Classical:NEXT, the annual gathering of the world’s classical music community, may have had to postpone its initial plans due to Covid-19 – just like every other conference scheduled for this spring. But, undeterred, it has today unveiled a full schedule of online talks, performances, and conference and mentoring sessions to take place over what would have been the conference dates – starting on Monday May 18 – all aimed at keeping alive the spirit of sharing experiences, ideas, and of course music, which defines this annual occasion.
One event due to have taken place in Rotterdam was a conversation between Gramophone’s Editor-in-Chief James Jolly and President of Deutsche Grammophon, Dr Clemens Trautmann – instead they’ll now present their talk using Zoom. Among the topics covered will be to explore the task faced by labels (and many other organisations in the classical music sector) of balancing art and commerce, creativity and the commercial. They’ll also look at what a label – not least one with an extraordinary legacy – means to 21st-century audiences.
The conversation will be streamed at the same time it would have been held in Rotterdam – on Tuesday, May 19, at 4.30pm UK time/5.30pm CET (find full details here). This will immediately be followed by an Instagram Live Concert from the winner of Gramophone’s inaugural Concept Album Award (and next issue’s cover artist), the guitarist Sean Shibe.
Then the following day, May 20, at 2pm UK time/3pm CET time, Classical:NEXT will host its Innovation Awards, created to 'place the spotlight on forward-thinking activities taking place around the world'. Gramophone is a media partner of the Awards, and we'll be reporting details of the recipients on our website.
You can find full details of the online programme, including the Meet Ups and Mentoring Sessions – some of which specifically address issues thrown into stark light by recent events, including ‘How to Get Press in Uncertain Times’, and ‘Coping with the “New Normal”’ – at the Classical:NEXT website. As the organisation puts it: 'At a time where we all have much to learn and much adapting to do, Classical:NEXT emphasises the importance of learning and exchanging with one another, to navigate the stormy waters collectively.'