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José Amaral-Lopes

José Manuel Amarel Lopes is a Seconded National Expert for Culture Policy and Intercultural Dialogue in the Directorate General for Education and Culture at the European Commission. He studied Law at the Universidade Lusiada, and graduated in 1993 with a post graduate degree in European Studies from the Universidade Catholica Portuguesa. He has worked extensively throughout Portugal and was, amongst other things, Secretary of State for National Cultural Affairs and Heritage, and a Congressman at the Portuguese Houses of Parliament and a legal advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Peko Baxant

Peko Baxant was born in 1977 in  Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. At seven years old, he emigrated with his family for political reasons to Austria. Music has been his passion since he was a youngster and he was the band leader and songwriter for pop groups “Plain Steel” and “Podvodou”, later he started the project “Baxant Bogner”. He is involved with Greenpeace Germany, and in 2002, Baxant founded attac Austria. Since 2005, he has been a member of the Vienna Parliament and serves in the committees for Culture and Science, Youth, Education, Information and Sport, and the Committee of Control.

Stef Coninx

Stef Coninx (born in Neerpelt, 1960) studied Musicology and gained his degree at the University of Louvain (K.U.L., 1984). He also studied music performance as a singer, guitar and choir conductor. In early 1994, he joined Polygram as a Product Manager for Decca and Philips Classics. As the Marketing Manager for Classics and Jazz, he became Executive in the Belgian division of the Universal Music Group. In 2000, he decided to leave the record business in order to put his experience at the disposal of Flanders Music Centre, of which he became the Managing Director. Stef became the Secretary of the International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC) in 2004, improving and developing the organisation.

Ivor Davies

Ivor Davies has a broad arts and education background, and a special interest in European arts policy development. From 2000 until 2010, he was the Director of Performing Arts for Arts Council England, as well as the acting Director of International Strategy (2009), also for the Arts Council.

Ivor is a Culture Action Europe board member and has been working to encourage collaboration between European Arts Councils and Culture Ministries.

Graham Dixon

Graham Dixon is the Managing Editor of BBC Radio 3 and until 2009 he was Chair of the Music Committee of the European Broadcasting Union.  He studied at both London and Durham universities, gaining a Ph.D. on sacred music in Baroque Rome; in recent years he completed an MBA, including work on restructuring media production to align with new technologies. He has undertaken consultancy for several leading broadcasters and is committed to exploring issues of diversity. He is also currently participating in conversations which aspire to create points of contact between people from different communities.

Simone Dudt

Simone Dudt, born 1975, studied Cultural Sciences in Hildesheim, Germany and Marseille, France, focusing on Fine Arts and Music. She worked in the field of arts education at the 'Roemer- und Pelizaeus Museum Hildesheim' and at tthe 'Music School Kraatz'. At the University of Hildesheim she was an academic assistant in the Department of Music and Musicology. She also collaborated in the 'Musikermythen' (myths of musicans) publication, edited by Dr. Claudia Bullerjahn and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Loeffler. In 2004, Simone started working for the European Music Council (EMC), as project coordinator for EFMET (European Forum for Music Education and Training). Since January 2009, she has been Scretary General Policy and Communication.

Silja Fischer

Silja Fischer studied at Humboldt University in Berlin and at the Foreign Languages Institute in Moscow. Ms Fischer joined the General Secretariat of the International Music Council in 1993 and served until 2002 as Executive Assistant to the Secretary General. After that she worked as the Executive Director a.i., Operations Manager and Executive Officer, before she was appointed Secretary General of the IMC in April 2009. In this capacity, she is in charge of the day-to-day business, and official representation, as well as programme implementation.

Sonja Greiner

Sonja Greiner is Secretary General of Europa Cantat - European Federation of Young Choirs and member of the Executive Board of the International Music Council. After studying languages, she has been working in the field of choral music since 1992, first as manager of the International Chamber-Choir Competition Marktoberdorf and the festival Musica Sacra International, then as Deputy Secretary General and now Secretary General of Europa Cantat.

Ursula Hemetek

Ursula Hemetek is currently associate Professor at the Institute for Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology at the University for Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna. She did a PhD in Musicology in 1987 and her research focuses mainly on music of minorities in Austria; she has published works in the field of ethnomusicology, and music and minorities (focus on Roma, Burgenland Croats and recent immigrant groups). She now chairs the ICTM Study Group Music and Minorities. Among her most recent works, she has published Cultural Diversity in the Urban Area: Exploration in Urban Ethnomusicology together with Adelaida Reyes in 2007, and Music from Turkey in the Diaspora together with Hande Sağlam in 2008.

Harald Huber

Born 1954 in Lower Austria, Harald studied music education, composition, cello and sociology from 1972–79. Since 1981, he has been a teacher at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with the special task of developing a department of Popular Music in Practice and Theory. As a member of IASPM (International Association for the Study of Popular Music), he has participated in conferences in Italy, Germany, USA and Finland. He founded both an artistic and scientific Institute of Popular Music in 2002 at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, and established a special curriculum for music teachers (Classical and Popular Music, 2003) and wrote a book on The Song and the Style Fields of Music. He has been the President of Austrian Music Council since 2006.

Ruth Jakobi

Ruth Jakobi (1973), studied Music, French and Education in Hamburg, Germany and Lyon, France. During her studies, she performed as a flautist throughout Europe and beyond, and managed numerous international music projects. Today, she is the Secretary General Development and Finance for the European Music Council. She is often invited as a lecturer to international conferences or to cultural management study courses. In October 2006, Ruth was elected to the Board of Culture Action Europe (formerly the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage).

Petra Kammerevert

Petra Kammerevert MEP graduated in 1992 from Duisburg University, with a degree in Social Science. She has been a member of the German Social Democrats Party (SDP) since 1984 and has been heavily involved in the party for the past 25 years. She was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2009 for the regional area around Düsseldorf, where she functions as a Culture and Education Committee member and a delegate of the EU-Croatia Joint Parliamentary Committee. She is also a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.

Katrien Laporte

Katrien Laporte studied Slavic languages and started to work in the arts in 1987. She worked for several arts organisations such as the Time Festival and Victoria, a Ghent based theatre production house. Katrien was manager of the Flemish Opera house in Ghent and was External Relations Manager of the City Theatre in Ghent. She was also Programme Director for Performing Arts during Bruges 2002, when the city was the European Capital of Culture. In 2007, Katrien decided to work in the field of cultural policy as an advisor for culture to the Deputy Mayor for Culture, Tourism and Festivities.

Madis Kolk

Madis Kolk is a concert and festival producer/director, journalist and pianist. He is a member of the Creative Council of the Tallinn European Capital of Culture 2011 Foundation and co–founder and artistic co–director of the international new music festival NYYD (Tallinn, 1991–present). As a producer at the Eesti Kontsert agency (until 2005), he initiated and coordinated a large number of music events in Estonia and abroad, including festivals and competitions. He studied at the conservatories of Tallinn and Moscow, thereafter for years as a concert pianist, as a teacher at the Tallinn Conservatory, and also publishing numerous articles in newspapers and magazines.

Lisa Leitich

Lisa Leitich studied at the University of Vienna's Department of Journalism and Communication Studies, graduating in 2004. She then continued in the Department of Musicology at Universität Ludwig Maximilian/University of Vienna, and continues, in Vienna, to study for her PhD. Until 2008, she was on the academic staff for the Centre of Contemporary Music in the Arts and Management Department of the Danube University in Krems and was a guest researcher in the University of Stockholm's Musicology Department. In 2008, she was the co-editor of a Scientific Journal series entitled 'pop:modulatiionen' and since 2009 she was been a scientific assistant for the Austrian Report on Musical Diversity, undertaken by the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.

Franz Niermann

Franz Niermann graduated from the Musikhochschule in Berlin in 1974 with qualifications in music education, history and educational science. He gained his PhD on the Theory of Super Learning and Music Education: 'Rock music and teaching - A way for music in everyday life' in 1987, whilst teaching in a Berlin secondary school. He then became a professor of Music Education at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and founded the Institute for Music Education. He has published many articles and papers on education and life learning. Since 1997 he ahs been a board member of the European Association for Music in Schools (EAS) and was its President from 2005 - 2009. He is the legal representative for the Music Education Network (meNet) and was elected to the Board of Directors of ISME in 2008.

Eva Nowotny

Eva Nowotny is currently President of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO. She has served as the Austrian ambassador to France, the United Kingdom and the United States. She also holds a Ph.D. in history and German literature.

In addition to her career she has always maintained her interest in academia, and is involved with a number of think tanks and academic institutions in Austria and beyond.

Patrick Rackow

Patrick Rackow started in the music industry as an in-house lawyer for a small record label and then spent fourteen years working in private practice advising a wide range of clients on all aspects of the music business.  In September 2008, Patrick was appointed CEO of the British Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), of which he had been a director since 2001.  Patrick is also on the Board of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA), and acts as its spokesman.

Peter Rantasa

After having graduated in Telecommunications, Electronics and Bio-medics, as well as in Electro-acoustics and Experimental Music, Peter Rantasa worked in culture and radio, creating several festivals in Austria. He was a member of the executive Board of the International Music Council (IMC) and of the European Music Office. Since 1999, he has also been the Executive Director of mica - Music Information Center, Austria.

Simron Jit Singh

Dr. Simron Jit Singh (Ph.D. Human Ecology, Lund University, Sweden), has worked as a senior researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Social Ecology, Austria since 1999. He has worked extensively among the pastoral nomads of the Indian Himalayas, and has spent more than ten years researching the Nicobarese in the Bay of Bengal. He has written two books and has been awarded an International Fellowship from the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the START Fellowship within the framework of the IHDP-IT global environment change research, and very recently, the Royal Anthropological Fellowship in Urgent Anthropology, attached the Kent University, UK.

Rineke Smilde

Rineke Smilde is Professor of Lifelong Learning in Music & the Arts at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen and the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague in the Netherlands. She holds a PhD in Social Sciences summa cum laude from the University of Goettingen in Germany, a Masters degree in Musicology from Amsterdam University, and she also studied flute performance at the Groningen Conservatoire. Between 1994 and 2004, she was the director of the North Netherlands Conservatoire. Since 1995, Rineke has been active in the European Association of Conservatoires; as a council member - from 2002 till 2005 as vice president. She has also led various research groups on lifelong learning. From 2005 – 2008 she served as board member of the European Association of Music in Schools (EAS).

Wim Wabbes

Wim Wabbes is the music director of the Arts Centre Vooruit, Ghent, Belgium. He has been programming an avant garde music festival called Vooruit Geluid (advanced sounds) for 10 years. Since 2004 he has changed the focus to the music of certain regions or countries and cities - Iceland/Greenland/Alaska, Petersberg/Moscow, Istanbul, Finland, Montreal, and the Chinese Underground. Apart from his job in Vooruit, Wim was the chairman of a commission that advises the Minister of Culture on the subsidies for festivals (all kinds of festivals), and he is currently on the board of the Flemish Music Information Centre (Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen), and on the board of a music working space 'Cassette'.

Michael Wimmer

Michael Wimmer was born in Vienna in 1950 and trained as an organist, music educator and political scientist. From 1987 - 2003 he was director of the Austrian Culture Service. He is a lecturer at the Institute for Political Sciences and the Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Sciences at the University of Vienna and the author of the Austrian National Report "Cultural Policy in Austria" and of the report "Cultural Policy in Slovenia", and expert of the European Commission and the Council of Europe on educational and cultural policy issues. He was a founding member, and since 2003 head, of EDUCULT – Institute for Cultural Policy and Cultural Management, which is engaged in research in the field of creative, cultural and artistic education. In 2008, he carried out qualitative and a quantitative surveys on cultural education “Diversity and Cooperation” and “Cultural Education Counts!” and acts as a consultant for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009

He is also the personal adviser to the present Austrian Minister for Education, Culture and the Arts and a member of the advisory committee preparing the UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education 2010 in Seoul/Korea.