Opening Night: NEXT:matters!

CN Opening 2022

For its 10th anniversary, Classical:NEXT will commence with a gala performance showcasing diversity and excellence in classical music, as it should be in the 21st century. The opening ceremony does not simply signal the beginning of the global music meeting, but sets the tone for all it has to offer, bringing to the stage the spirit of the event and underlining its intercontinental and innovative perspective.

On Tuesday 17 May at 8pm, the Staatsoper Hannover will open its doors to all Classical:NEXT delegates for a memorable evening under the motto NEXT:matters! It will also be open to the general public, who will soon be able to purchase tickets directly through the Staatsoper. The opening ceremony will be presented by Black Lives in Music (BLiM) in collaboration with British Underground and Arts Council England featuring two new commissions by the internationally-acclaimed artists Jason Yarde and Ayanna Witter-Johnson. The intercultural avant garde ensemble Asambura from Hannover will follow, representing the local emerging music scene with a set featuring their own rich sounds. The name 'Asambura' is an anagram of the Tanzanian Usambara mountains, and stands for looking beyond the limits of one’s own horizon. Keynote speeches will round off this unique opening evening, which will be introduced by Belit Onay, Mayor of Hannover.
The newly-commissioned works by Jason Yarde and Ayanna Witter-Johnson focus on classical music in the context of an immersive experience, full of wider cultural references and new perspectives to the artform. This is a rich mix of traditional classical elements with contemporary grooves, gilded with electronic sound. Performing the music will be a stellar line-up of musicians, including Jason himself, and the celebrated violinist Laura Ayoub of the Ayoub Sisters duo.

"Through this performance we will champion discussion on racial diversity within the genre, engage a wider audience and challenge the direction of classical music in the century to come."
Roger Wilson, director of BLiM

BREXIT and the pandemic have caused much disruption and stymied many artistic collaborations in recent years. In the spirit of working together and triumphing over these barriers, there will also be a unique collaboration uniting artists from both of the opening acts in one performance.

Through this cooperation, Classical:NEXT intends to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in classical music for a positive change in the sector. By building a bridge between the UK and Germany, between international and local scenes as well as between established and emerging artists, it shows how collaboration can create a future path for the genre.

article posted by:Gideon Elfgen, Piranha Arts