Delegate numbers are up 20% for the second outing of Classical:NEXT, the music congress that opens in Vienna on 29 May. More remarkably, the number of exhibitors is up 70% at nearly 130, selling out the exhibition area in the MAK (Museum of Applied and Contemporary Arts).
Also significantly for an event launched by Germany’s independent classical sector, major labels are making formal appearances among the 700 delegates from 40 countries.
‘We have people from EMI, Decca and Sony among others,’ said Paul Brauer, press officer for Classical:NEXT. Also Stephan Steigleder, director of digital media at Deutsche Grammophon, is among speakers at a conference session on revenue for classical music from online streaming; and DG and Austrian broadcaster ORF host a Yellow Lounge evening as an independent prelude to the congress.
One aim this year was to expand into the live event and artist management areas and Brauer said there had been moderate success. ‘It is getting better and I am glad we have given ourselves three or four years to establish this event.’
There is, though, significant interest from other areas, including PR ‒ there will be a PR networking session ‒ technology and media companies, and publishers. ‘There is a lot of new music in our showcases,’ Brauer said, ‘and while the traditional classical music scene is networked very well, the contemporary scene doesn’t have a platform, so this interests publishers.’
A conference strand on potential growth markets in Asia, particularly China, has attracted strong interest, with speakers including Guo Shan, president of the China Symphony Development Foundation, and Jooho Kim, CEO of South Korea’s Lotte Concert Hall.
Eight groups have been selected by an international jury to present showcases in Vienna, and Classical:NEXT has even spawned a fringe event, or ‘off C:N’ evening, with Musikcentrum Öst hosting performances by three Swedish contemporary music groups in the Musikverein.
There will also be video showcases, presenting performances by larger ensembles and opera companies, plus two film screenings hosted by the IMZ.
For more information visit www.classicalnext.com