MOMENTUM: Our Future, Now

CR Momentum, NEWS

Barbara Hannigan creates international initiative investing in the future of classical music

MOMENTUM: Our Future, Now is an initiative driven by leading international artists supporting younger professional colleagues in the first substantial phase of their career. Created by Barbara Hannigan, the Momentum model is an urgent artistic and human response to the situation caused by the 2020 pandemic, yet devised with long-term staying power.

Momentum: Our Future Now, sees leading soloists and conductors supporting younger colleagues by bringing them onto main stage professional engagements, with immediate effect. Young professional soloists are invited to share the stage on leading soloists’ engagements, while young professional conductors assist leading conductors and are given invaluable opportunities to lead an orchestra during the rehearsal period. In each case the young artist receives a fee.

I have experienced such generosity in my own career, and like many artists I’m passionate about giving back. Creating an initiative where we are collectively uniting to share the stage with our younger colleagues, now and in the future, has long-term benefits for all.” 

Barbara Hannigan, soprano and conductor

The collective initiative has very quickly attracted the support of a rapidly increasing list of the world’s leading solo artists, conductors, orchestras, organisations and festivals, who have agreed to incorporate Momentum into the 2020-21 season and beyond.

Leading soloists and conductors include: Sir Antonio Pappano, Daniel Harding, Barbara Hannigan, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Nicola Benedetti, Susanna Mälkki, Francois-Xavier Roth, Sir George Benjamin, Alisa Weilerstein, Kirill Gerstein, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir Simon Rattle, Leif Ove Andsnes, Natalie Dessay, Karina Canellakis, Rolando Villazón, Sir Mark Elder, Esa Pekka Salonen, Sir Simon Keenlyside, Dame Sarah Connolly, Mark Padmore, Carolyn Sampson, Christopher Maltman, Jakub Hrusa, Cristian Macelaru, Marc Minkowski, Hannu Lintu, Malcolm Martineau, Alice Coote, Bertrand Chamayou, Matthias Pintscher, Allan Clayton, Renaud Capuçon, Lars Vogt, Lahav Shani, Alexandre Tharaud, Thomas Adès, Michael Seal, Florian Boesch, Stephane Degout and Roderick Williams, among many others. This is in cooperation with the major ensembles and presenting organisations with whom these artists work, including Munich Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, OAE, London Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Britten Pears Arts, Wigmore Hall, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Ojai Festival, Bamberg Symphoniker and Gothenburg Symphony. Momentum launches with its first event in two concerts led by Sir Antonio Pappano at Snape Maltings Concert Hall on Saturday 29 August. A place was created on the programme to invite the Ukrainian baritone, Yuriy Yurchuk, who will be accompanied on the piano by Sir Antonio Pappano. 

“Yuriy Yurchuk is an outstanding baritone who was a distinguished member of our ROH Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and I am delighted to have the opportunity to present him in this exciting new initiative, Momentum. It is vital that we all look to support the next generation of performing talent, not least at this difficult time.” 

Sir Antonio Pappano, conductor

As the recipient of the 2020 Léonie Sonning Music Prize, Barbara Hannigan is making a substantial financial contribution to Momentum as its first sponsor.

For full information including how the Momentum model works and how you can get involved, visit:

Follow Momentum:
Instagram: @momentum.ourfuturenow
Facebook: @momentum.ourfuturenow

“All the musicians of my generation were given so much moral support and important advice by our older colleagues. So many of these wise phrases could be life changing if you knew how to pay attention. But in a crisis like this, young musicians need more, and need it quickly and desperately. The opportunities invented in this wonderful scheme will hopefully be even more transformative and will provide a bridge over troubled waters for many magnificently gifted young artists. I’m thrilled to be part of it.” 

Sir Simon Rattle, conductor

“I’m thrilled to support this excellent initiative providing support and opportunity to tomorrow’s brightest musicians. It can be disorientating and difficult starting out, and this initiative will help enormously. I can’t wait to see and hear all the new young talent!”

Nicola Benedetti, violinist

“Beyond its traumatic effect on the wider population, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a particularly severe impact on the classical musical world. Here and there tentative shoots of recovery are beginning to sprout, but the outlook continues to look bleak for young performers, however remarkable their talent. The incomparable Barbara Hannigan has long shown an intense engagement with younger artists and so it’s unsurprising that, with typical energy and ingenuity, she has swiftly proposed a means of addressing the issue.” 

Sir George Benjamin, composer

“It’s at this perhaps darkest point of our cultural history that we should set priorities right — the future belongs to the young! We — artists who have been privileged and lucky enough to establish ourselves professionally in corona-free times – have to extend our help to those younger ones who are coming to replace us sooner or later, and make sure they get a fair chance to express and prove themselves now, when a lot of the opportunities to do so have been cut short by the pandemic’s deteriorating influence on the cultural life across the globe. By giving only 15-20 minutes of orchestra time to our assistants (in case of assistant-conductors) on each project we aren’t losing nearly as much as they are gaining so let’s do it. Let’s convince more orchestras and opera companies to do it regularly! After all, the star of such a great artist as Leonard Bernstein (just to mention the most famous case) could shine brightly only after he replaced Bruno Walter at the podium of NYPO at the shortest possible notice…” 

Vladimir Jurowski, conductor

“Barbara Hannigan’s initiative will, I have no doubt, give many talented young performers a real start. Everyone needs Momentum in their lives and careers! We must all do what we can to support the next generation.” 

Sir Mark Elder, conductor

“This is exactly how I got my start, when Sir Simon Rattle gave me my first professional conducting opportunity.” 

Daniel Harding, conductor

“I am absolutely delighted to be part of Barbara Hannigan’s Momentum initiative. It is vitally important that we give a voice to the next generation of musicians. What better way than sharing a platform with them? I can’t wait!” 

Mark Padmore, tenor

“The great musicians of the future will be lost to us all if we don’t listen to them, hear them, see them and most importantly SUPPORT them RIGHT NOW…” 

Alice Coote, mezzo-soprano

“I can think of no better way to nurture the enormous musical talent that is facing such a threat in the face of this pandemic. I dearly hope that performers, promoters and audiences alike become used to the idea that, for the time being, opportunities to make music can be shared rather than competed for. We need to help each other now more than ever.” 

Roderick Williams, baritone and composer

“It’s an honour to share the stage with talented young singers in these very challenging times” 

Dame Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano

“Momentum is a fantastic initiative and I support it with all my strengths! The new generations of musicians need to be supported in these difficult times because simply, they are our future, and we need a better future! Let’s take good care of them, let’s all support Momentum!” 

Francois-Xavier Roth, conductor

“Never have artists needed to look out for one another as much as we do now. Momentum will help to get more of us back performing as soon as possible.” 

Allan Clayton, tenor

“Momentum believes fundamentally that the performing arts are essential to the well being and economy of this, or any other nation. We hope that this initiative might at least do something to support and promote the next generation of artists, who are in desperate need of work and wages in these deeply frustrating times.” 

Sir Simon Keenlyside, baritone

~”Musicians supporting musicians shows the strength of our community and a bond across borders and generations that can spark hope in testing times.” 

Carolyn Sampson, soprano

“The response to our Snape Maltings concerts has been overwhelming and now to have the chance to be the first organisation to launch the Momentum initiative for rising performers is an additional thrill. Britten and Pears established their young artists’ programme almost 50 years ago and supporting and mentoring young musicians remains a cornerstone of our work.” 

Roger Wright, Chief Executive, Britten Pears Arts