Classical:NEXT Innovation Awards reveal 2020 recipients

A women's composing programme, innovative instrument builders, and collective venue all honoured

Splendor - the Amsterdam venue, and recipient of an Innovation Award (Photo: Peter Lodder)
Splendor - the Amsterdam venue, and recipient of an Innovation Award (Photo: Peter Lodder)

Classical:NEXT has revealed the recipients of its 2020 Innovation Awards - of which Gramophone is a media partner - created to 'place the spotlight on forward-thinking activities taking place around the world'. In an online ceremony, part of several days of digital talks, concerts and events being held in lieu of being able to gather the classical community in person, the three organisations and projects chosen for their role in changing and challenging thinking about music-making were announced. They are: 

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

Sydney Conservatorium’s Composing Women programme seeks to target challenges facing women composers through mentoring, and performance opportunities. The official citation reads: For being the only higher-level composition programme for women demonstrating a sustained, strategic commitment to change. Liza Lim and the Composing Women programme has a strategic vision, resilience and ongoing commitment to excellence. It represents a successful model which could be – should be – adopted far and wide.'

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

In our era of climate crisis and the decrease of biodiversity, Partones is working to develop alternatives to replace the traditional materials in instrument building, such as ebony, ivory and rosewood. It received the Award ‘For addressing the urgent ecological problem and representing the future direction of 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.’

Splendor Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

A venue run by a group of 50 musicians - each of whom 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 collective received the Award ‘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.'

You can watch the ceremony below: 

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