The State of Modern Classical Music

Reeperbahn Festival is the biggest and most diverse platform for a young, music-interested, highly curious and open-minded audience in Europe. Time to take diversity even further: in our new platform we’re focussing on the exchange between “pop” and “classical”. We’re happy to announce The State of Modern Classical Music in cooperation with important companies in the field of classical music, including Bosworth Music, Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, Neue Meister, ProArte, Sony Classical, and Warner Classics. Together we’ve prepared a package of showcases, receptions, and sessions that present a wide range of today’s classical music and address topics relevant to the genre.
Read more about our programme and activities below.

Berthold Seliger: Classical Battle, Education and Revolt
The market for so-called classical music is getting more complicated. Even with the smartest marketing campaigns, it is hard to attract new audiences for classical music and to address an ever-ageing audience. Who still listens to classical music, and why? And how can we generate enthusiasm for classical music again?
In his resolute plea for classical music, “Classical Battle, Education and Revolt”, Berthold Seliger (photo) will demolish a number of prejudices and cherished truisms and, using the example of Beethoven, explain why classical music is essential to our society and so valuable to music listeners – and what (pop) musicians can learn from the artist-model of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Classical Music on the Radio
The days when radio was the dominant medium for classical music may be over, but radio still plays a vital role in disseminating classical music and is arguably the most important medium for shaping new art music. The session “Classical Music: New Concepts for Radio” shows best practice examples, but also asks whether radio today is still fulfilling its responsibility and making the best contemporary classical music available to a wider audience.
Speakers: Daniel Ross (, DE), Markus Kühn (Flux FM, DE), Mischa Kreiskott (NDR, DE), and Juliane Reil (Byte FM, DE, photo). Moderator: Paul Bräuer (Classical:Next, DE)

Classical Music on Digital Platforms
Classical music has become an important and established category on all major music platforms. Print magazines opened their digital outlets, YouTube became the biggest classical music library, and blogging about classical music is on the rise. Approaches to curating the field are visible but still limited. Together with Matthias Lutzweiler (Naxos Music Library, DE), Steven Walter (HENRY, DE, photo), and Carsten Hinrichs (Rondo /, DE) we ask: What formats need to be developed that will pay respect to the digital world? What possibilities arise from these formats? What is good content? And finally: Is it worth it to produce for a growing digital world?

Showcase of Modern Classical Artists
We’re presenting some of the most interesting modern classical artists as part of the showcase The State of Modern Classical Musicto be held at the Resonanzraum. Featured artists: Olga Scheps – piano (Sony Classical); Mahan Esfahani – harpsichord (Deutsche Grammophon); Sophie Pacini – piano (Warner Classics, photo); Frieder Nagel + Ensemble (Bosworth Music); and Gabriel Schwabe – cello (Naxos).
We’re also looking forward to great concerts by Carlos Cipa, Chad Lawson, plus the Ballet Jeunesse by Matthias Arfmann and the Hamburger Symphoniker (Hamburg Symphony Orchestra).

Meet the Classical Companies
Meet representatives from leading companies in the field of classical and contemporary music! You are invited to the central get-together for the classical music sector on 23 September, at Reeperbahn Festival Lounge, hosted by Reeperbahn Festival and its partners Bosworth Music, Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, Neue Meister, ProArte, Sony Classical, and Warner Classics.

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