Keynote Speakers

Pete Wishart

Pete Wishart is the MP for Perth and North Perthshire and was first elected in May 2005 with a majority of 1,521 over the Conservatives. Pete was re-elected in the election of 2010 with an increased majority of 4,379. He was previously MP for North Tayside from 2001-2005, the SNP Chief Whip at Westminster from 2001-2007 and is currently the Westminster Spokesperson for Home Affairs and Culture, Media and Sport. The trained Community Worker was a member of the internationally successful Scottish group Runrig for 15 years.

Simon Frith

Simon Frith has been Tovey Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh since 2006.  He has a Ph D in Sociology (from the University of California, Berkeley) in Sociology and has carried out a variety of research on the music industry and music policy.  His most recent project was an AHRC funded study of the live music sector.  The first volume of the resulting three volume history of live music in Britain since 1950 has just been published. He also worked for many years as a music journalist and has chaired the judges of the Mercury Music prize since it began in 1992.

Session experts and speakers

Patrick Ager

Patrick Ager was appointed as ECSA Secretary General in March 2010 and represents the alliance on a permanent basis in Brussels. Prior to his assignment with ECSA, Patrick Ager worked at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs and was Research Fellow at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Mr. Ager studied Political Science in Vienna and Bordeaux, as well as Copyright Law at the Kings' College London.

Cathy Al-Ghabra

Cathy Al-Ghabra is currently studying MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths, University of London. Specialising in music education with a focus on choirs, she has a rich and varied background in music teaching, choral directing and education project management. Cathy was elected on to the Youth Committee of the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat in January 2013 after successfully completing the Young Event Management Programme (YEMP) in Europa Cantat XVIII Torino, July 2012.

Gretchen Amussen

Born and raised in New York City, Gretchen Amussen studied music and French at university before pursuing organ studies with Xavier Darasse at the Toulouse Conservatoire. Since 1992 she has worked at the Paris Conservatoire, where she is Director for External Affairs and International Relations.  Vice-President of the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC), she has led thematic working groups through the AEC dedicated to the implications of the Bologna process on music conservatoires, the music profession, and entrepreneurship in music.

Nenad Bogdanovic

Nenad Bogdanovic is a Serbian/Cypriot musician and cultural organiser. He is Executive Director of Cultural Movement of Limassol EPILOGI – Jeunesses Musicales Cyprus. In 2011-2012, Nenad managed the “Euro-Mediterranean Youth Music Dialogues” project funded by the EU “Culture” Program. He was recently appointed as Director of “Euro-Arab Youth Music Centre”, which is a joint venture established in Limassol by Jeunesses Musicales International, Arab Academy of Music – League of Arab States and EPILOGI. Nenad is Board member of JMI, EMC and Limassol Cultural Council.

Ann Branch

Ann Branch has been working for the European Union institutions since 1999. She holds both British and Finnish nationalities.  Since 2008 she has been Head of Unit in DG Education and Culture in the European Commission and is responsible for the European Union's Culture programme, work on the future Creative Europe programme, audience development, and other cultural actions including the European Capitals of Culture, the new European Heritage Label and the European Union prizes for contemporary architecture, cultural heritage, music and literature. .

Before joining the European Institutions she worked in the private sector for representative business organisations, particularly in the field of employment and social affairs. She has a BA degree from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and a Master of Philosophy from Oxford University. She has also studied at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris.

Martin Cloonan

Martin Cloonan is Professor of Popular Music Studies and Convener of Postgraduate Studies in Music at the University of Glasgow. He also chairs the international freedom of musical expression organisation, Freemuse. His latest book, A History of Live Music in the UK (written with Simon Frith, Matt Brennan and Emma Webster has just been published). He is currently working on a history of the UK's Musicians Union. He used to manage a band but is all right now.

Thomas Dayan

Thomas Dayan has been Assistant General Secretary of the International Federation of Musicians since February 2001. Previously, he worked as a consultant at UNESCO about the preparation of the World Congress on the Status of the Artist, which took place at UNESCO Headquarters in June 1997. Between September 1998 and February 2001, he worked part-time both as legal adviser of the Musicians union of Paris and FIM Office. Thomas holds a Master (DEA) of Labour law from University Paris X.

Frans de Ruiter

Frans de Ruiter is the Director of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University and joint founder and co-director of DocARTES, a cooperative PhD programme for music with the participation of academies and institutes in the  Netherlands and Belgium. He has occupied leading positions in various member organisations of the IMC such as President of the European Festivals Association, EFA. He is currently President of the IMC

Karolien Dons

Karolien Dons graduated as a musicologist and music psychologist, and started working as a teacher and researcher at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen (NL) in 2010. From 2008 to 2012 she was part of the EMC’s Working Group Youth, from 2010 onwards its vice-chair. Her interests are music learning and participation in society’s least evident places. She took part in several projects by the conservatoire’s research group Lifelong Learning in Music, investigating music activities with new audiences such as the elderly or asylum seekers.

Simone Dudt

Simone studied Cultural Science in Germany and France focusing on Fine Arts and Music. She worked for the educational programmes of several museums and music schools, as academic assistant at the University of Hildesheim and as an assistant at the regional music council in Hannover. She has been working for the European Music Council since 2004 and is its current Secretary General. In 2010, she was elected to the Board of Culture Action Europe, a European umbrella organisation that advocates for culture at the EU institutions. Since 2012, she is Vice President of Culture Action Europe.

Manon Fenard

Manon Fenard is a PhD candidate and researcher on the sociology of education at University Paris 8, prior to which she worked on various arts projects with teenagers. In particular her work concentrates on transmission and cultural mediation with adolescents, with a focus on young people in the Paris suburbs and pupils experiencing difficulties at school, and how engagement in cultural projects can help them overcome social inequalities. She is currently engaged in a research-action with Zebrock.

Martí Ferrer i Bosch

Martí Ferrer i Bosch conducts the choirs and the orchestras of Conservatory of Tarragona.

He is president of Moviment Coral Català (Umbrella Catalan Choirs Organization) and responsible of the Mediterranean Office for Choral Singing (Regional Center of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat). He is also the adviser on Choral Music and Live of the Catalan Ministry of Culture, board member for European Choral Association – Europa Cantat and board member of the Euro Arab Center for Youth Music in Cyprus.

Martí conducted several children's, youth and adult choirs and he is frequently invited as conductor in choir meetings, workshops and participative concerts in Catalonia and abroad. He was required as assistant conductor as well as conductor in some recordings and as adviser for choral and orchestral music editions in publisher houses. He is also musical producer of some recordings for Naxos and others. 

Silja Fischer

Silja Fischer joined the General Secretariat of the International Music Council in 1993. She was appointed Secretary General of the IMC in April 2009. In this capacity, she is in charge of the day-to-day business, official representation as well as programme implementation. She also serves as Secretary to the International Rostrum of Composers.

Christopher Glasgow

Prior to graduating from the University of Glasgow in 2010, Christopher began working for the Scottish Music Centre where he currently resides as Communications Officer. Over the past four years he has been responsible for developing and administering their key online services and social media platforms, generating increased publicity for artists and organisations working across all musical genres. More specifically, he has also introduced several new projects and initiatives for the direct benefit of contemporary classical composers. This has led to multiple commissioning opportunities and established valuable new supporting partnerships for all involved.

Claire Goddard 

Claire studied European Languages and Cultures in Manchester and gained a Masters degree in Cultural Policy in 20th Century Germany. In 2008 she joined the committee of the EMC´s Working Group Youth (WGY), becoming its chairperson in 2010 and for the duration of the highly successful Access! project. Claire was elected to the EMC Board in 2012. Currently, she is Secretary General of the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth.

Ruth Jakobi

Ruth Jakobi studied Music, French and Education in Hamburg (DE) and Lyon(FR), and has performed across Europe as a flutist. In 2003, she was employed as secretary general of the EMC. Since the birth of her first daughter in 2008, Ruth has continued working for the EMC on a part-time basis; as well as a freelance consultant for international music projects. She is often invited to lecture at international conferences or cultural management study courses and serves as jury member in (youth) music competitions.

Christoph Jankowski

Christoph manages the UK Cultural Contact Point for the European Commission's Culture programme. He has considerable knowledge and experience of European arts and cultural projects and networks, the European Union, and European funding.  He has worked with several EU-funded projects, including IN SITU, the European network for performing arts in public spaces. He speaks several languages (English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish and some Danish) and is also a freelance writer/researcher and has written about cultural development in Marseille and the city's successful bid for European Capital of Culture in 2013.

Maiju Kopra

Maiju Kopra is a versatile musician and a teacher from Finland, involved in the work of different music related organisations. She graduated as a trumpet teacher and is currently studying to become a school music teacher. Her major instrument is classical singing, but you can also see her performing gigs with her various bands. Maiju was elected to the European Music Council’s Youth Committee in 2008 and has been the vice-chair since 2012. She is also a committee member of the IMC Youth.

Patsy Lang

Patsy has a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from York University in Toronto, Canada. She developed a passion for working with International companies and was soon working for the International Festival.

Patsy’s experience in production and tour management brought her in contact with the SW branch of Live Music Now. Her skills were put to work initially on a Special Needs Schools project, and eventually on Justice projects. This experience was transferred to SUPERACT CIC where Patsy has managed all the Justice projects for 10 years.

Recently she has run a project, ‘Music in Time’, to provide music programming for older prisoners and is currently involved in managing a Research project, ‘Musical Pathways’, with the University of the West of England (UWE), on how music builds confidence and identity in the Young Offender.  

Katharine Lane

Katharine Lane is Delivery Director at UK based arts organisation Superact, responsible for overseeing the delivery of a range of creative projects which use the arts in a variety of community settings, all with the aim of enhancing the lives of communities and individuals. Katharine manages Superact’s flagship project the Bandstand Marathon which in 2012 involved over 9,000 musicians and was the closing event of the London 2012 Festival. Katharine was elected as a committee member of the European Music Council’s Youth Committee in 2010 and was subsequently elected as its chair in 2012.

Annie Menter

Annie is director of the WOMAD Foundation where her responsibilities include strategic and artistic development, artist residencies and special projects. Previously a director of WOMAD Ltd she has worked in partnership with government bodies and institutions worldwide. Annie has been a key player in the field of music, arts and education for over twenty years, with research programmes and projects in many countries, Nigeria, India, Australia, S.Africa, Sri Lanka and S. Korea. Her Churchill Fellowship in Nigeria resulted in a touring exhibition of West African textiles with associated lectures and teaching resources for museums and galleries.  She was lecturer in ‘Art in Social Context’ at the University of the West of England and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  In 1986 she co-founded Vizability, a groundbreaking arts organisation in S.W. England bringing together artists working in the field of public arts and community empowerment.

Clara Norell

Clara is a construction engineer – educated in Sweden (Malmö University), as well as a civil engineer – educated at Cape Technikon Peninsula University (South Africa). She wrote her thesis “Minor Field Studies on regards to renewable energy and water system in South Africa” and has started her master on Sustainable Urban Management.Her record label “ILLEGYAL RECORDS” was awarded a scholarship from the Swedish Institute 2010 to do a tour in South Africa where Music was used as a tool for change.She has also run a cultural production company, “Clara Stjärna/Zion Distribution/Xpress Yourself!” for the last 10 years. Clara is the Director of the Institute of Sustainable Urban Development of Malmö.

Jordi Pascual

Jordi Pascual teaches cultural policies and management at the Open University of Catalonia, and is the international coordinator of Agenda 21 for culture. He has published books, articles and reports on international cultural relations, culture and sustainability, the Agenda 21 for culture and the governance of culture, which have been translated into more than 20 languages. He has been a member of the jury of the European Capital of Culture for 4 years, participating in the nomination of Istanbul, the Ruhr and Pécs for 2010, Turku and Tallinn for 2011, Kosice and Marseille for 2013 and Donostia - San Sebastián for 2016.

Ferdinand Richard

Ferdinand is Founder-Director of A.M.I., National Centre for the Development of Popular Musics. A.M.I. offers various training workshops, artists residences, festivals, and is an incubator for cultural micro-businesses, and collaborates internationally with Africa, Middle-East, Russia, Asia. Ferdinand is founder member of Friche de la Belle-de Mai – a cultural centre located in a former tobacco factory in Marseille. He is the Chairman of the Roberto Cimetta Fund, which supports mobility for artists and cultural operators in Mediterranean regions and a member of the Board of Culture Action Europe. Ferdinand is head of the experts panel of the UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity.

Kerr Robertson

As Projects Director for Civic Design, a multi-disciplinary practice within Glasgow City Council, Kerr has extensive experience of delivering projects of important physical and economic regeneration. Working mainly on the culture and sport portfolio he has been responsible for the delivery of 50 major capital projects. These range from city regeneration, economic development, healthy living, sport development, community benefit, social inclusion, and improved education and metropolitan standing. For example the many new generation of sports facilities produced by this in-house practice were key to Glasgow’s successful bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Kerr was also the lead architect for the development of 2 key cultural projects for the city – Glasgow City Halls to create a new home for the BBC SSO and the new extension to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, which also will be the HQ for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Katja Scheer

From 2000 to 2002 Katja was responsible for PR activities of B.A. ROCK (Federal Association of Music Initiatives) in Cologne. In Hamburg she worked as a freelancer for several organizations such as Women’s Music Center (Ladyfest Hamburg, “SISTARS** – Band Coaching for Girls, Nationwide” etc.) and Argument Publishing in Hamburg. In 2008 she became cultural manager for the Community Center Wilhelmsburg: Here Katja is responsible for literary and music projects, i.e. project management of the “Network for Music from the Elbe Islands” with events such as “ExTra! Exchange Traditions. Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg” and “48-hours-Wilhelmsburg. Sounds of a district”. Also, “Young, Turkish, Almanya. German-Turkish Literature Festival” and the event series “Globalkolorit. Transcultural Literature”. 

Ian Smith

Ian's background is as a musician, performing with the Scottish National Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and directing Scottish Brass. He moved to the UK Musician’s Union in 1993 and was appointed Head of Music at the Scottish Arts Council in 2005. He has been Portfolio Manager for Music and Intellectual Property Development at Creative Scotland since its creation in 2010.

Mauricio Velez

For the past 12 years Mauricio Velez has been creating educational programmes and delivering projects to all areas of the community, working with children with learning difficulties, in hospitals, homes for the elderly, main stream educational establishments and justice settings. His deep interest in the educational power of the arts in education has led to collaborations with with a variety of European organisations, working closely with the Womad foundation amongst others. He is currently the lead artist and music consultant for Superact, developing training programmes for musicians professionals and delivering SEPE: a qualification that delivers employability skills through music. 

Luigi Virgolin

Read a resume of his speach here!

Luigi Virgolin is a graduate in Science of Communication specialising in semiotics. For several years he worked at the library of the Cineteca di Bologna as a curator of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Archive and of the film critic and historian Vittorio Martinelli's Collection. A specialist in early cinema, Luigi collaborated as a member of the cultural direction of Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival, the most prestigious International Film Festival in Bologna focused on the history of cinema. Recently, he moved to the Economic Development and City Promotion Department of the Municipality of Bologna, where he is responsible for Bologna UNESCO Creative City of Music and for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.