De Doelen, Rotterdam, 18th – 21st May 2020


is the largest gathering of world-class professional delegates working in contemporary classical music.

In 2019, 1300 delegates representing 740 organisations attended; 320 delegates from 93 organisations also exhibited at the Trade Fair.  The event also features showcases, conference sessions and project pitches, alongside a very significant opportunity to network with industry professionals from all over the globe: record labels, publishers, distributors, artist managers broadcasters and journalists.

The Scottish Music Centre (SMC), supported by Creative Scotland, will again lead Scotland’s presence in 2020.

Composers, musicians, ensembles and organisations are now invited to apply for an Artist Delegate Bursary (up to five applicants will be supported).  NEW this year, Returning Artist Bursaries (up to three applicants will be supported).

The applications will be assessed by a panel of industry professionals who will aim to select a cohort of delegates that best represents the vibrancy and diversity of Scotland’s contemporary classical scene.   

The selected Artist Delegates will have their conference registration fee, travel and accommodation arranged and paid for.  Delegates will be expected to cover their own subsistence, transfers and travel insurance costs. The selected Returning Artist Delegates will have their conference registration fee arranged and paid for and are expected to cover all other costs themselves.

It is a condition of funding that all selected artist delegates:

  • Commit to an all-day presence in Rotterdam 18th-21st May 2020
  • Participate in ‘Meet The Scottish Delegation’ drinks receptions at the Scotland stand
  • Attend at least two evening showcases during Classical:NEXT
  • Commit to one two-hour slot assisting the SMC team on the Scotland stand
  • Provide feedback during and after the event: this will form part of SMC’s evaluation for funders




In order for artists to be able to make the most of this opportunity, we’re looking for people who can;

  • Demonstrate a committed track-record of working professionally in the contemporary classical sector
  • Demonstrate that they will be able to clearly communicate, express and promote their work and practice to potential partners (promoters, labels, commissioners, artists)
  • Show that their work is innovative, rooted in the classical or art music genre and is suitable for the Classical:NEXT market. Potential delegates are advised to consult the website
  • Convey what they aim to achieve by attending Classical:NEXT 2020 and why this point in their career is an appropriate time to do so



  • Must have already attended Classical Next as part of a previous artist delegation funded by Creative Scotland and delivered by Scottish Music Centre.
  • Must demonstrate a clear rationale for a return visit, such as tangible evidence of progress made since the previous visit (such as commissions, potential new collaborations, development of relationships…) and a clear development plan for a return visit.



  • Open to individuals, groups, organisations and working in contemporary classical music. (NB: Organisations in receipt of Creative Scotland RFO funding are ineligible to apply.  However, individuals who are employed by an RFO but have their own distinctive artistic practice may apply to attend if they wish to represent their own work and not the work of the RFO).
  • If applying from a group or organisation, only one representative per organisation can be supported to attend.
  • Applicants must live and work in Scotland.
  • Applicants must be ready to tour and/or export their work internationally.
  • Applicants must hold a passport valid for travel in the EU.(NB please be aware of the current advice from HM Passport Office:
  • Those awarded a bursary in 2018 or 2019 are only eligible to apply for a Returning Artist Bursary.   





“Thanks so much for including me as part of the Scottish Music Centre delegation at Classical:NEXT 2019! This was a really helpful and enjoyable event, which I expect will have tangible positive effects on my work and career in both the short and the long term.”
Emily Doolittle 2019

“I feel that the Scottish delegation being present at Classical:NEXT is crucial to Scotland presenting itself as an international cultural entity. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend this conference as it is not the type of conference that I could fund myself”
Josh Armstrong 2019

“The Scottish Music Centre gave me some excellent advice on this event in advance, which helped me prepare once I arrived; I was impressed by their level of organisation and commitment to this event, as well as the way in which they promoted the artist delegates and introduced us to a number of key individuals at the Scottish drinks receptions.”
Oliver Searle 2019

“I would say that the whole trip was excellent and very important for me and my career at this point, as a way to meet and engage with many important people in person who cold emailing rarely works with.”
Simon Thacker 2019

“The experience of the stand, delegation and project management in the run up to the conference were very good – as an artist attending for the first time I felt well prepared and informed in the run up and during the conference. SMC staff were a valuable resource of information that was useful in making connections out with Scotland.”
Claire Doherty/Sonic Bothy 2019