Rising Stars Festival 2021

Six exceptional young musicians, chosen by Europe's top concert halls: discover them now in concert streams!

ECHO – this is the name of the network set up by Europe's leading concert halls, a cooperation that aims to work on joint initiatives and a mutual exchange of ideas. Every year the 22 members nominate six outstanding young artists and send them off on a large-scale tour.

Each year the »Rising Stars« appear at the Elbphilharmonie in the space of a week. Concerts in front of a large audience were not possible in 2021 because of the pandemic, but the concerts have been transferred to the internet and are available to stream for a whole year. Each stream starts with a short talk from the artist, followed by the actual concert.

The Festival at a glance

• 6 concert streams from 26-31 January 2021, each starting at 20:30 CET

• Available to watch in our Mediathek, or on Facebook or Youtube

• Length of the concerts: approx. 60 minutes

• Available to stream for 12 months (exception: Jess Gillam's concert stream)

The Artists

Aris Quartett

Tue, 26 Jan 2021 : Aris Quartett

• Nominated by Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Konzerthaus Dortmund
• Works by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Kurtág and Mochizuki

Watch the concert
Jess Gillam

Wed, 27 Jan 2021 : Jess Gillam, saxophone

(Concert stream available until 30 January 2021)
• Nominated by Sage Gateshead
• Works by Poulenc, Dowland, Fitkin and Iturralde

Learn more
James Newby

Thu, 28 Jan 2021 : James Newby, baritone

• Nominated by Barbican Centre London
• Works by Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann

Watch the concert
Diana Tishchenko

Fri, 29 Jan 2021 : Diana Tishchenko, violin

• Nominated by Philharmonie de Paris and Casa da Música Porto
• Works by Debussy, Franck and Mendonça

Watch the concert
Cristina Gómez Godoy

Sat, 30 Jan 2021 : Cristina Gómez Godoy, oboe

• Nominated by L'Auditori Barcelona and Palau de la Música Catalana
• Works by Mozart, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Kahn and Bray

Watch the concert
Vanessa Porter

Sun, 31 Jan 2021 : Vanessa Porter, percussion

• Nominated by Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and
Kölner Philharmonie
• Works by Aperghis, Sciarrino, Kuhn, i.a.

Watch the concert
European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO)
None © Public Domain

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Elbphilharmonie Hamburg © Thies Raetzke

Konzerthaus Dortmund

Konzerthaus Dortmund Konzerthaus Dortmund © Daniel Sumesgutner

Sage Gateshead

Sage Gateshead Sage Gateshead © Mark Savage

Palau de la Música Catalana

Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona © Matteo Vecchi

Philharmonie de Paris

Philharmonie de Paris Philharmonie de Paris © William Beaucardet / Philharmonie de Paris

Musikverein Wien

Musikverein Wien Musikverein Wien © Wolf-Dieter Grabner

Philharmonie Luxembourg

Philharmonie Luxembourg Philharmonie Luxembourg © Wade Zimmerman

ECHO Rising Stars, the journey continues! :by Andrew Manning, ECHO Secretary General

History and origins

It’s amazing to think what a long and illustrious history the ECHO Rising Stars series has already had. I’m always proud when the founding Directors of the ECHO network remind me that supporting young emerging artists was one of their first actions, starting Rising Stars in the early days of the network in the 1990s. 

Nurturing emerging talent is as vital today as it always was. For halls and audiences the energies, and creative impulses, combined with world class talent that these young artists bring are always such a rich discovery. The industry has certainly changed, but the early stages of an international career in this wonderful – yet highly competitive sector – remain a high stakes moment.

Anaïs Gaudemard (Rising Stars 2018/19)
Anaïs Gaudemard (Rising Stars 2018/19) © Claudia Höhne

Evolution of the ECHO Rising Stars series

We are pleased to have been able to keep the ECHO Rising Stars series moving and evolving. Even with an established series and concept nothing can – nor should it – stay static. Our member halls are constantly adapting their formats, approaches and activities with the Rising Stars, always going the extra mile to make exceptional experiences for the artists to perform, engage, inspire and learn. 

Each artist also gets a new piece, written especially for them and premiered during their season as an ECHO Rising Star. This season commissions have been to a great range of composers including Misato Mochizuki, Charlotte Bray and Vasco Mendonça. For an artist to have a piece written especially for them and then to develop performance experience of the piece, giving many national premieres in some of the world’s best acoustics, is something we are so thrilled to be able to facilitate. Following this experience we find that the piece usually enters the repertoire of the artists as they go forwards with their career.

We also offer training and support in the field of education, learning and participation and are working towards the goal of each artist contributing to and experiencing this work in each ECHO venues they visit.

The series also has an accompanying programme of professional development and mentoring for the artists. This provides an opportunity to foster sense of community as a group of artists, and to explore with this peer group their visions for the future of classical music. Together with experts from the sector we offer sessions exploring topics as far ranging as mental and physical health of musicians, resilience, social impact, the political dimension to music, and communication skills.

Christoph Sietzen (Rising Stars 2017/18)
Christoph Sietzen (Rising Stars 2017/18) © Daniel Dittus

COVID-19, Rising Stars and the current moment

Of course this past year has been like no other. It is a conservative estimation to say that across our 22 ECHO halls at least 6.600 concerts / performances have been cancelled in the past 12 months. In a sector which traditionally plans so far ahead this causes a huge knock on effect, in terms of future planning but also across all aspects of our operations. The financial impact on all those in our sector - most acutely felt by independent artists and other freelancers in the industry - has been extreme.

Due to Covid we are therefore having lots of close conversations with all our ECHO halls and with the ECHO Rising Stars artists, looking at what the greatest needs, opportunities and urgencies are of the current moment and how we can create opportunities for the artists and for our audiences at this moment despite the challenging circumstances. Big questions and topics around resilience, creativity, responsibility and vocation come to fore in this shared dialogue.

Whilst a sustained and expanded digital element remains an exciting part of our present and future, at our core we remain venues dedicated to live music and to that unique moment of the connection between artists and audiences, experiences of unique human and artistic energy and passion. This is what we all, not least our Rising Stars, look forwards to returning to as soon as possible.

We look forward to exploring this new context through this most powerful medium that is music, in the company of past, present and future generations of ECHO Rising Stars, and with you our trusted and cherished audience members.

Goldmund Quartett (Rising Stars 2019/20)
Goldmund Quartett (Rising Stars 2019/20) © Daniel Dittus

Promoter: HamburgMusik

In cooperation with ECHO - European Concert Hall Organisation

With support by M.M.Warburg & CO

Supported by Classical Futures Europe and the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.


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