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Classical:Next 2019: Scotland’s Classical Music on the world stage

Published: 14 May 2019

Music industry professionals from across the globe will gather in Rotterdam from 15 - 18 May 2018 for Classical:NEXT, the world’s biggest contemporary classical showcase and expo.

Scotland will be represented at the showcase and conference alongside over 30 countries from five continents. The music conference, showcases and the trade fair is a market for products, for music and for ideas. With over ninety trade fair stands, Scotland will be in prime position at Stand 12, led by a team from the Scottish Music Centre and will feature an artist delegation, supported by Creative Scotland.

Scottish-based emerging composers and musicians will have the opportunity to highlight their music, build their contacts and network with the classical music sector on a global scale. Artists and composers attending include Josh ArmstrongEmily DoolittleOliver SearleSimon Thacker and Sonic Bothy. 

Gill Maxwell, Executive Director of Scottish Music Centre, said:“Classical:NEXT, the world-leading expo, conference and trade fair, is an essential marketplace for those working in Scotland’s vibrant contemporary classical music scene.   From the rich seam of creators and artists working together across classical, experimental and improvisation, to the innovative programmers and curators of our acclaimed year-round festivals, and those seeking international musical collaborations and partnerships, my team and I look forward to leading the Scotland delegation in Rotterdam, promoting, supporting and developing the creative and business aims of Scotland’s fresh, exciting new music sector.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: “Classical Next provides a high-profile platform for the composers and conductors, ensembles and orchestras, soloists and sector bodies who make up Scotland’s classical music scene to gain national and international exposure. It is important now more than ever for Scotland to be represented at key international music industry events, as these opportunities can lead to future income through subsequent tour bookings, festival invitations and recording, licencing or distribution deals. International events such as this place Scotland’s music in an international marketplace and connect our culture to the world, while also opening doors for world-class music from elsewhere to be brought home for Scottish audiences to enjoy.”

Alongside Scottish Music Centre and Creative Scotland, delegates from several other organisations will also be representing Scotland and connecting with international colleagues Creative Scotland,Delphian RecordsScottish EnsembleRoyal Conservatoire of ScotlandRed Note Ensemble and NOISE opera. 

Notes to Editors

Media Contact: Wendy Grannon, Media Relations & PR Manager, Creative Scotland. E: wendy.grannon@creativescotland.com| T: 0131 523 0016

About Scottish Music Centre

Scottish Music Centre runs youth music projects Hit The Road and Musicplus+, and Artist Talent Development programme IGNITE. The centre is also a membership organisation , with over 100 composers / creative businesses as members and a registered Charity, national hub and information point, representing all areas of the industry and delivering a wide range of services and events to musicians in Scotland. SMC is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner and Help Musicians UK National Grants Programme Awardee. For Further information please visit: http://www.scottishmusiccentre.com Follow @scottishmusic and www.facebook.com/scottishmusiccentre

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

About Classical NEXT

Classical:NEXT is the most important classical music gathering in the world, unifying the global classical and art music scene, enabling it to work better together. The focus is on innovation, increasing relevance and effectiveness in both business and creative aspects of the industry. In addition, Classical:NEXT aims to push for positive change within the professional scene as well as society as a whole. www.classicalnext.com Follow us @classicalnext | www.facebook.com/classicalnext

About the 2019 Artist Delegation

Josh Armstrong Josh Armstrong is an interdisciplinary director concerned with the production of performance at the verge of music, theatre, and visual art—including staged concerts, contemporary opera, and music theatre. Josh has been a Cryptic Artist since 2011, presenting performance in an array of contexts from small-scale national touring; to opera house-sized productions; to large-scale outdoor events for thousands of viewers in performances across Scotland and internationally. In 2018, Josh founded Objet-a Creative Studio looking for new pathways to produce hybrid art forms at the forefront of music and performance. Josh is a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on the BA(Hons) Contemporary Performance Practice programme and guest lectures on the BMus programmes.  Find out more: http://josharmstrong.eu/portfolio/

Emily Doolittle Canadian-born, Glasgow-based composer Emily Doolittle’s music has been described as “eloquent and effective” (The WholeNote), “masterful” (Musical Toronto), and “the piece that grabbed me by the heart” (The WholeNote). Recent activities include the premiere of Reedbird by the Vancouver Symphony, performances of her chamber opera Jan Tait and the Bear by Ensemble Thing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase, the commission and premiere of Woodwings by the Fifth Wind Quintet in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as part of their Forecasting the Canadian Wind project, and the release of her CD all spring on the Composers Concordance label. She is currently an Athenaeum Research Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Find out more: www.emilydoolittle.com

Oliver Searle Oliver is a Glasgow-based composer and educator and is currently Acting Head of Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has written a wide variety of works for many professional, amateur, youth and theatre organisations, which have been broadcast and performed around the world, and is interested in developing new environments for new music, collaborating with other artists and organisations to find ways to communicate to new audiences. Recent endeavours include: Microscopic Dances, a large-scale, inclusive work for digital orchestra created in collaboration with Drake Music Scotland and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland (winner of a British Composer Award 2018); Sauchiehall, an orchestral piece for an App, written for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; residencies in South Korea, most recently working on an interdisciplinary project - Pilgrim of Curiosity - with Eunju Shin Dance Company and a light artist, in Busan. Find out more:  http://www.oliveriredalesearle.co.uk

Sonic Bothy (represented by Claire Docherty) Sonic Bothy Ensemble (SBE) is an award-winning, innovative, inclusive new music ensemble bringing together musicians with an additional learning support need and non-disabled professional musicians to compose and perform new music. Working to define new ideas/directions in collaborative composition, this music is a unique blend of free and fixed compositions. With artistic interests spanning improvisation, aleatoricism, minimalism, early music and electroacoustic composition, the ensemble seeks new territory in composing for a diverse instrumentation that includes strings, percussion, voice, synth, harmonium, harpsichord, piano, electronics and glass. Formed in 2012, Sonic Bothy has appeared at many of Scotland's new and experimental music festivals and venues, including Counterflows (2014), Sound Festival (2015), Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra Festival (2012/ 2013/ 2015/ 2018), and regularly at CCA, Mono and Glasgow City Halls.  Residencies include Sound Festival (2014) and AC Projects/ CCA residency (2015). Sonic Bothy was awarded the UK 'Paritor Award for New Music in Education' by the National Music Council (2014), and shortlised in March 2018 for the Scottish Award for New Music Community/ Education award.  Find out more:  http://www.sonicbothy.co.uk

Simon Thacker Simon Thacker, BMus(Hons), PGDipMus, MMus (Distinction), is a composer, classical guitarist, improviser and ensemble leader. As well as touring as a classical guitar soloist, he has developed some of today’s most prescient ensembles: Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti, a world leading Indo-Western collective which has seen him tour and collaborate at major festivals in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, including for an audience of 60 000 in Dhaka and at The Sacred Pushkar, one of the region’s biggest sacred music festivals; Simon Thacker's Ritmata, his musical laboratory with three of Europe’s leading improvisers; Karmana with Polish cellist Justyna Jablonska, a new vision for chamber music; and Songs of the Roma with Justyna and Roma Gypsy singer/violinist Masha Natanson, a new Romany musical journey. All of these groups have been selected for the prestigious Made in Scotland showcase, exclusively feature Simon's music and have recently recorded albums.  His music has been played on radio in over 50 countries.  He has performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the RSNO. 
Simon's latest album release is "Trikala" by Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti, a double album recorded over three years in Scotland, Kolkata and Chennai featuring 13 leading performers from Hindustani, Carnatic and Western classical music, Punjabi folk and the mystical spiritual Baul music of Bengal. Simon is Head of Classical Guitar at Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College. Find out more: www.simonthacker.com