and Belgian DJ Grazzhoppa, performances at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Montreux Jazz Festival with his Bach & Electronics ensemble BachSpace , or a release with label ECM with Nik Bärtsch's Mobile Extended. Etienne is also co-founder of the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra and social-musical initiative Superar Suisse, (co)-artistic director of the Classical Beat Festival, Apples & Olives Indie Classical Festival and the Ynight classical-in-club series.

C:N NET profile | Etienne Abelin


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.

A Cunning Blog


Ho Joung Kim (South Korea)

Ho Joung Kim has worked for JoongangIlbo, the newspaper of Korea since 2005. She is a journalist covering classical music. She studied piano and communications in Seoul National University. As a host of classical talk show, she has emceed 20 volumes of ‘A Classic Day’ of JTBC. She was also a MC of the 61th Busoni International Piano Competition’s live streaming.



Photo by Corinna Desch

Jessica Duchen (UK/Chile)

Jessica Duchen writes words for, with and about music. She was a classical music correspondent for The Independent for twelve years and her journalism has also appeared in BBC Music Magazine, The Guardian and The Sunday Times. She is the author of stage works, biographies and novels, most recently ‘Ghost Variations’, and the libretto for Roxanna Panufnik’s opera 'Silver Birch’, premiered at Garsington Opera in summer 2017.


Photo by Fernanda Rodrigues

João Luiz Sampaio (Brazil)

Journalist and music critic, Joao Luiz Sampaio writes for the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo and is executive-editor of the magazine Concerto. As a journalist he has visited Brazil, United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is a professor of music history and author of books on the subject.

João Luiz Sampaio


Joep Stapel (Netherlands)

Joep Stapel is a classical music critic for the Dutch national daily NRC Handelsblad and a freelance music writer, focusing on new music. He studied musicology and philosophy in Amsterdam. He also writes about literature and publishes fiction.


Photo by Christina Körte

Kai-Michael Hartig (Germany)

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.

C:N NET profile | Körber Stiftung


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.

Lorena Jiménez (Twitter)


Mauricio Peña Cediel (Colombia)

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.

C:N NET profile | BogoMusic


Photo by 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.

Ludwing Van


Monika Pasiecznik (Poland)

Monika Pasiecznik is a new music critic and curator from Poland. She writes for Polish and international new music magazines, cooperates with Polish Radio Program 2 and many culture institutions. As a curator she has collaborated with festivals such as Warsaw Autumn, Sacrum Profanum Cracow, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Klangspuren Schwaz, Gothenburg Sound Art, Nuova Consonanza Rome, Exposition of New Music Brno a.o. 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. In 2015, she was nominated for her unique projects to the international Classical:NEXT Innovation Award. She lives in Warsaw.

Monika Pasiecznik


Nikos Dontas (Greece)

Nikos A. Dontas holds a Ph.D. in Musicology and a M.Sc. 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 and 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.



Photo by 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.

Classical Voice North America


Photo by José Alvújar

Romina de la Sotta Donoso (Chile)

Romina de la Sotta Donoso (1973) is a Chilean journalist and has covered cultural issues since 2001. After having her own 60-minute talk show on Radio Beethoven, since 2008 she writes about classical music, culture heritage and cultural policies in the newspaper “El Mercurio”. Every week, she interviews between five and fifteen composers, performing musicians and musicologists.


Rudolph Tang (China)

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.

C:N NET profile | Klassikom Music Info Service


Photo by Sinan Cakmak

Serhan Bali (Turkey)

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.

C:N NET profile | Andante


Photo by Guillaume Decalf

Séverine Garnier (France)

"Classical music is not a has-been": this is Séverine Garnier's motto. Web journalist since 2001, she writes profiles, reviews and interviews as a freelancer for the national newspaper Le Parisien and radio France Musique. She also gives lectures about modern music. In 2010, she started her own blog.

C:N NET profile | Classique Mais Pas Has Been