20 February 2020
for immediate release
Dear members of the press, 

We've got something refreshing to share with you - good news from Asia! Our message offers to all art music professionals opportunities for health and prosperity, be that for artistic, inter-cultural or economic goals!

Spanning the Opening Night, the Conference and Project Pitch Programme, as well as on the floor of the Expo itself, representatives of Asia's thriving art music scene bring to Classical:NEXT the reports from their domestic scenes, offering delegates windows (and keys) into the latest developments. 

The information below provides details on the Asia focus at Classical:NEXT 2020. Should you require further explanations or have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Accreditation is also available (in limited capacity). For those interested, please send an email to with details of your coverage plans and your press credentials. Press accreditation provides access to all of Classical:NEXT 2020 (including the Conference, Showcases, Project Pitches and the Expo). Classical:NEXT is unable to cover travel and accommodation costs, but taking part would save you a flight to Asia. 

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,
With kind regards,
Aliena Haig

Classical:NEXT, de Doelen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 18–21 May 2020

Window to the East

Rotterdam/Berlin: The Classical:NEXT 2020 Conference Programme is starting to take shape and gearing up to enter uncharted territory. Exploring new regions and new sectors, the upcoming ninth edition is set to unravel new horizons and new possibilities available to the global art music community. 

Classical:NEXT is looking east. Across the programme, from Conference sessions to Meet Ups, from Mentoring sessions to Project Pitches, Classical:NEXT 2020 offers concrete help for delegates looking to connect with Asia. Well-connected experts and insiders of the Asian art music scene will take to the stage to not only reveal all that the region has to offer, but also how to best access and make use of all that is available.

Below are brief descriptions of the Asia-focused Conference sessions:

Asia Postcard Pitches
A glimpse into the art music scenes of Singapore, South Korea, Macao and Thailand. 

Moderated by Joanna Lee, founder & chairman of Museworks Limited, an international arts consultancy that builds cultural bridges between the US, Europe and Asia.

Tour to Hong Kong
The gateway to China
Learn about the opportunities and challenges in the region, what the audiences are like and what kind of music programmes are sought after.

Chaired by Winsome Chow, chief executive of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC).

China's Ins and Outs:
Directions and challenges, today
and tomorrow
Setting the context of the changing Chinese market for the global music professional.

Chaired by Wray Armstrong, head of Armstrong International Music & Arts Enterprises Ltd. Wray will also be offering a Roundtable Mentoring session.

To Serve the People
A primer on the state of performances in Asia, from traditional to avant-garde and a look at how Asia's new venues engage today's public.

Chaired by journalist Ken Smith, Asian performing arts critic for the Financial Times.

Conference Programme

The annual Asia Pacific Regional Meet Up will take place once again after three years of successful sessions. Coordinated by Opening Night curator Louis Siu from Toolbox Percussion together with John Davies from the Australian Music Centre, the Meet Up provides delegates from Asia and the Pacific Rim the opportunity to connect, share and discuss. 

Here is what Jury member Joanna Lee had to say about putting together the 2020 Classical:NEXT Conference Programme: 

"So many brilliant ideas gushed from the conference proposals, it was hard to whittle them down. Artists and administrators today have mastered the concept of ‘thinking outside the box’. The conference sessions of the 2020 edition of Classical:NEXT will inspire and open our vistas. Delegates should look forward to many sparks of imagination as we gather in Rotterdam."
- Joanna C. Lee, Jury member

Not to be forgotten is the Classical:NEXT Opening Night hosted by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC), produced by curator Louis Siu and artistic director Lung Fam. Please see the last press release for more details.

Stayed tuned for further Programme announcements, including details on the Project Pitches, Club Showcases and all things Tech

26 music journalists and experts from 25 countries and every continent make up this year's Nominating Committee. Their work focuses on renewal and trends in classical music and they have submitted their nominations for the 2020 Classical:NEXT Innovation Award. The Committee will soon decide the Shortlist, at which point voting will begin for the entire Classical:NEXT community. Learn more about the Innovation Award process here

New members of the Nominating Committee also offer the Classical:NEXT community an opportunity to become familiar with the most forward-thinking projects taking place in and around greater Asia, revealing their nominations for this year's Innovation Award. Nominators for 2020 include experts and journalists from Hong Kong, Singapore, Northern and Southern China.
The 2020 Innovation Award Longlist
The Classical:NEXT Media Rate is available to media professionals.
Meet the deciders of the Conference, Project Pitch and Showcase Programme here.
All press photos for Classical:NEXT can be downloaded here.
Photo Credits:
In order of appearance: Gaybird Leung Zephyr Quartet at Classical:NEXT 2019 by Eric van Nieuwland; Asia Postcard Pitches Collage by Aliena Haig; Winsome Chow; Wray Armstrong; Ken Smith; Innovation Award 2020 Logo; Radio Studio Classical:NEXT 2019 by Eric van Nieuwland; 2020 Jury Meeting by Aliena Haig; Radio Studio Classical:NEXT 2018 by Eric van Nieuwland.
Piranha Arts is the organiser and producer of Classical:NEXT
De Doelen - international concert hall and congress centre - is the local host and partner of Classical:NEXT 2020.
Classical:NEXT is the annual, global networking and exchange hub dedicated exclusively to classical and art music, for all professionals – artists, managers, presenters, orchestras, labels, educators, press, media, publishers and more.

Classical:NEXT consists of an interactive conference, project pitches, showcase concerts, expo, innovation award and networking.

By taking part in Classical:NEXT, you join over 1,000 professionals from more than 45 countries worldwide.

Press contact Classical:NEXT
Aliena Haig
T: +49 (0) 30 31 861 448 | M: +49 (0) 176 778 738 22 | E:

Photos and more material at our press section:

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Classical:NEXT was initiated in 2012 by Piranha Arts and CLASS - Association of Classical Independents in Germany e.V. (

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