Speakers at the European Forum on Music 2017

Prof. Emily Achieng’ Akuno

Emily Achieng’ Akuno is a Professor of Music at the Technical University of Kenya. Trained as a performer-educator, Emily is actively involved in the music and music education scene in Kenya and internationally. She is currently working on a music for literacy development project. Her academic engagements and contributions include the development of many music curricula for Universities and middle level colleges, presentations at and facilitation of local and international conferences, seminars and workshops in music and arts education and practice. She is Treasurer of the International Music Council (IMC), a member of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), where she has served as a board Member, Interim Secretary General and Chair of the organisation’s Music in the School and Teacher Education Commission (MISTEC). She serves in the Steering Committee of INRAE.

Gretchen Amussen

Trained as a musician, the Franco-American Gretchen Amussen has served as Director for External Affairs and International Relations at the Paris Conservatoire since 1992, promoting the school through an extensive worldwide network of educational and cultural organizations. Active in numerous international networks, she is currently a member of the board of the European Music Council: in that capacity, she will participate in the webinar dedicated to entrepreneurship in music as part of the STAMP Project. Previously she served as Vice-President of the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC), and led AEC European thematic working groups dedicated to the implications of the Bologna Declaration for higher education in music (2001-04), the evolution of the musical profession in Europe (Polifonia 2004-07), and educating for entrepreneurship in music (Polifonia 2011-2014).

Dr. Anna Athanasopoulou

Dr. Anna Athanasopoulou (GR) is an EU official since 2002, with policy experience in culture and media, digital single market and external relations. She is currently Deputy Head of Unit at DG Education and Culture of the European Commission, responsible for the Creative Europe programme. Anna was previously Assistant to the Deputy Director-General at DG EAC, Member of Cabinet of the former European Commissioner for education and culture and Head of Sector at DG EAC responsible for external relations, copyright and competition. Prior to that, she served at the EU Council Office in Geneva with responsibilities in human rights and humanitarian affairs. Before joining the EU civil service, Anna worked as Adviser to the Minister of Culture in Greece and Director of Programme Planning for the 2004 Cultural Olympiad. In parallel, she lectured on History of Art and Cultural Management. Anna studied Archaeology and History of Art and holds a Master’s from the George Washington University and a Ph.D from the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Amitava Bhattacharya

Amitava Bhattacharya, based in Kolkata, India, an engineering graduate from IIT Kharagpur and Chevening–Gurukul Scholar in Leadership & Excellence from London School of Economics, is a social entrepreneur with 28 years of global experience, has formed banglanatak dot com in 2000, specializing in Culture and Development. His flagship initiative Art for Life (AFL), a unique development model using community culture is a live case study and has got accreditation from UNESCO, UNWTO and UN ECOSOC. Amitava has also started World Peace Music Festival, called Sufi Sutra and in 7 years time, the festival (new name: Sur Jahan) in both Kolkata and Goa has evolved as a Headliner festival. Amitava’s new creation, MusiCal, is aimed at encouraging music entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for urban youth and rural traditional folk musicians. Amitava’s passion is innovation, address developmental issues using culture and to work towards global peace using music and cultural tourism.

Nenad Bogdanovic

Nenad Bogdanovic is a Serbian-Cypriot cultural worker, activist and musician. He studied classical accordion at the National Music Academy of Ukraine. He holds an MA in Cultural Management from Northumbria University (UK). Between 2004 and 2013, he worked as Executive Director of Dance House Limassol, Cultural Movement of Limassol EPILOGI – Jeunesses Musicales Cyprus and Euro-Arab Youth Music Center. Since 2013, he is the Executive Director of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra Foundation, responsible for the management of the National Symphony Orchestra and the Youth Symphony Orchestra. The Foundation also manages the Cyprus Music Information Centre, the Pallas Theatre, as well as the Creative Europe Desk and the Europe for Citizens National Point. Nenad was a board member of EMC, JMI, Limassol Cultural Council and many local NGOs. He is a Cyprus representative in the experts’ working group on Creative and Cultural Industries, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, coordinated by the European Commission.

Dr. Christos Carras

Christos Carras was born in London in 1962. He studied Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and continued his postgraduate studies at Paris I-Sorbonne, where he successfully completed his doctoral thesis entitled “Aesthetic theory and musical composition after 1945: reflections on the conditions of criticism”. Upon coming to Greece in 1989 he worked for several years in the organic food and wine sector.
Since 2002 he has been actively involved with cultural management. From 2002 to 2005 he was the Project Director of MediMuses Network, a Euro-Mediterranean project funded by the European Commission. In 2006 he was appointed as General Director of the B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music.
Since October 2009 he has been the General Manager and Artistic Director for Music of the Onassis Cultural Centre, the dynamic hub for contemporary cultural expression in Athens, which was inaugurated in December 2010.
In May 2013 he was awarded the grade of Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

Jens Cording

Jens Cording is a certified music teacher; the violin was his first instrument. He has played in various orchestras and ensembles, and also worked as a teacher. He studied culture management at the University of Music and Theatre in Hamburg. During his studies he engaged in the marketing of cultural activities for senior citizens, planning events and time management. Since 1993 he was the Project Manager Music of the Siemens Arts Program. Within this framework Jens has conceptualized and realized projects and concerts in Europe, Asia and the USA. Since 2010 he is the Project Manager Culture of the newly founded Siemens Stiftung in Munich where he initiated the music information platform Music In Africa. In addition to his work with the Siemens Stiftung, Cording has also been a member of the executive committee and strategic board of the German Music Council, as chairperson of the Federal Panel of New Music Experts as well as member of the Advisory Committee of the German Federal Cultural Foundation since 2003. He also served as president of the German section of the Society for Contemporary Music between 2002 and 2011.

Stef Coninx

Stef Coninx joined the new founded Flanders Arts Institute in 2015 where he is responsible for classical music on national and international level. First an amateur singer & musician, he started his career in music and graduated as a musicologist. After a few years working as a music teacher and music programmer at several cultural institutions, he joined PolyGram (later Universal Music Group). As marketing manager classic & jazz he worked for worldclass labels such as Philips, Decca, Deutsche Gramophon, ECM, Verve & Impulse and their related artists. In his capacity of Managing Director of the Flanders Music Centre (2000-15) he participated in many international music conferences & events like Midem, Eurosonic, Waves Vienna, Reeperbahn, Eurosonic, Visa for Music, Womex, ISCM-World New Music Days,Classical Next etc. as a speaker, panelist or moderator. He has been active on the European and international music scene a.o. through key positions in music networks such as IAMIC, the European Music Office (EMO) and the IMC. As former Chairman of the EMC he is still actively involved in the process towards a European Agenda for Music.

Sir Paul J.R. Dujardin

Paul Dujardin has been the CEO and Artistic Director of the Centre for Fine Arts of Brussels (BOZAR) since 2002. Under his leadership, the Centre for Fine Arts has become an interdisciplinary cultural centre with a European and international scope. Today, the CFA offers a wide range of events, including concerts, exhibitions and debates as well as festivals and events linked to film, literature and theatre. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that BOZAR becomes an essential actor within the domain of international cultural exchange and a defender of the European cultural values. Since 2013, he is President of the Executive Board of the International Music Council (IMC) and since February 2014, he is a member of the Board of the European Festivals Association (EFA). Between 1992 and 2002 Paul was CEO of the Philharmonic Society of Brussels and later he was also responsible for the yearly festival Ars Musica, dedicated to contemporary music.

Ellada Evangelou

Ellada was born and raised in Cyprus. She has studied in Cyprus and the United States (English, Dramaturgy, Cultural Studies). She has worked (among others) with THOC, Theatro ENA, ARTos Foundation, UNDP, EU Task Force, Build Up/Build Peace Conference, Arcadia University, and University of Cyprus, as an educator, dramaturge, theatre director, workshop facilitator and independent consultant. She teaches theatre and dramaturgy in higher education in Cyprus and the USA. She is interested in the intersection of aRtivism and scholarship in post-colonial, post-conflict communities. She is currently a member of the Bi-communal Committee for Culture. She is co-founder and president of the board of Rooftop Theatre.

Silja Fischer

Silja Fischer was appointed Secretary General of the International Music Council in 2009, after having occupied various positions in the IMC Secretariat. In her current position, she is in charge of the day-to-day business, official representation, programme implementation, grant mobilisation as well as the relationship with UNESCO. Silja’ professional motto is “connecting people” and she dedicates a lot of her time to travel around the world to meet colleagues, to share and learn.

Dr. Kifah Fakhouri

Kifah Fakhouri is the General Secretary of the Arab Academy (League of Arab States) since 1997 to present and the Chair of the Board of the Euro Arab Youth Music Center (EAYMC) based in Limassol, Cyprus.  
Among his present academic responsibilities: teaching at the Faculty of Music, the University of the Holy Spirit – Kaslik and at the Faculty of Music and Musicology, Antonin University, both based in Lebanon. Retired at the end of September 2012, Fakhouri has been the Head of the Jordanian National Music Conservatory for 24 years. Furthermore, he was the President of the International Music Council from 2001-2005.
He is a researcher in the field of music education with a number of publications mostly in Arabic geared to develop the teaching of music in the schools of the Arab region.  His research work also includes papers, articles, and lectures in the field of music at different specialized music conferences and fora worldwide.
In addition, his music career witnessed his input as a composer and a conductor in both Lebanon and Jordan. He also served on different boards which dealt with Culture, Arts and Music. Kifah Fakhouri holds a Ph.D. and an MA in Music Education, a Teaching Diploma, and two Bachelor degrees one in Composition and Conducting, and another in Public Administration.

Sonja Greiner

Sonja Greiner is the Secretary General of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat and a member of the Board of the World Youth Choir Foundation.
With her German father and French mother, she spent several years of her childhood and youth in Peru and Ecuador, Latin-America, and thus learnt three languages at the same time. She later spent one year in United Kingdom (as Au Pair) and one year in Metz, France (as language assistant). After studying English, French and Spanish in Freiburg, Germany, and doing two years of teacher training, she first became the manager of the International Chamber-Choir Competition and the festival Musica Sacra International in Marktoberdorf (Germany) at the beginning of the 90ies. She later became deputy Secretary General and then Secretary General of Europa Cantat (European Choral Association – Europa Cantat since 2011). Sonja Greiner was a member and Treasurer of both the European and the International Music Council between 2000 and 2013 and was elected Honorary Member of the International Music Council in 2015.

Davide Grosso

Ethnomusicologist, five music rights activist with a strong background in journalism and media, he has carried out an extensive field research in Indonesia about music and society.
He joined the International Music Council in 2012 where he is in charge of programme implementation. He also curates the edition of the newsletter Music World News and the communication campaigns of the IMC. Since 2015 he is the project coordinator of the Rostrum+ project.
Outside the office he composes electronic music for a contemporary puppet theatre company and writes about music and politics for various magazines and blogs.

Ruth Jakobi

Ruth Jakobi studied Music, French and Education in Hamburg, Germany and Lyon, France, and has performed across Europe as a flautist.
In 2003, she was employed as Secretary General of the EMC. From 2006 until 2010 Ruth served as Board member of EFAH (European Forum for the Arts and Heritage – today Culture Action Europe). Between 2010 and 2016, Ruth stepped back from her function as Secretary General to mainly take care of her three little children.
During this time she continued working for the EMC on selected projects and she
also consulted international music projects as a freelancer.
Ruth resumed her activity as EMC Secretary General in October 2016 and is leading the EMC in dual leadership with Simone Dudt.

Nadia Karayianni

Nadia currently works as a Business Development Manager in IMH Communication Company. Prior to this, she worked as a Research Officer at the University of Cyprus and for three years as Project Manager at the NGO Support Centre, where she worked on the Cypriot Civil Society Strengthening Programme, and is a member of the NGO Working Group for Law Reform since 2007. She has been a volunteer in the Girl Guides Association of Cyprus for more than 20 years and served as an International Commissioner for the Association. She was Vice President of the Cyprus Youth Council from 2005-2007 and also part of the European Youth Committee for Health issues. She was the President of the NGDO Platform of Cyprus from 2008-2012. She is also vice president of the Cyprus Youth Board.

Rüdiger Klein

Rüdiger Klein was the Secretary General of Culture Action Europe until September 2017. He has ample experience in managing multilateral organisations within Europe and outside. Working out of Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, and Strasbourg as well as across the Middle East, he led portfolios that comprised policy dialogue, cross-sectoral knowledge co-creation programmes, and “research and foresight”. He helped build collaborative global exchange networks addressing societal and educational challenges. He has fulfilled advisory, monitoring and evaluation roles in Africa, Asia, the U.S. and Europe, be it for EU and UN agencies or for state and private funders and sponsors. Earlier, Rüdiger had been carrying out research missions across the Middle East and North Africa, Central and Southern Asia, including in the fields of cultural heritage, community engagement and education. He holds a PhD from the University of London, and has lectured in the Americas, across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. He volunteers in refugee support networks, sharing his time and experiences.

George Michael Klimis

George Michael Klimis B.Sc (Hons), PGDip.Sc, MBA, PhD, is currently Associate Professor at Panteion University Athens and adjunct professor at the Hellenic Open University, where he teaches Management and Marketing. He studied mathematics in Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, and moved to the UK to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Music Information Technology (City University, London). He earned his MBA from Cass Business School (former City University Business School, London). He was then offered a scholarship to study for a PhD at Cass Business School where he was also visting lecturer and Research Fellow. He has taught at the University of Athens, the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Peiraus and the national School of Public Administration among others. George M. Klimis has published extensively in academic journals such as the European Management Journal, British Journal Management, European Journal of Communication, New Media and Society and others. The paper “Increasing Returns and Social Contagion in Cultural Industries” he co-authored has been awarded the ‘’Most innovative paper’’ award by the British Academy of Management in 1998.

Henrik Melius

Henrik Melius is a Swedish musician, composer, songwriter and producer.
Henrik founded the international organization Spiritus Mundi in 2003.
Spiritus Mundi develops programs and methodologies using cultural arts as tools to create unique platforms for dialogue and fostering of cultural relations, participation and intercultural understanding.
The organisation has developed a variety of human rights based capacity building programs for youth and professionals internationally. Henrik is an avid speaker and lecturer on cultural diplomacy & International relations.

Kostas Moschos

Kostas Moschos studied musical theory and composition in Athens, electronic and computer music, music phenomenology, conducting and musicology in France and Germany. He followed several seminars with I. Xenakis, P. Boulez, St. Reich, and KH. Stockhausen, S. Celibidache. He has composed 65 pieces in several forms including music for the theatre, cinema, dance and interactive music installations. He worked on several studios and taught music and technology, and music pedagogy in several Universities and Music Academies.
Co-founder and director of the Institute for Research on Music & Acoustics (IEMA)-GMDC and involved on many research projects like Composers Work Catalogues, Reconstruction of Ancient Hydraulic Organ, Acoustics of Open Theatres, Distance Learning of Music, Interactive Music Installations, Specifications for the Digitization of Music, and Digital Music Archives. Co-ordinator of the 3 years EU project MINSTREL (MusIc Network Supporting Trans-national exchange and dissemination of music Resources at European Level). Member of several committees and groups such as: “MELINA project – Education and Culture”, Compilation of new curriculum for music in the schools, “Music Anthologies” for the schools, the “Digital School” project, the “Main Educators Training Project”. Member of the Hellenic Composers Union, the Electroacoustic Music Association, president of IAMIC, ex board member of EMC, General secretary of the Athens Museums Network. Nominated expert of UNESCO for the Cultural Diversity.

Merlijn Poolman

Merlijn Poolman is a musical programme manager at Simplon concert venue in the northern Dutch city of Groningen and has his own nightclub Subsonic, a place for open-minded electronic music lovers. With his foundation of Dutch Music Export founded in 2009, he helps Dutch artists in all musical ranges with their foreign endeavours from South-America to China. Between this, he is developing Subciety, a cultural social network that gives an overview of what is happening where and enables artists, venues, visitors and organisations to connect easier and more efficiently.

David Sanders

David Sanders is an American composer, musician, audio/sound design specialist and professor at Montclair State University. He teaches sound design for film and television, audio production, video production, and leads students on international video production projects.  
Sanders is director of the National Music Council of the United States, an umbrella organization of forty of the nation’s most prestigious music associations.

Christine Semba

Consultant, curator and networker, in the fields of Music and Culture, Christine has served as an expert for the EU and UNESCO. She currently leads WOMEX’s Consultancy & Special Projects department at Piranha Arts. Recent projects: music conventions Porto Musical,  Brazil; Atlantic Music Expo Cabo Verde; Sound of the Xity Beijing; Circulart Colombia and  Primera Linea in Havana. She is also the initiator of the project LusAfro for musical exchanges between lusophone Africa & Germany,. Christine joined WOMEX in 2000 and became a key member of its team, working as the director of Content & Programmes and the WOMEX production aspects in its host cities. From 2010 to 2012, she was the managing director of the professional music network Zone Franche in Paris, where she led the EU-funded ‘Africa – Caribbean - Pacific - Music Festivals Network’.

Olga Smetanová

Olga Smetanová, Secretary General of the International Society for Contemporary Music since 2016. Former Director of the Music Centre Slovakia, International Festival of Contemporary Music Melos-Ethos and Allegretto Žilina (1999 – 2015). Former President of IAMIC (2007 – 2013). Member of the Board of European Music Council (1997 -2002). She initiated many new projects in Slovakia, such as The Night of Music, Ludovít Rajter Award for young musicians, Melos-Ethos Ensemble, Year of Slovak Music 2006, Year of Eugen Suchon, Slovak booth at Midem, Classical: Next, Womex. She has run over 10.000 concerts and produced over 50 CDs and 80 books on music. As the International music curator, manager and promoter of contemporary music she participated in many international project such as Minstrel, Re: New Music, New Music New Audiences, DMET, Criss Cross Europe, and EUYO. Recently she initiated Central European Music Forum – CEMF, which aims at strengthening a network of Visegrad 4 countries in the field of contemporary classical music.

Ian Smith

Ian is the chairman of the European Music Council. Ian’s background is as a professional musician, performing with the Scottish National Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and the founder/director of Scottish Brass. He moved to the UK Musician’s Union in 1993 as Scottish Secretary and in 2005 was appointed Head of Music at the Scottish Arts Council. In 2010 Ian moved to a new organisation; Creative Scotland, where his responsibilities also included film and media. He retired from that post in July 2016. Ian was elected to the board of ISPA/International Society for the Performing Arts based in New York in 2016 and was this year appointed Treasurer and member of their executive board. In July Ian will also join the board of Cryptic based in Glasgow.

Dr. Elena Theodoulou-Charalambous

Dr. Elena Theodoulou-Charalambous holds a PhD in cultural policy and cultural governance. She worked as a TV, radio presenter and journalist on programmes related to cultural affairs.  Since 1999 she is working at the Cultural Department of the Ministry of Education and Culture and she is currently co-ordinator for European and International Cultural Affairs as well as for the Music Unit of the Ministry; she is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra.  She participates as a national expert in various European OMC working groups. She is Cyprus focal point at the Intergovernmental Committee for the UNESCO Convention (2005). Since 2007 she has been the national representative in the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Council of the EU, which she chaired in the second half of 2012 during the Cyprus EU Presidency.  She is a member of the Academic Council of the MA Programme on Cultural Policy and Cultural Development (Open University - Cyprus).  Her research interests can be summarised in the following: cultural governance, comparative cultural policy research, strategic cultural planning, orchestral management/music management, audience development, music education, culture and sustainable development.


Ramy Essam

In 2011 Ramy Essam exploded into international fame as the real voice of the Egyptian revolution. His songs spread like wildfire among the demonstrators, and during the height of the uprising Ramy performed in front of millions of people in the Tahrir Square. The songs became the soundtrack of a whole generation of young Egyptians´ struggle for a better future. His song ”Irhal”, in which he´s demanding the resignation of Mubarak, is referred to as the real anthem of the revolution.
But fame came at a heavy price with brutal torture and arrests to silence Ramy. Still, he came out even stronger and more determined to speak out against the oppression. ”In the revolution I was born again. The struggle became the purpose of my life.” In 2013 he was one of the main characters in ” The Square”, a highly celebrated documentary film about the Egyptian Revolution.
After being censored and more or less silenced by the Egyptian regime, he was in 2014 offered a safe haven residence in Malmö, Sweden. Once again having the chance to create and perform freely, he became determined to use the opportunity to spread his message around the world.
In 2016 Ramy returned to the international scene big time, with a string of singles releases that gained a lot of new audiences and attention. The song ”Segn Bel Alwan”, in which Ramy speaks about the oppression of women and gender equality, was a big hit. He toured extensively throughout the year in Sweden and internationally. He also performed in theatre shows in Sweden and Finland. In 2017 he follows it up with the new album ”Resala ela magles el amn” (A letter to the UN Security Council), produced by Andreas Unge. The album is a musical melting pot where the force of Kurt Cobain, the street cool of Joe Strummer, the crossover adventure of Rachid Taha and social criticism of Billy Bragg all come together in a musical journey straight outta Cairo. An album where heavy rock riffs join forces with infectious oriental beats and political street poetry demanding social justice, gender equality and human rights. The album is a megaphone of the streets that captures the hardships in ordinary people´s daily life as well as the dreams of a better future.
He remains to be one of the loudest voices for the young generation in Egypt and its struggle for a progressive and modern society, and has become an international symbol of social activism and a beacon of uncommon bravery in the Middle East. In 2011 he received the Freemuse Award, in 2016 he was titled ”IMC Music Rights Champion” and in 2017 he received the prestigious ”Spirit of Folk Award” at Folk Alliance International Conference.

Cyprus Chamber Orchestra

The idea of Cyprus Chamber Orchestra (CCO) was developed by Cypriot artists Natalie Neophytou and Nihat Agdac in London, where both were studying at the prestigious music institutes Royal Academy of Music & Guildhall School of Music and Drama. A proud recipient of the “Stelios Cyprus Bicommunal Award 2016” CCO aims for the highest level of music making in Cyprus by both Turkish and Greek Cypriot musicians. The orchestra has no conductor, which allows the musicians working as close as possible to each other for the sake of the ensemble, music and of course, partnership!
Cyprus Chamber Orchestra collaborated very recently with the Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra in Pafos during the Pafos 2017 events. On the 18th of June CCO will be performing at Bellapais Abbey, on the occasion of it’s Summer Concert and the World Refugee Day. CCO is hoping to perform all around the island as well as in Europe and overseas, promoting peace in Cyprus with the best thing in life: Music. Cyprus Chamber Orchestra is a non-profit organisation.

Andreas Rodosthenous Trio feat. Ermis Michail

Music is ever evolving. Even more with jazz music. So does the “Andreas Rodosthenous Trio”. Maybe there’s nothing that has never been done in music, but it’s the duty of every musician to experiment, create and evolve.  
The band was formed three years ago by the bassist Andreas Rodosthenous, with Stelios Xydias on the drums and Giorgos Morfitis on the piano. The trio is collaborating now with the great guitar player Ermis Michail to bring out a modern sound that involves the Mediterranean element. The band got invited to prestigious festivals like the EUNIC jazz festival in Berlin and Technopolis jazz festival in Athens. The repertoire consists of tunes from the albums “Simplicity” by Andreas Rodosthenous and “Minor Change” by Ermis Michail.

Music School of Pafos

Music School of Pafos established in 2012 at the Lyceum of Archbishop Makarios III Paphos. Except from the specialisation in instrument/voice the students participate in different groups according to their talent and interest.  One of these groups is the Ensemble of Traditional Music. It is one of the biggest ensembles of Music School since the students are interested a lot in traditional music. Last January they travelled to Aarhus in Denmark, the other European Capital of Europe for 2017 and they participated with great success in the opening ceremony of Aarhus2017. The Ensemble of Traditional Music was also invited to participate in the International Festival EUTOPIA2017 which is organised by the Municipality of Aarhus, in July 2017.  Recently they gave a concert at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, as well as many other concerts in our town and especially this year with the collaboration of Pafos2017.  Arranged and conducted by Socrates Terpizes.