The 2021 longlist for the Classical:NEXT Innovation Award has been announced with two Australian initiatives honoured: Adele Schonhardt and Chris Howlett’s Melbourne Digital Concert Hall and Damian Barbeler’s hiberNATION Festival of the Lo-fi.

Melbourne Digital Concert Hall Co-Directors Chris Howlett and Adele Schonhardt Melbourne Digital Concert Hall Co-Directors Chris Howlett and Adele Schonhardt. Photo © Albert Comper

Nominees for the award – which is designed to place the spotlight on forward-thinking activities taking place around the world – were selected by a committee of 18 music journalists and experts from 16 countries. From the initial longlist, the committee will select 10 nominations for the Shortlist, with the winners chosen by a vote open to the Classical:NEXT community.

Composer and educator Damian Barbeler developed hiberNATION at the start of the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. “Being nominated for the Classical:NEXT awards feels good because it is an acknowledgement of the humanising power, joy and empathy that comes from genuine shared creative experience,” Barbeler told Limelight. “And of course it’s a thrill to be listed alongside all those highly talented and respected international...