Classical Music Biz to MIDEM: “You are dead to us…”

Okay, so perhaps I exaggerate, but…

that is not too far from the sentiment among most to whom I have spoken last night and this morning at Classical:NEXT in Munich, an international “marketplace” for the classical music industry. This is its debut, at Munich’s Gasteig, taking place over the next three days. Already it is coming off as a far better organized affair than the annual super-indie-music MIDEM shindig in Cannes. The Gasteig is a more visually appealing venue than the cheesy Palais, with venues that are far more suited to individual events and a staff that is friendier, more helpful, better informed, and more accomodating than their Cannes counterparts.

Six hundred delegates from independent classical music businesses — labels, distributors, magazines, artists, managers, and tech vendors — have descended on the Gasteig for showcases, panels, concerts, films, seminars, wheeling, dealing, and beer. With the exception of “supermajor” Naxos, the is not a single so-called “major record label” in attendance. Let’s hope it stays that way: with a few noteworthy exceptions, the majors have served the audience for clasical music poorly.

I’m headed to a panel discussion on classical music journalism which includes the incomparable Jessica Duchen after having had a cup of the best coffee I’ve had here si far — at the Naxos booth, and free!

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