|lx music workshop: Insights on the UK classical market

Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg offers artists an inside look and training course dedicated to the UK classical market on November 22 & 23. The two-day online workshop discusses how to strategically grow your career as an artist from the perspective of the UK industry.

Particularly looking at paths and routes beyond university/conservatoire to growing a professional career. The workshop will be led by Naomi Belshaw, Chair of the Three Choirs Festival, thought to be the oldest classical festival in the world. In 2019 Naomi set up her own consultancy to be able to offer composers and artists more formally help in their careers, drawing on her uniquely broad perspective in funding, festival curation, publishing, licensing, royalties, PR, marketing and more.

Nowadays, in the modern music industry, we find ourselves in an era of shifting sands. In one sense, there is still in the UK a defined path that one could follow to grow your career, gain national then international recognition and, depending on your goals, strive to become a successful artist. What is also very clear is that in a modern world that has so many paths for exposure, from streaming platforms to social media, there are a myriad of ways to cut through but also get lost. In fact, more and more, you need to think like an entrepreneur in your early career to then become taken up by the more established gatekeepers of the music industry, from agents to labels and publishers.

Practical informationThe workshop will be held in English. All sessions are taking place online. A link to join the sessions will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the workshop.


Day 1 – Wednesday 22 November 2023
The Live Sector

10:00am – 11:30am | Seminar with Naomi Belshaw

  • From university/conservatoire and competitions to building your own ensembles or solo identity.
  • Your online presence from social media to website.
  • From identity to growing your profile and your audience.
  • Curating a concert series or ensemble.
  • Pitching ideas to festival and venue programmers.
  • Associations and charities to key into, building your network and audience.
  • PR and marketing’s role.
  • The next level (agent/manager/label or continuing DIY)
  • Brexit and its impact on administration.

11:30am – 11:45am | Break
11:45am – 1:15pm | Panel discussion with industry experts

Adam Zsabo is the CEO of the Manchester Collective, one of the most successful ensembles in the UK in recent years.
Ben Rayfield works as Managing Director at Rayfield Allied, a classical music agency based in London.
Kira Doherty is a professional French horn artist who is part of the Philharmonia symphony orchestra and a professor of horn at the Royal Academy of Music.

Day 2 – Thursday 23 November 2023
The Record Industry

10:00am – 11:30am | Seminar with Naomi Belshaw

  • A general introduction to releasing music, digital distribution and streaming.
  • Setting a realistic budget (income and expenditure).
  • Preparing for and running recording sessions.
  • How to get your music on the major streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer etc.).
  • Various rights and registrations that you need to know about to ultimately get paid.
  • Using the artist analytics dashboards.
  • Strategies for releasing an EP or Album and utilising singles.
  • The importance of PR and marketing and how they are different.
  • Considering the story of a release to maximise the potential for notice.
  • The role of social media in a release.
  • Looking at different aspects of PR, from features, interviews, podcasts, reviews, playlists, to radio airplay and beyond.
  • Marketing and deciding your focus.

11:30am – 11:45am | Break
11:45am – 1:15pm | Panel discussion with industry experts

Fenella Humphreys is a DIY violinist who has used social media and small labels to grow her own profile up to winning 2023 BBC Music Magazine Premiere Recording Award.
Ben Hogwood
works for Naxos Music Group, their artists and all the labels they distribute around the world, ensuring royalties and neighbouring rights are maximised and correctly distributed.
Jon Jacobs
is as a freelance journalist and marketeer for BBC, Scala Radio and Wigmore Hall writing reviews and hosting a classical music podcast.


Naomi Belshaw

Originally trained as an archaeologist, 15 years ago Naomi swapped her hobby in music for her career. Taking up roles across the music industry, including at PRS for Music, PRS Foundation, and WildKat PR. She has a wealth of experience in the arts, particularly in contemporary music. In 2019 Naomi set up her own consultancy to be able to offer composers and artists more formally help in their careers, drawing on her uniquely broad perspective in funding, festival curation, publishing, licensing, royalties, PR, marketing and more. In 2022 she was accepted onto the world’s only independent funding and professional development programme MMF Accelerator, designed exclusively for artist, songwriter, DJ & producer managers, aimed to further the ambitions of talented entrepreneurs, supported by YouTube Music, Arts Council England & Creative Scotland.

Naomi is also currently Chair of the Three Choirs Festival, thought to be the oldest classical Festival in the World. In her spare time Naomi is a keen fan of single malt whisky hosting a blog pairing whisky with classical music and also plays violin in Progressive Rock Band The Wood Demons.


Adam Szabo

Adam Szabo co-founded Manchester Collective in March 2016. In the time since, it has swiftly grown into a new kind of arts organisation: at the cutting edge of the classical sector and fit for a volatile 21st century. The Collective now delivers acclaimed artistic projects across the UK, Europe, and America. The work of the ensemble has been recognised at the highest level – most recently by the Royal Philharmonic Society, who awarded their ‘Best Ensemble’ award to the Collective in 2023, and by Arts Council England, who welcomed the Collective into the 2023-2026 National Portfolio. Adam’s work is built on a distinctive foundation of an early career as a practicing musician, during which time he built up extensive experience performing as a cellist with some of the finest orchestras in the UK.

Kira Doherty

Kira moved to London from Quebec in 2004 to complete her postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music. After having graduated in 2006, she enjoyed a varied freelance career before accepting the post of Second Horn in the Philharmonia Orchestra in 2013. She works regularly as a guest with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, the Britten Sinfonia and Isobel Griffiths recording amongst others. She has been a member of the Philharmonia Board of Directors intermittently since 2014, and currently holds the position of President. Since joining the Pilharmonia, Kira has also completed two history degrees, one from the Open University (BAHons), and the other from Oxford University (MSt, Kellogg College) focusing on social change in Early Modern England. Kira holds the Puzzi professor of horn position at the Royal Academy of Music, and appears regularly as guest teacher and tutor at the Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the National Youth Orchestra. Kira is an Associate of the RAM.

Ben Rayfield

Ben Rayfield was born in Yorkshire and educated at Leeds Grammar School. He was awarded a choral scholarship to study Mathematics and Philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford University, where he sang in the choir under the direction of Bill Ives. After graduating in 1995, Ben was appointed as a lay-clerk in the choir of New College, Oxford, directed by Edward Higginbottom, regularly touring and recording with groups such as The King’s Consort and The Academy of Ancient Music.

On leaving Oxford in 1997, Ben embarked on a freelance career as a musician, and enjoyed great success, having made over a hundred recordings in repertoire as diverse as medieval music on Hyperion, via grand opera on Opera Rara and Chandos, through to the Cannes Classical Award-winning recording of Arvo Pärt’s Passio on Naxos.

Particularly noted as an early music singer, Ben regularly performed with consorts such as The Tallis Scholars, The Cardinall’s Musick and The Clerk’s Group, as well as the larger choirs of The Sixteen, BBC Singers, The Gabrieli Consort and The English Concert.

In 2003, Ben moved into the field of artist management, firstly working closely with Sue Nicholls in the vocal department at Hazard Chase, before starting his own agency, Rayfield Artists, in 2005. In September 2011 Rayfield Artists merged with Allied Artists Agency to form Rayfield Allied, of which he is Managing Director. From 2011 to 2016 he was a Director of the International Artists’ Managers Association, and in 2018 he chaired IAMA’s conference in London’s King’s Place.

Ben Hogwood

Ben has always worked in the fields of classical music and data – usually with the objective of ensuring record labels and performers receive royalties when their recordings are broadcast or played in public. For nearly 20 years he helped administer these rights as Classical Repertoire Manager at PPL, working with orchestral players and choral singers in particular. Since 2020 he has been working for the Naxos Music Group, their artists and all the labels they distribute around the world, ensuring royalties and neighbouring rights are maximised and correctly distributed. For Naxos he also contributes booklet notes and helps with A&R recruitment in the UK.

Ben has had a lifelong passion for classical music in all its forms, long before studying it to degree level at the University of Surrey in Guildford. He combines this with a love of electronic and pop music on his website Arcana, writing also for musicOMH, where he has interviewed musicians and composers as widely varied as Steve Reich, Paul Weller, Tori Amos and Anna Thorvaldsdottir.

Fenella Humphreys

Fenella Humphreys, winner of the 2023 BBC Music Magazine Premiere Recording Award, has attracted critical admiration and audience acclaim with the grace and intensity of her remarkable performances.

With her playing described in the press as “alluring”, “unforgettable” and “a wonder”, Fenella is one of the UK’s most established and versatile violinists, having also won the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award. She enjoys a busy career combining chamber music with solo work, performing in the most prestigious venues around the world and is frequently broadcast on the BBC, Classic FM, Scala Radio and international radio stations.

Fenella performs widely as a soloist. Her recent album of Sibelius’ solo works with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and George Vass has been featured in BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library, Gramophone Magazine’s Guide to the Concerto, and was Album of the Week on Scala Radio. BBC Music Magazine has written of the recording: “it takes an unusually fine artist to be able to bridge the two extremes. Fenella Humphreys’s playing is a genuine revelation in the way it brings out the music’s dark and introspective qualities, with no shortage of technical panache meanwhile.”

Concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerakademie, Fenella also enjoys guest leading and directing various ensembles in Europe. For the launch of Apple Music Classical in April 2023, Fenella was one of a handful of artists invited to record a ‘Classical Session’ at home, alongside Daniel Barenboim, Beatrice Rana and Gautier Capuçon. Fenella plays on a G.B. Guadagnini violin kindly on loan from Jonathan Sparey.

Jon Jacob

Jon Jacob uses digital platforms to tell people about the joys of classical music. He has developed strategy and creates content for Wigmore Hall, and is currently providing services for English Concert and the Ulster Orchestra. Since 2011 he has coached executives in global organisations including BBC, Netflix, Coca Cola, Mastercard, Sky, Starbucks, and the World Economic Forum. He also trains journalists in digital production in Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey. He spent twelve years at the BBC as a Digital Producer and Editor working in childrens, TV, radio, journalism, and communications. He began his career in orchestral management before spending ten years in IT network design and support.

Find Jon Jacob at @thoroughlygood on X, @thoroughly_good on Instagram, and at thoroughlygood2005.substack.com Substack where he writes about classical, coaching and digital.

More information


Wednesday November 22nd, 2023, 10a.m.-1:15p.m.
Thursday November 23rd, 2023, 10a.m.-1:15p.m.



Am I eligible?

Luxembourgish citizenship or residency in Luxembourg

As this workshop is dedicated to the classical music sector, it is primarily designed for musicians and professionals acting in the field of classical music.