Classical:NEXT has come and gone. Rotterdam was such a lovely place for it to be held, and de Doelen presented itself very well. I didn’t get a chance during the trip to write down my thoughts, so I get to do so afterwards with the benefit of hindsight.
Many of my colleagues wrote about their excitement leading up to the opening concert and party featuring an all-Canadian lineup. They had good reason to be excited and the event did not disappoint. I left de Doelen very late that night and felt immense pride to be Canadian and to be working in a field with such distinguished and talented people like those that were featured.
The conference sessions paired with the expo aspect of Classical: NEXT made for a relaxed but productive next couple of days. Everyone from the Orchestras Canada group took turns attending interesting session (Like the enticing “Music for Cellists and Astronauts”) and manning the OC booth where we got to speak to expo goers about what is going on in the Canadian orchestral world. If you had asked me before I left Canada, I would have sworn that I was going to get more out of the sessions than working the booth. Looking back, I really enjoyed having both paired together. You could go to a thought-provoking session about training orchestra musicians for work in a 21st century orchestra and then head back to the booth, meet up with people from around the world, and continue the discussion to get their perspectives. This sort of setup really allowed those who attended Classical: NEXT to tailor their own experience in a very real way.
My conference experience ended up taking a large shift mid-week when I was asked to present at one of the last sessions of the conference. Here at the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony we’ve just recently took on the task of holding the world’s first Hack the Orchestra event, where hackers from the tech sector got to innovate and create new tools, ideas and experiences for the orchestral concert hall. Our event was happening while I was away in Rotterdam but I had the pleasure of outlining it in a session along with a colleague from Finland whom spoke about a similar style event being held around the music of Sibelius. This was not only a great opportunity to present at an international conference, but also a way to share one of the many amazing things happening in Canada with colleagues from around the world. Since returning home I’ve been asked by many that I met in Rotterdam to send them information on the results of our Hack the Orchestra event. If you are interested, you can check out more info here: http://www.kwsymphony.ca/media/
In closing, I really just loved the Netherlands. The brief time I had in Amsterdam was amazing (see the picture!), and Rotterdam was also a treat to explore. I can’t wait to visit such a lovely, inviting and vibrant country again.
Thank you to Orchestras Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts for this awesome experience.
Associate Director of Operations
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.