• 14 - 17 MAY 2024

Innovation Award Shortlist 2018

This is the shortlist for the Classical:NEXT 2018 Innovation Award. These nominees were named and voted for by the 23 expert members of the nominating committee from the 28-strong longlist. Longlist, shortlist, public vote - read here how our Innovation Award works.

The winner of the award is determined by an online vote open to the entire Classical:NEXT community, including all delegates who have registered for any of our editions and who are linked via C:N NET. The voting is now closed. The winner of the Classical:NEXT 2018 Innovation Award will then be announced on site at the closing ceremony of Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam on 19 May 2018.


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 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 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.



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 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.



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.



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.