Supporting young emerging talent in our industry was one of the earliest commitments of the ECHO network when it was founded. The classical music sector is a highly competitive, sitting within a globalised industry in which Europe holds a unique role. ECHO seeks to identify and to nurture world class artists at the early stages of their career to support them with meaningful professional opportunities and career support.
Since creating the ECHO Rising Stars series in 1995, ECHO has stood firm to this commitment. In recent seasons we have worked hard as a network to develop Rising Stars into a series with artist professional development at its heart; the programme now offers the artists a new commission, the opportunity to contribute to a range of Education, Learning and Participation activities across Europe and an accompanying series of professional development training and mentoring, giving the artists the time and space to reflect on their wider artistic and social goals. We maintain a close eye to eye dialogue between ECHO, its halls and the emerging artists we support on topics ranging from artist mental health and resilience, to music and wellbeing, social transformation and social justice. We seek to provide emerging artists with opportunities focused on artistic and social contribution, presented and promoted by our own halls, not entirely reliant on the vagaries of the market.
We have taken these experiences and pushed them even further, in partnership with the European Union, through the creation and management of a Creative Europe platform for supporting emerging talent called Classical Futures Europe. This platform allows ECHO to further develop what we feel are highest common denominators for working with, and supporting young talent to the wider benefit of the artists, our venues and the audiences and communities we exist to serve. Classical Futures Europe allows ECHO to do this with a wider pool of artists and venues, across a broader range of countries.