MusicAIRE final event

29 November 2023 - Brussels, Belgium

Presentations      Speakers      Photos

The EMC, along with its consortium partner INOVA+, were delighted to invite funded projects, policy makers and music sector stakeholders to the final event of MusicAIRE: An Innovative Recovery for Europe on 29 November in Brussels. The event allowed for all in attendance to reflect on the impact of MusicAIRE on the green, digital, and just & resilient recovery of the music sector in Europe and look towards what can be taken from it for the future.

The one day event included a mix of cross-fertilisation sessions for funded projects and a public event with panel discussions, presentations and reception in the Belgian Comic Strip Museum. Guest speakers including Georg Häusler and Susanne Hollmann from the European Commission, and MEP Monica Semedo, took time to reflect on the importance of music in the bringing people together and took part in an open discussion of policy recommendations for future EU policies for music.

About MusicAIRE:

MusicAIRE is a Music Moves Europe funded initiative aimed at supporting the recovery and sustainability of the music sector in the face of the challenges posed by the pandemic. Born out of the need for an innovative recovery plan and aiming to provide tailored solutions and to promote a green, digital, just, and resilient future for the European music ecosystem, MusicAIRE launched two open calls for applicants from the 27 Member States and non-EU countries participating in the Creative Europe Programme. Since April 2022, the MusicAIRE programme has proudly supported the implementation of 51 projects across Europe and contributed to empowering the sector for a dynamic and effective recovery. It fostered peer-learning, the sharing of experiences, and collaborative policy development, allowing stakeholders to play a crucial role in shaping the future of the industry.


Georg Häusler

Georg Häusler is currently the Director for Culture, Creativity and Sport in the European Commission (DG EAC). Prior to that, he was Director in another Commission department for seven
years. He joined the Commission in 1999 and has had several senior posts including as Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, from 2009 to 2014. Before he began his Commission career, he was Secretary General of an EU-wide NGO. He studied law (PhD in 1993). He is 55 years old and married, with one son.

Susanne Hollmann

Susanne Hollmann has a university background in macro-economics. She has been working in different international and European organisations in Brussels before joining the European Commission’s Trade department in 2001. Since 2004, she has held several different positions in the Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. In 2016, she became the Deputy Head of the Cultural Policy Unit and has been leading the works on the Music Moves Europe initiative.

Monica Semedo

Monica Semedo is a Member of the European Parliament from Luxembourg for the Renew Europe Group since 2019. She is Member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Culture and Education and Substitute Member in the Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs. Semedo is Co-Chair of the Disability Intergroup and of the Intergroup on Social Economy. She is Member of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) and Member of the EU Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. As Cape Verdean descendant, she is very active in promoting diversity and combating racism across Europe and the EU Institutions, and has inclusion and intersectionality as priorities during her mandate.

Zahra Mani: Music in the Countryside

Zahra (UK / PK) is a musician, composer, and curator who lives and works in Austria. Her work combines field recordings, instruments and voices in an ongoing exploration of sound and music. As a musician, she performs live in various constellations, and creates multi-channel sound installations and radio art. Her curatorial work focusses on border-crossing networks fostering contemporary cultural practice in a socio-political context. Her artistic and curatorial work both challenge notions of boundaries, investigating and revealing spaces between and advocating for the value of art and culture in society. She is vice-president of ECSA, the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance and a member of the Austrian UNESCO working group and advisory panel for diversity of cultural expressions.

Music in the Countryside (MICS)

MICS / MUSIC IN THE COUNTRYSIDE was a border-crossing initiative connecting three rural locations in Austria, Slovenia and Croatia dedicated to strengthening the music ecosystem in the countryside. MICS contributed to just and resilient recovery and sustainability of music in society by focussing on music performance and workshops in rural settings. MICS fulfilled its aims to expand the music ecosystem into rural areas involving audiences in living music processes: residencies, workshops, symposia, live performances, radio and web broadcasts and podcasts. MICS communicated the value and joy of music to new and existing audiences across borders, reaching out to minorities and rural inhabitants to bring them into the world of music. Through contact between artists and audiences MICS raised awareness for the value of music and the need for existential security in the music branch. Through music, MICS communicated socio-cultural togetherness across boundaries.

MICS was a pilot project and innovative role model that wants to be copied and continued: the sustainable value of collaboration helps to strengthen futures for music creators, expanding performance, teaching and networks into new non-urban areas to highlight the societal value of music as communication beyond language in the European landscape. Upholding the cohesive value of music in society through an Alps-Adriatic collaboration, MICS transported EU cultural diversity and the common ground that can be shared in the context of creative communication, drawing audiences into the organic, dynamic process. MICS events and activities in Austria, Slovenia and Croatia attracted broad audiences who were directly involved in the events, strengthening the music ecosystem for creators and participants in a collaborative and border-crossing process. The resonances continue, with new synergies between music creators, organizers and rural audiences that will continue well beyond the life of the project.


Sarah Amirfallah: European Music Business Training

Sarah joined the team of Hamburg Music in June 2019, where she took over the project lead of the annual German Music Business Summer School and of European training programmes like the International Music Business Summer School and the European Music Business Training. She gained her professional experience in the field of further education with a focus on music management at the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, where she worked as a research assistant and later as programme manager for the degree programmes in media management.
European Music Business Training (EMBT)

With the European Music Business Training (EMBT), Hamburg Music and its partners offered a unique training programme for professionals from the European music industry. One of the goals of this programme was to train and educate employees from all branches of the music industry and independent creative professionals with a close professional connection to the music industry. The programme was free of charge and included several seminars and workshops to impart music business-specific knowledge with a focus on digital transformation, resilience and environmental sustainability. The sessions were conducted by senior music industry experts online and on-site between September 2022 and April 2023.
The second goal was to set up and manage a network for transnational exchange. During networking events at international music conferences, professional links between participants, externals and speakers were established and fostered and the foundation for an expansion of the network was laid by the addition of numerous new participants and speakers from all over Europe. EMBT enabled participants with their expanded knowledge to bring new ideas and international networks to their companies, which will lead to new business opportunities all across Europe.

Photo by Niklas Marc Heinecke


Lora Tchekoratova: The Path is Yours

Founder and Chair, Off the Beaten Path Foundation and Festival, Bulgaria

Bulgarian pianist Lora Tchekoratova received her early music education at the Lyubomir Pipkov National Music School in Sofia. In 1992, she moved to New York, where she received her Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the Juilliard School. She has won numerous honors, awards, and grants and has performed on some of the most prestigious stages in the United States and Europe. Her extensive repertoire includes many works by underrepresented composers. She frequently commissions and premiers new works and participates in multi-disciplinary projects by contemporary creative minds. In addition to performing, Lora Tchekoratova is renowned for her work as an entrepreneur, event organizer, and community activist. She co-chairs Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York, serves as Artistic Director of Salon de Virtuosi, and chairs the Off the Beaten Path Foundation in Bulgaria. Tchekoratova serves on the faculty of Mannes Prep at the New School in New York. In the summers, she organizes the Off the Beaten Path chamber music festival in Southwestern Bulgaria. The festival, which just concluded its fifth season, has become a popular summer destination for musicians, composers, and nature lovers from all over Bulgaria and beyond.

The Path is Yours

"The Path is Yours" is a three-part initiative of the Off the Beaten Path Foundation in Bulgaria, which will address the following challenges of the music sector:

1. Support for emerging composers from Bulgaria
The Off the Beaten Path Foundation is launching a new program that will provide week-long residencies to three emerging composers from Bulgaria at the Fifth Edition of the Off the Beaten Path Chamber Music Festival in the village of Kovachevitsa in August 2023. The resident composers will work closely with the Off the Beaten Path chamber music festival musicians and write three new works for chamber ensembles inspired by the history, traditions, and magnificent nature of the Rhodope mountains. This year’s participants are Lora Al Ahmad, Svetlin Hristov and Peter Kerkelov.

2. Access to music education for young people from diverse backgrounds in the municipalities of Garmen and Gotse Delchev, Southwestern Bulgaria
The Foundation will expand its music education program by offering a week-long summer music camp for children of all ages in mid-July 2023. The event will be free of charge and open to children in Southwestern Bulgaria with a focus on bringing kids from diverse backgrounds together through singing a variety of repertoire as well as interactive musical activities and community-building performances. At the end of the camp, participants will present two community concerts.
3. Audience expansion
Classical music is rarely heard live in Southewestern Bulgaria. Therefore, the Foundation will organize two special community outreach concerts (one for children and one for adults) in the town of Gotse Delchev as part of the Off the Beaten Path Festival’ 2023 edition to reach new audiences from the surrounding communities. The audience will hear unique chamber music programs showcasing the connections between Western European form and Eastern European folklore and the importance of folk tradition in developing compositional language in Europe. The young people’s concert will focus on age-appropriate material and interactive audience engagement. Performers will include renowned musicians from around the world.


Esther Viñuela: GreenME

Esther trained as a piano performer before completing a master’s degree in cultural management. Her experience has been developed both in academic institutions and in various sectors of the art industry, always with an educational, inclusive and transformative vocation. At the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía she coordinates, among other projects, the Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Program. She is a project instructor for the Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation and chairs the Lifelong Learning working group of the European Association of Conservatories whose objective is to train and advise professionals.


GreenME is the environmental awareness programme of the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía and aims to promote initiatives that develop synergies in two fundamental fields for the institution: music and environmental commitment. The development of sustainable music careers is one of the challenges facing the sector in its efforts to adapt to the climate situation. Following recent green recovery policies, such as "Music Declares Emergency", and relying on our adherence to the SDGs, the Reina Sofia School firmly declares that those who dedicate themselves to art, and in particular to music, have a great power of conviction, education and inspiration within society and can be a role model for present and future generations.


Tjeerd Bohmof: Empowering EU creators

Tjeerd is a songwriter/producer from Amsterdam, who spends his time between artist projects, collaborating with other artists, and doing commissioned work for film and television. He is also fascinated with the music business and specifically with the challenges of being a creator in a big, and at times imperfect, music industry. These concerns led to him co-found the Dutch songwriting society BAM! (now BAM! Popauteurs) and to launch the tech start-up called FXR (‘fixer’). FXR helps creators and rights holders get an overview of, and find inconsistencies in, their music royalty payments by harmonising royalty statements and presenting them in one portal.

Empowering EU creator, manager and collecting societies to improve music royalty data-handling for fairer remuneration post COVID-19

FXR was selected in the first call for MusicAIRE and received EU-funding to complete the action "Empowering EU creator, manager and collecting societies to improve music royalty data-handling for fairer remuneration post COVID-19". As part of this action FXR collaborated with Complete Music Update to produce a white paper that combines results from quantitative research and in-depth interviews with participants. The white paper, titled "Fixing music data", is aimed at providing the broader industry with more comprehensive insights into the complex systems related to royalty payments and data and to offer potential solutions to some of the issues that were investigated.

Mickael Viegas: Lost Souls of War

Viegas began studying music at the age of nine and continued his university studies at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa and later gets his master’s degree in Guitarra Clásica e Interpretacion Musical, under the supervision of the Spanish master Ricardo Gállen. In 2013 he published his first book DRUMS ON GUITAR - THE GUITAR RUDIMENTS by AVA editions, an innovative approach on the art of guitar playing based on the biomechanics of the human body.  In 2016 he released the double album THE COMPLETE GUITAR WORKS OF HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS - The Prospect Of a Future Guitar by PARATY editions, along with a Documentary about the entire ideology and process behind the recordings. The album has received international critical acclaim among the world’s most prestigious classical music magazines, namely CLASSICAL GUITAR MAGAZINE.

This new concept arouses the attention of the OBSERVADOR, which invites Viegas as a protagonist in the documentary CARTOGRAPHY OF TALENTS. In 2018, Mickael founded LOST SOULS OF WAR, the turning point that marks the beginning of the devout mission to which the musician commits himself to resurrect the music of all the composers who were fatal victims war. In 2020 he published the project AO ABRIGO DE UM POEMA in collaboration with CASA FERNANDO PESSOA (Portugal) and MUSEU VILLA-LOBOS (Brazil), where the music content created were offered by the musician to the institutions. The work was closely followed by RTP, which broadcast a television report exclusively dedicated to the project.

Lost Souls of War

“Lost Souls Of War” combines a discographic collection and a long film documentary about hundreds of classical music composers that were murdered during war times.

The phonographic record is the peak result of a long term research process on gathering, analyzing and processing more than 580 retrieved music sheets, between 93 different entities, throughout 17 countries. Exhaustive hard study and work that the musician and LSW Team now wants to share with the world.

This project proudly involves 32 internationally renowned musicians and 2 orchestras who wish to honor and magnify the work of those talented musicians forgotten in time.

Jo Vávra: LIOS Labs Sustainable Music Event and Certification Model

Co-Founder & Artistic Director of LIOS Labs Arts of Ecology Platform and on-Earth Foundation (PL/DE). Jo Vávra, a cultural ecologist, curator, and community weaver, was born in Kraków, Poland, in 1991. As the Co-Founder & Artistic Director of LIOS Labs Arts of Ecology Platform and onEarth Foundation (PL/DE), Jo's practice blends art, ecology, and social sciences. Serving as a creative strategist, host, and producer, Jo is dedicated to organising sustainable, transformative events. Her work encompasses curating artistic journeys, educational programs, spaces, and community rituals, aiming to create experiences that connect people with a sense of unity within themselves and the animate world. Jo's practice, rooted in poetry and holistic engagement, delves into cultural production and ecological education. She focuses on fostering sympoietic processes and shaping a regenerative social imaginary. With captivating blue eyes that love to gaze into the desert's horizon, Jo Vávra's mission is to design and foster spaces for peer-to-peer learning and creative exchange.

LIOS Labs Sustainable Music Event and Certification Model

The LIOS Labs Sustainable Music Event and Certification Model project spearheads the creation of a "Manual for Regenerative Gatherings," offering event organisers vital tools for fostering an eco-conscious shift in the music and festival scene. This initiative stems from insights gained during LIOS Labs residencies in the Bledowska Desert and the execution of the micro-festival, "Sharing of the Fruits." Drawing from our experiences, we address challenges and practicalities tied to environmental protection and cultivating a healthy workstyle in the dynamic world of festival production.

A collaborative effort led by onEarth Foundation and LIOS Labs, the project enjoys the support of Diana Raiselis and Rajat Rai Handa. The outcome is a comprehensive guide that shares knowledge, best practices, and lessons learned, empowering organisers to navigate the intricacies of sustainable event production. Through the LIOS Labs Sustainable Music Event and Certification Model, we aim to catalyse positive change in the industry, fostering events that harmonise with nature and nurture a regenerative ethos. The report is open-source and available for free download.


Simone Dudt

Simone Dudt studied cultural sciences in Hildesheim, Germany and Marseille, France focusing on Fine Arts and Music. She has been working for the European Music Council since 2004. Today, she is Secretary General of the European Music Council in dual leadership with Ruth Jakobi. Ruth and Simone are responsible for EMC’s strategic development, for advocacy work in cultural policy, as well as for the planning and implementation of international cooperation projects. One of the most relevant advocacy tools coordinated by the EMC in cooperation with a huge number of stakeholders across the European music sector is the European Agenda for Music. From 2010-2014 Simone served on the Board of Culture Action Europe, a European umbrella organisation that advocates for culture at the EU institutions. She is author of diverse articles on music and cultural policy as well as a speaker on these topics at European conferences.

Audrey Guerre

Audrey Guerre is the coordinator of Live DMA, the European network for live music associations. Her experience in studies, job opportunities and personal beliefs early led her to specialise herself into European cooperation and live music. She now provides Live DMA members with a political monitoring, tools, and opportunities to meet & exchange best practices. She also represents their interests to European institutions and partners. Audrey Guerre is the chairperson of the European Music Council, and a board member of the French music venue Trempo in Nantes.

Katharina Weinert

Katharina is the policy advisor of the European Music Council. Her tasks include analyzing policies and drafting policy recommendations on EU cultural policy and other fields relevant to music. She has participated in several Stakeholder Consultations on the EU levels such as Voices of Culture and Music Moves Europe and the European Agenda for Culture. Previously, she worked for the Creative Europe Desk Germany, the Cultural Policy Association and the Europe for Citizens Point in Germany. Since June 2021, she is a board member and Vice-President of Culture Action Europe.