• 17 - 20 MAY 2022

Innovation Award Recipients 2020

These are the recipients of the Classical:NEXT 2019 Innovation Award. They were 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 recipients were announced on site at first-ever live-streamed broadcast of the Award Ceremony of Classical:NEXT.

The nominees were named and voted for by the 26 expert members of the nominating committee from the 32-strong longlist. Longlist, shortlist, public vote - read here how our Innovation Award works.


Liza Lim and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Composing Women (Australia)

Despite the seismic developments in recent years, women still face overwhelming challenges in the classical music arena, particularly in composition. Oftentimes exciting works go unheard or, worse, unwritten. Sydney Conservatorium’s Composing Women program targets this problem with two years of mentoring. Creative and performance opportunities empower selected participants, who for 2020 include women of different ages and of colour from a range of artistic practices.

Reason for nomination: This is the only higher-level composition program for women demonstrating a sustained, strategic commitment to change. Liza Lim and the Composing Women program deserves recognition for its strategic vision, resilience and ongoing commitment to excellence. It represents a successful model which could be – should be – adopted far and wide.


Photo Peter Lodder

Splendor Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

Splendor is run by a group of 50 musicians and the venue is a second home for them and their public. The 50 core musicians invested €1000 and play at least once a year for the Splendor members. In exchange, the building is theirs – 365 days a year – to create, explore and produce wherever their imagination takes them. The musicians and invested audience members/donors achieve and experience together, both are invested financially in the project and the concerts. It is a true collective and addresses the need for both audiences and musicians to feel included.

Reason for nomination: For showing great ability to survive and thrive (financially and politically) in desperate times. The musicians never cease to pursue their own passions and dreams about music making, while involving audiences to make them part of their inspiring world.


Partones - Sustainable sound, Alternative materials for instrument building (Finland)

Many musical instruments traditionally require materials that are now endangered or unsustainable, like ebony, ivory, rosewood, or pernambuco (for bows for stringed instruments) for example. In our era of climate crisis and the decrease of biodiversity, we can no longer afford to ignore the ecological sustainability of instruments. We need alternatives to replace the traditional materials in instrument building. Partones is taking ground-breaking steps forward in this field, designing their materials according to certain three-dimensional structures in the anatomy of wood which can also be applied to materials of animalia in order to achieve durability, workability and acoustical equality of the paragons. The structures that are not present in other composites allow the designers to create a variety of materials according to their differing structure.

Reason for nomination: For addressing an urgent problem and representing the future direction of instrument building.