New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Faced with the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, The Next Festival of Emerging Artists, the unique contemporary music festival founded in 2013 by composer, conductor, and bassist Peter
Askim, acted quickly to address the needs of musicians by forming a new component: Next Fest Connects. "An immediate support system for artists during difficult times," Next Fest Connects has hired an all-star roster of music and business professionals to collaborate on a full slate of free programs, resources, and opportunities for connection and performance. Available now:
· Free Online Seminars - All are invited to join seminars in such issues as career and audience building, networking, video strategies, and tricks for the homebound artist from Megan Ihnen, Nahre Sol, Angela
Beeching, and Todd Reynolds (upcoming: Sarah
Whitney and Tracy Friendlander). These are also archived on the festival website for on-demand streaming.
· Free Online Masterclasses - A selection of Next Festival alumni musicians can participate in (and anyone can audit) masterclasses with such new music luminaries as cellist Ashley Bathgate (a member of the acclaimed sextet Bang on a Can All-Stars for ten years), violinist Miranda
Cuckson (called "one of the most sensitive and electric interpreters of new music" by Downbeat magazine), cellist Jeffrey Zeigler (Avery Fisher
Prize winner and National
Sawdust curator), and - upcoming - violist Ralph Farris (a founding member and Artistic Director
of the genre-bending string quartet ETHEL), and cellist Matt Haimovitz (renowned musical pioneer called a "ferociously talented cellist" by The New York Times). These are also archived on the festival website for on-demand streaming.
· Free One-on-One Music
Lessons for Next Festival Alumni - Next Festival alumni musicians and current students may schedule free online lessons and coachings with Artistic Director Peter
Askim and guest faculty. "At a time when students are having concerts and many school activities canceled," says Peter
Askim, "we want to provide opportunities for them to receive feedback, set goals, and emerge stronger as artists on the other end of this crisis."
In addition, Next Festival alumni are participating in Quarantine Concerts; just this month, these include Jennifer Jordan, cello; Ana Luna Uribe, violin; and Dorisiya Yosifova, violin (May 12) ; and Molly
Jones, cello; Jay Julio, viola; and Giancarlo Latta, violin (May 19).
Soon to come:
· Online Collaborator Database of composers, choreographers, and performers in search of kindred spirits with whom to dream up new projects
· Adopt an Artist Program to connect Next Festival alumni and current students with music-loving donors
The Next Festival of Emerging Artists is a contemporary music festival for the modern string player that has been receiving rave reviews from its participants. Its first seven seasons featured guest artists Tony Arnold, Miranda
Cuckson, Matt Haimovitz, Jennifer Koh, Nadia Sirota, Richard Thompson, Jeffrey Zeigler, and the string quartet ETHEL, and the participation of composers including Aaron
Jay Kernis, Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Liisa Hirsch, Pierre
Jalbert, Phil Kline, Jessica
Meyer, and Aleksandra Vrebalov, and choreographer Christopher
The festival normally takes place over two weeks in May and June at Music
Mountain in Connecticut and at National
Sawdust and NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts in New York City. Next Festival 2020 is adapting its programs to take place online in the coming months: intensive sessions in improvisation, extended virtual workshops in which students play for each other and workshop new works in progress, composer talks and presentations, and a composer/choreographer workshop with an emphasis on adaptation of innovative technologies. Ashley Bathgate, the 2020 festival guest artist, will work with the festival's collaborating composers, who will write new works for her.
The Next Festival of Emerging Artists and Next Fest Connects are part of Next Edge Arts, Inc., a not-for-profit organization supported by tax-deductible donations. The board of trustees in formation includes Lydia Kontos, Executive Director
Emeritus of New York's Kaufman Music
Center; and Guy Story, former CTO and Chief Scientist at Audible.com.
"The Next Festival holds a unique place in the vastly diversifying field of new music. Peter
Askim has a special gift for creating vibrant camaraderie among the most promising young musicians who are on the brink of reshaping the field." -Lisa Bielawa, composer
What makes The Next Festival of Emerging Artists unique?
"This festival began as a manifesto," says Peter
Askim. "I wanted to prove it could be done - to assemble a group of motivated, outstanding young musicians, treat them really well, give them the freedom to work with each other and on the music they wanted, and provide the best possible guides and collaborators I could find - to give them the tools to keep making this art in today's world. Most importantly, they shouldn't go into debt paying for it! They pay what they can, and the festival works to raise the money to make up the difference."