Music Australia News

Classical Innovators Head to Rotterdam in May

Belle Chen Image Credit: GB Times
Graham Strahle
| April 23, 2019

Classical:NEXT is a prestigious global event in the classical music calendar that brings industry professionals and musicians together each year to look at where innovation of all kinds is happening in that sector. This can be performance, event curation, recording, publishing or any other area. The event comes around again on 15-18 May in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and as in previous years there is a strong contingent coming from Australia.

Just announced by the Australian Music Centre are two outstanding recipients of the Classical:NEXT fellowship scheme for 2019. These are Taiwanese born, Brisbane raised pianist-composer Belle Chen and Sydney arts administrator Simonette Turner. Chen began studies at the Royal Academy of Music in 2011 and was judged Classical Rising Star at the 2015 London Music Awards. As of this year, Turner has been Acting Coordinator of SAMA (Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group) and is also Arts Practice Officer at Australia Council for the Arts.

As Classical:NEXT Fellows, each will be paired with mentors to gain professional guidance find new opportunities in their respective endeavours. Chen’s mentor will be Harriet Moss of music publisher Manners McDade (UK), while Turner has been lined up with Canadian David Pay, artistic director of Vancouver’s Music on Main concert series.

Central to Classical:NEXT is its Innovation Award, which according to the event’s director Jennifer Dautermann recognises “people who are doing the most to push things forward with daring yet intelligent, effective and successful “out-of-the-box” thinking, planning and action”. Previously announced are four Australian contenders for this award. Percussionist Claire Edwardes is currently artist in residence at the aforementioned Music on Main, sopranos Jane Sheldon and Jessica Aszodi are co-directors of the Resonant Bodies Festival of new vocal music that began in 2013 in New York, and Shirley Apthorp is a music journalist and founding director of Umculo Cape Festival, South Africa, which supports social change through music.

Also present in Rotterdam and appearing Classical:NEXT’s associated showcase concerts will be Ensemble Offspring, pianist Sonya Lifschitz and the Zephyr Quartet. Their concerts over the four days will be streamed on Spotify.

Congratulations to all on being selected for this important international event.

See Classical:NEXT’s timeline here and keep to keep in touch with what’s going on.

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