• WOMEX 20 Digital Edition
  • 26-29 MAY 2021


The nominees for the Classical:NEXT 2020 Innovation Award will be selected by a committee of 26 music journalists and experts from 25 countries and every continent, who in their work focus on renewal and trends in classical music. The Nominating Committee, which includes our Industry Insider, is not fixed and varies every year. These are the members for 2020, in alphabetical order:



Anne Midgette (USA)

Anne Midgette is the former chief classical music critic of The Washington Post. Her work has regularly appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Opera News, and many other publications. Her books include “My Nine Lives” (with Leon Fleisher) and “The King and I” (about Luciano Pavarotti).


Photo by Nina Merikalli

Anu Ahola (Finland)

Anu Ahola is the editor-in-chief of the FMQ (Finnish Music Quarterly). She has extensive and varied experience in coordinating and collaborating with the different sectors of the music field. Anu is also well-versed in music education, and the editor of an online databank of material for composition pedagogy. She is a founding member of the Finnish Equal Music Sector working group.


Cheng Li (Northern China)

Currently journalist and critic at Music Weekly, Cheng Li worked for almost two decades at the Beijing Morning Post reporting on classical, opera, ballet and China’s indigenous music traditions. One of the most respected writers in the music profession, Li also publishes regularly in China’s opera and philharmonic magazines.


Chi Zuo (Southern China)

Chi Zuo is based in Shenzen and one of the most active promoters of classical music. He is the founder of "FantasticClassics", an influential new media in China, he writes for the UK Financial Times Chinese Website and is the columnist for the Beijing Daily Supplement.


David Kettle (Scotland)

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.


Dionyssis Mallouhos (Greece)

Dionyssis Mallouhos plays the piano, holds a Masters degree from Athens University in Music Culture and Communication (Department of Music Studies/Communication and Media Studies), teaches and writes about music. He works with authentic musicians and artists, as well as on the Third Program of Greek Radio. He sees the potential in the internet and global coordination and seeks co-operation with people who have good intentions and care for culture.


Gianluigi Mattietti (Italy)

Born in Rome, Gianluigi Mattietti completed his musical studies in composition and electronic music at the Conservatory of Rome, graduating from the University of Rome where he also finished his doctor's degree in musicology. Gianluigi is a music critic, professor in musicology at the University of Cagliari, on the board of the Italian Music Critics Association and publishes essays about contemporary music.


Guillaume Decalf (France)

Guillaume Decalf studied history, digital creation and editing in Paris. Currently head of editorial of francemusique.fr, the Radio France classical music website, he participates in many projects that link classical music and technological innovation.


Harriet Cunningham (Australia)

Harriet Cunningham is a freelance writer and researcher based in Sydney, Australia. In print, she is best known as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's music and theatre 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.


Photo by Christine Fiedler

Hartmut Welscher (Germany)

Hartmut Welscher is editor-in-chief of VAN Magazine, a digital fanzine for classical music and its subculture. Since its launch, the magazine has had a major impact and is now a leading voice on the German classical music scene. It also now has an English edition with wide-ranging articles covering contemporary, classical and early music that feature sound, images and video.


Photo by Corinna Desch

Jessica Duchen (UK)

Jessica Duchen is an author and music critic from London. She was music correspondent for The Independent for 12 years and her output also includes a number of novels, biographies and opera libretti. She serves in an advisory capacity on the board of the Ambache Charitable Trust and The Orchestra of the Swan.


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 well as the Brazilian correspondant for the spanish magazine Scherzo. As a journalist, he has visited Brazil, the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is a professor of music history and author of books on the subject.

Johanna Mängel (Estonia)

Johanna Mängel is an editor, producer and broadcaster on Klassikaraadio (Estonian Public Broadcasting). Since 2015, she has represented Estonia at the International Rostrum of Composers. She has produced successful radio projects with a focus on young musicians and contemporary music and organised contemporary music showcases. Johanna is a cellist and also works as a journalist and writes articles and reviews for the main culture magazines and newspapers in Estonia.


Ken Smith (Hong Kong)

An ASCAP/Deems Taylor award winner for distinguished music writing, Ken Smith has covered culture on five continents for a wide array of media. He divides his time between New York and Hong Kong, where he is the Asian performing arts critic for the Financial Times.


Lina Navickaité-Martinelli (Lithuania)

Lina Navickaitė-Martinelli, PhD, is a musicologist, music critic, chair of the Musicologists’ section at the Lithuanian Composers’ Union and associate professor and senior researcher at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. She is currently editor-in-chief of the magazine “Lithuanian Music Link”, author of two books and has presented TV and radio programmes on music and culture.


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.


Maartje Stokkers (The Netherlands)

After getting her Master's degree in musicology, Maartje Stokkers started working as a radio host for the Dutch national classical music station NPO Radio4. After twelve years, she decided to expand her skills and she resigned. Ever since, she has been making a television documentary on J.S. Bach, hosting concerts (at the Concertgebouw e.g.), providing presentation trainings and writing concert reviews for one of the national newspapers.


Maren Ørstavik (Norway)

Maren Ørstavik is a Norwegian critic in the field of classical and contemporary music, opera and dance. She writes reviews and commentary for Aftenposten, Norway’s larges newspaper, as well as for cultural magazines such as Ballade, Jazznytt and Bokvennen Litterære Avis. She is also editor-in-chief at Periskop, a magazine dedicated to critique of art for young people.


Matthijs van Dijk (S. Africa)

Matthijs van Dijk is a composer, arranger, chamber musician and co-founder of new music ensemble the Night Light Collective, based in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2019, Mitthijs launched his podcast series “The South African Composers Archive”, to create an aural archive of the South African New Music scene.


Mauricio Peña Cediel (Colombia)

Mauricio Peña 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 for the blog sporadically.


Michael Dervan (Ireland)

Michael Dervan, music critic of The Irish Times, won the first AT Cross Critic of the Year Award. His 100-programme, year-by-year survey of 20th century music, "Countdown, Sampling the Century", was broadcast on RTÉ lyric FM in 1999. In 2016, he edited "The Invisible Art, A Century of Music in Ireland, 1916-2016", which was nominated in the Best Irish-Published Book section of that year's Irish Book Awards.


Michael Vincent (Canada)

Michael Vincent is a music journalist, and publisher of Ludwig Van — Canada’s largest classical music website.
He has served as a music critic for the Toronto Star, and is founder of Museland Media Inc., a digital-first publishing company built to capture attention and build a community surrounding the performing arts.


Photo by Sławomir Wojciechowski

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 cultural institutions. As a curator she has collaborated with festivals such as Warsaw Autumn, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music.


Romina de la Sotta Donoso (Chile)

Romina de la Sotta Donoso (1973) is a Chilean journalist, covering cultural issues since 2001. After having her own 60-minute talk show on Radio Beethoven, she has been writing about classical music, cultural heritage and cultural policies. Every week, she interviews between five and fifteen composers, performing musicians and musicologists.


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.


Tou Liang Chang (Singapore)

Tou Liang Chang is a family physician by profession, and has followed the Singapore classical music scene since 1979. He has been a music reviewer for The Straits Times since 1997 and is an avid blogger (pianofortephilia.blogspot.com). From 2004 to 2008, he was the artistic director of the Singapore International Piano Festival.


Industry Insider

The Industry Insiders cover areas of the music industry which often go under the radar and aren't in the public eye. Therefore members of these sectors may be deserving of an Innovation Award, yet would be overseen without the help of our Industry Insiders. These vary from year to year and can include the recording industry, management, music education and outreach, audience development and more.


Nicola Kremer (Germany)

Nicola Kremer studied musicology and communications in Germany and the US and has spent more than two decades in label management, international marketing and distribution, first at BMG (deutsche harmonia mundi) and since 2008, for ECM Records. Nicola hates the terms ‘music industry’ and ‘product’ as she works only with aficionados and determined music people full passion for cultural projects. She is in charge of international marketing and special projects for the 50th anniversary celebrations at ECM Records.