Watching amazingly talented young musicians starting to build an impressive career is always exciting. Every five years or so, Limelight takes stock of the next generation of classical performers rising through the ranks. With so many inspiring young artists hitting the big time, we felt the time had come to look once again at Australia’s next superstars. And so, in this month’s cover story, we salute 30 instrumentalists, singers, composers and conductors who we believe are destined for greatness.

When it comes to listening to recorded music, the future seems to be streaming. As Angus McPherson explained in a feature in our last issue, now available online, it is rapidly becoming the most popular way to consume music, and various platforms are now embracing classical.

This month, Limelight has teamed up with streaming service Primephonic to offer our readers three months of free streaming, worth $80. If you are new to streaming, then this is the perfect way to try it out. Primephonic gives you access to over 100,000 albums from 2,000 labels, with its catalogue growing daily. What’s more, the sound is CD quality or higher. So why not give it a go?

In other stories this month, we chart the flurry of building taking place around the country to improve and expand our performing arts spaces, while Benjamin Northey, the Chief Conductor of New Zealand’s Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, reflects on the resilience of the orchestra, who decided – after their regular venues were damaged in the 2011 earthquake – to play wherever they could. They were staggered by the audience response.

We’re also thrilled to interview dramatic soprano Nina Stemme ahead of her highly anticipated return to Hobart for a Wagner concert – a real coup for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy!

Jo Litson

The October issue of Limelight is available online from Wednesday October 2 and in stores from Thursday October 3.

The features

Generation Next

Who are Australia's next classical music stars? Reducing our long list wasn't easy, but after much discussion we have chosen 30 young instrumentalists, composers, conductors and singers who have talent plus 'x' factor, and who we reckon are definitely artists to watch out for.

Venues of the Future

A look at the changes happening to mainstage venues across the country, and what this flurry of architecture will mean for classical music and the performing arts.

Christchurch Comeback

Christchurch Symphony Chief Conductor Benjamin Northey reflects on the after- effects of the 2011 earthquake, which left them without a performance space.

Nina Stemme

The world’s reigning dramatic soprano talks to Limelight about her starry career ahead of her much-anticipated return to Hobart for a Wagner Gala.

Katie Noonan

The versatile singer/songwriter talks about why her new album of Australian art songs with the Australian String Quartet is so important to her.

Lachlan Skipworth

What does the shakuhachi mean to the composer? And why does the easy-going son of an Australian farmer have such an affinity for Japanese aesthetics?

The Regulars


Domingo accused of sexual harassment

What I'm Listening To

Soprano Melody Moore

Five Questions for...

Composer Nitin Sawhney

Around the world

Kirill Petrenko exceeds expectations in Berlin

My Instrument

Matthew Horsley's uilleann pipes

Guy Noble

Guy Noble's Soapbox

Enough of the strongly-held opinions

Opera Column

Stuart Maunder tackles a chorus of witches

Did you hear about...

The rise and fall of Mrs Cornelys

Backstage with...

Violinist Helena Rathbone

World Premiere

Andrew Ford looks through Streeton's eyes

Rising Star

Is mental health in the arts a good news story?


Conductor Donald Runnicles

Composer of the Month

The operatic life of Charles Gounod

Musical Journey

Savonlinna: A romantic Finnish festival hub

Sound Waves

Anna Goldsworthy on piano trios


This month's round-up of everything worth experiencing in dance, theatre, visual art and film including The Australian Ballet's new Sylvia, Sydney Dance Company's 50th, Black Swan and Barking Gecko's Fully Sikh, and the 2019 NATSIAA

Broadcast Guide

The best of classical music and arts across ABC and independent stations this month

My Music

City Recital Hall CEO Elaine Chia

Special offer

Since 2009, Palace Opera & Ballet has given Australian arts lovers direct access to what’s on stage at Europe’s finest opera houses. The 2019/20 season will be no exception, presenting 11 new performances in cinemas nationally, commencing with two screenings next month from La Scala: Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (October 4 – 9) and Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty (October 25 – 30).

Subscribe, give or renew a Limelight subscription this month for your chance to win two tickets to see all nine of the productions listed here, valid at the screenings of your choice.

Contribute to Limelight and support independent arts journalism.