• 13 - 17 May 2024
  • Berlin, Germany

Innovation Award Shortlist 2022

This is the Shortlist for the Classical:NEXT 2022 Innovation Award. These nominees were named and voted for by the expert members of the nominating committee from the Longlist. Longlist, Shortlist, public vote - read here how our Innovation Award works. The recipients of the award are 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.



Photo by Brett Boardman

Big hART for 'The Acoustic Life of Sheds' (Australia)

Nominated by Harriet Cunningham

Big hART's Acoustic Life of Sheds invites composers, musicians and artists to celebrate rural, industrial and maritime architecture as sound-shells reimagined for audiences in the landscape. The sonic creations are presented as promenade concerts with audiences travelling between sites, experiencing different sheds and performances over a single day. In 2022 the Acoustic Life of Boatsheds ferried people to hear new music at a heritage shipyard, a colonial dock and a wooden boatbuilder’s shed.

Reason for nomination: This project is a collaboration between artists, creators and shed owners from different walks of life, engaging 90 musicians, visual artists and sound designers and producing 26 new works to date.

Photo by Kevin Condon

Death of Classical (USA)

Nominated by Brian Wise

Some of the most sought-after concert tickets in New York City (NYC) are for a church crypt and a catacomb at Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, presented by this wryly named organisation. This year, Death of Classical (DOC) unveils a third subterranean series, the Cave Sessions, and a fourth series, The Speakeasy Sessions, in churches across the city. DOC has collaborated with NYC institutions such as the New York Philharmonic and more, in order to expand the reach of classical music.

Reason for nomination: DOC has partnered with institutions such as the historic Green-Wood Cemetery (a non-profit arts organisation), highlighting aspects of NYC history, as well as the New York Philharmonic and others.


Photo by Breathing Free

Heartbeat Opera (USA)

Nominated by Brian Wise

Heartbeat Opera is a small company that specializes in inventive, interdisciplinary collaborations. A prime example is its Fidelio, which drew upon (recorded) singers from six American prison choirs and was set within today’s American criminal justice system. Its Carmen was set on the US/Mexican border while its Madama Butterfly addressed Orientalism and clichés of geisha culture. Heartbeat stages its radical adaptations of classic operas in a variety of venues, both traditional and offbeat.

Reason for nomination: Heartbeat Opera is a small company but it leverages its partnerships with larger institutions to put forward imaginative, contemporary and thought-provoking spins at familiar operas.


Photo by Mindaugas Mikulėnas

Musical Storytelling (Lithuania)

Nominated by Rasa Murauskaitė

The Musical Storytelling project responded to the need for a broader integration of marginalised groups such as migrants, refugees, and disabled people. The project offered a setting for discussing and learning about diversity and inclusion through the universal language of music. More than 100 young people from different corners of Europe participated in youth exchanges in different countries, having musical workshops and concerts connecting professional musicians and people from aforementioned groups.

Reason for nomination: Three different organisations joined forces to promote the inclusion of often marginalised groups via professional musical activities – that is an act of collaboration in its very essence.


Photo by Ga-Ken Wan

Nevis Ensemble (UK)

Nominated by David Kettle

Dubbed 'Scotland's street orchestra', the Nevis Ensemble plays entirely for the community: in schools, museums, supermarkets, streets, even on ferries. Bringing together a brilliant collection of young players, it covers well-loved classical music, brand new commissions and jazz/pop music in an informal way, putting sustainability at the heart of what it does and embarking on numerous tours to sometimes remote communities since it was founded in 2018.

Reason for nomination: Collaboration is at the heart of what Nevis does, collaborating with local communities and also in long-term relationships with charities and support organisations across Scotland.


Photo by Joseph Mayers

Ngarra Burria (Australia)

Nominated by Harriet Cunningham

Ngarra-Burria (Dharug words meaning ‘to hear, to sing’), builds bridges for First Peoples musicians to step forward, further develop their composition skills, and connect with the art music sector. Initiated in 2016 by Aboriginal composer Christopher Sainsbury, the programme takes a two-year cohort of composers on a voyage spanning the many realms of art music, including contemporary classical/new music, jazz, experimental, sound art and installations.

Reason for nomination: Ngarra-burria is a partnership between Moogahlin Performing Arts (NSW’s leading Indigenous performing arts company), the Australian Music Centre, the ANU School of Music, and Ensemble Offspring.


Opera Calcetin (Chile)

Nominated by Romina de la Sotta

Opera Calcetín is a music project that motivated singers from the choir of the Municipal Theatre of Santiago and other Chilean artists to make an original artistic project during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mixing sock puppets, video editing software and creativity, they performed The Magic Flute with their mobile’s phones from their homes. The performance had great success online, created a national network of collaborators and they have continued to develop projects that thousands of schoolchildren watch.

Reason for nomination: This project built a virtual network of collaboration. It started with choir singers working for free and then included more and more volunteers: hairdressers, designers, filmmakers and theatre managers.


Photo by Yohan Lopez

Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín (Colombia)

Nominated by Mauricio Pena

The Medellín Philharmonic Orchestra is perhaps the most successful example of a non-government run orchestra in Colombia. As a nonprofit organisation, the orchestra has developed a management model in which music, social responsibility and community and corporate relations intersect to provide the citizens of Medellín with a variety of musical experiences in different places and at different stages of their lives. This orchestra clearly aims to remain relevant well beyond the 21st century.

Reason for nomination: Young infants, older adults, private enterprises, local communities, rock bands for children, pop singers, ex-combatants, music students, world-renowned artists: this is the orchestra of all Medellín.


Photo by Xann Suzi

The Choral Hub (UK)

Nominated by Steve Long

The Choral Hub is a new mobile gaming app that teaches adults how to sing, encouraging the daily habit of Singing for Wellness.

Reason for nomination: This innovative app uses pre-recorded singing by professional singers to provide guide tracks to help anyone to learn to sing. We collaborate with a large ecosystem of vocal experts, publishers, and labels.


Photo by Musacchio & Ianniello - Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Tutti a Santa Cecilia (Italy)

Nominated by Gianluigi Mattietti

Tutti a Santa Cecilia is a season of educational musical activities dedicated to schools, children (from babies), families and in general to new audiences who want to get closer to the universe of music. It dedicates special online events (such as ‘Santa Cecilia Online for Kids’ during the Covid lockdown) to schools and to all those who have difficulty getting around, with constantly updated educational material and live streaming where you can interact with the artists.

Reason for nomination: It brings everyone into closer contact with music, in concert halls or virtually, and creates new forms of collaboration, interactions, and dialogues between musicians and listeners.