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Erling Aksdal is Head of the Jazz Department, Department of Music, Faculty of Arts at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim Norway.

He is a jazz pianist with an international record and a composer of many styles of music, including contemporary chamber music and music for film and theatre. He is a member of the Board of the European Music Council, EMC.


James Alberts aka Jimblah is a producer/Dj/Mc. Growing up as a young Indigenous man in Australia, his music has given him the strength to rise above the negative stereotypes his people face daily. He is respected within his community as a mentor and a role model. He gives lectures on the positive aspects of hip hop culture in schools, jails and remote communities.


Gretchen Amussen, the Franco-American organist, has worked worldwide as Director of External Affairs and International Relations at the Paris Conservatoire of Music & Dance. She is currently Vice-President of the Association of European Conservatoires and has chaired numerous European working groups related to the Bologna process and the music profession.


José Luis Castiñeira de Dios is a composer, orchestra conductor, university professor, researcher, arts critic and recently film director. Born in Buenos Aires in 1977, he was forced to leave the country for political reasons in 1977 and came back in 1989. In 1994 he was elected as the first president of the Ibero - American Music Council (CIMUS). Since 2008 he has served as National Director of Fine Arts at the Secretary of Culture of Argentina.

Loulou Cherinet has been working as Project Leader for Selam international projects since 2005. Selam is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation based in Stockholm/Sweden and Addis Ababa/Ethiopia. Selam was funded by Teshome Wondimu in 1997.



Jeremy Cox is Chief Executive of the Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC). Prior to this, he had more than ten years’ experience as Dean of the Royal College of Music in London. Jeremy has been involved in European developments in higher music education since the start of the Bologna Process and was chief architect of the AEC’s ‘Polifonia’ Learning Outcomes.

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 and has served as IMC President from 1997-2001, before being elected again to this position in 2009.

Kate Declerck is Executive Director of the JMI Foundation, the charitable arm of Jeunesses Musicales International, the global youth music network operating in more than 50 countries worldwide. Kate has studied and worked in Amsterdam, Montreal, and London and is currently based in Brussels.

Dag Franzén is a musician (violinist), music educator and music executive. He was appointed Secretary-General of Jeunesses Musicales International 1994-2008 and is since then heading the Cultural Development NGO Music Crossroads International Barcelona, Spain. Among other achievements, he has initiated the Musik Direkt program in Sweden 1986, the Nordic Youth Orchestra (Orkester Norden) in 1993 and the Music Crossroads Southern Africa Program in 1996.



David J. Elliott is Professor and Director of Music Education at New York University. He is the author of Music Matters: A New Philosophy of Music Education, editor of Praxial Music Education, editor of Action, Criticism and Theory for Music Education, and founder of the International Journal of Community Music.



María del Carmen Gil has been the Chancellor of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music since 1998. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Piano Performance from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, State Maryland. She is the founder and President of the Latin American Association of Conservatories and Music Schools (ALCEM). Currently serves as a Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Liane Hentschke carried out her MA and PhD at the Institute of Education University of London, England. She serves currently as Head of International Affairs at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul - UFRGS – Porto Alegre RS, Brazil. She is also Professor of Music Education and served as Deputy Director of the Graduate Programme in Music of the UFRGS’s Institute.


Lee Higgins is the associate professor of music education at the Boston University School of Music. He is the senior editor of the International Journal of Community Music and past chair of ISME’s commission for Community Music Activity. As a community musician he has worked across the education sector, health settings, prison and probation service, youth and community, and orchestra outreach.


Diana Hopeson (formerly Diana Akiwumi) Vice President of GCI Int. Past President of Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Former Chairman for the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) Interim Management Board. Board member of National Theatre of Ghana. Steering Committee member of CISP. YWAM Ghana, DTS Performing Arts school Director 2004 - 2007. Grand medal for the National Honors Award 2007.


Louisa Jorge is a strong advocate for the poorest people of Hispaniola, conducting dozens of initiatives in the areas of health, education, community development, eco-tourism, micro businesses, alphabetization and alimentary security.  In recent years, Louisa added Music to her efforts, implementing the FILARMONIA Foundation and producing festivals and educational programs that touch thousands of families who have regained hope for the future.


Reem Kassem graduated from the German High Business Compartment School for Economy and Languages", then completed a BSc in Accounting from the English Faculty of Commerce. In 2003, she joined the Arts Center of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and is currently occupying the position of "Head of Performing Arts Programming Unit". She is also founder and Artistic Director of AGORA Arts & Culture Organization.


Taavi Kerikmäe (1976) is a pianist, improviser, electronic musician, composer and pedagogue. His passions are experimental music, free improvisation, music technology and electroacoustics. He has performed in many festivals in collaboration with numerous artists of contemporary, classical and jazz music. He works as a teacher of free improvisation and contemporary music at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.


Kevin Kleinman has been the International Director of Marketing at CBS Masterworks (today Sony Classical). He has also worked for Philips Classics, PolyGram Classique (France), Deutsche Grammophon Germany and PolyGram/Universal Music Classics (London). He gives lectures on music industry and arts management subjects at the Sorbonne University(Paris) since 1997, at the Estonian Academy of Music & Theatre and at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.


Timo Klemettinen studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Since 1999 he has been working as the Managing Director of the Association of Finnish Music Schools and since 2007 as Chairman of the Finnish Art School Association. He was one of the founders of the Finnish Music Council (since 2008 the Chairman). He is currently the Chairman of the European Music Council, and a member of the Boards of the International Music Council and the European Music School Union.

Juko-Mart Kõlar is an executive director for Music Export Estonia, a member of The Estonian Music Development Center initiative group and a lecturer at Estonian Business School, where he conducts a course on creative economy and music industry. He has graduated from the Sibelius Academy Arts Management Master's Degree Programme  and is a doctoral student in Management at Estonian Business School.


Rebecca Lee is a consultant, musician and educator, whose practice combines creative work with organisational development. She has delivered school and community projects, as well as producing her own sound art and performing. As a consultant, she has led the evaluation of several national and regional arts projects for clients including engage and LARC.


Hannele Letho is the Director of Arts and Cultural Heritage Division, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture Finland. Ph.D., Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki. She is Homo ludens: a researcher, semiotician, librarian and information scientist educated at the universities of Helsinki and Tampere, Finland. She has written several books and articles in various sectors of cultural policy.


Victoria Liedbergius has studied musicology and classical singing and is presently working for Oslo Music Council. She is the chairperson of the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat Youth Committee and during the last three years a board member of the International Federation for Choral Music. Victoria was a singer in the World Youth Choir between 2004 and 2007.


Marje Lohuaru (1949) is a professor of chamber music and the vice-rector for international relations at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. She is an active performer in chamber music ensembles and as an accompanist to singers. She is involved in numerous international cooperation programmes and is an academic expert evaluating higher education projects in Brussels.

Mary Luehrsen, the Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations in NAMM, leads policy and government relations efforts in music education and commerce for the music industry, and serves as executive director of the NAMM Foundation that supports music research and service programs.  Mary was a professional flutist and music educator.

Mothomoni Mapela-Mphatja is a professional Tourist Guide, Project Manager, Youth Development Practitioner, Performing Arts Trainer and Motivational Speaker. Has vast experiences, knowledges and skills in African cultures, music and dance. Mothomoni empowers young people in Arts through Choral and Dance workshops. He sings Tenor, directs a Youth Choir and a passionate Choral development Activist.


Elo Masing is a young Estonian composer-improviser currently based in London, UK. After obtaining a master's degree in composition from the Royal Academy of Music in London, she is now continuing her studies on the doctoral programme at the same institution, where she is exploring composer-performer-audience relationships in chamber music with special focus on collaboration, free improvisation and creating a holistic concert experience.

Robert McLaren (aka Robert Mshengu Kavanagh) is an arts educator, practitioner and wrtier in South Africa, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Co-founded of Zimbabean Arts Education Trust (CHIPAWO). Currently the Director of CHIPAWO World. Co-founded/Chair Theatre Arts Departments Addis Ababa, Zimbabwe. Publication on theatre and arts education. Laguages inclusind English, Lulu, Amharic.

Gary McPherson holds the Ormond Chair in Music and is Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music; Australia’s largest university music institution. He has served as President of the Australian and International Societies for Music Education and published over 100 articles and book chapters.


Josephine Mokwunyei, Associate Professor of Music-Theatre, University of Benin, Nigeria has published scholarly papers in local and international journals, including: British International Journal of Music Education, African Performance Review and Legon Journal of Humanities. She is currently Vice-President of the Pan African Society for Musical Arts Education (PASMAE) and Vice-President of the African Music Council (AMC).


Larry O’Farrell (Canada) is Professor and holder of the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning, Faculty of Education, Queen's University, Canada. Larry was the President of the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association (IDEA). He is currently Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Network for Arts and Learning and a member of the international advisory board of the World Alliance for Arts Education.


Gervais Hugues Ondaye is president of the Congolese Music Council and vice-president of the African Music Council. Currently he also is a consultant to the Congolese Minister of Tourism, consultant on socio-cultural affairs to the Mayor of Brazzaville, member of the executive committee of the Panafrican Music Festival (FESPAM) and works at the Arts Academy of Brazzaville. Culturally committed, he founded an international music festival called FEUX DE BRAZZA in 2005.

Christianne Orto, Associate Dean & Director, Recording & Distance Learning, Manhattan School of Music, has led the Conservatory's distance learning program since 1996.  The first such program at a major conservatory, the program has grown into an internationally-recognized distance learning program utilizing cutting-edge broadband instructional technology for music education and performance.


Burak Özgen works as an independent consultant, based in Brussels. He advises international music companies, trade and music organisations, including IMC, and local governments on copyright, European affairs and culture related matters. He is a PhD researcher at and holds an LL.M degree from Ghent University, and stayed as a visiting fellow at Columbia University.

Juan Parra Cancino is a composer, Guitarist and Computer performer. Founder of The Electronic Hammer a Computer and Percussion trio and Wiregriot, (voice & electronics), he collaborates regularly with Ensemble KLANG and Richard Craig, among many others. Currently a PhD candidate of Leiden University (NL) and a joint researcher at the Orpheus Research Centre in Music (ORCiM) focused on performance practice in Computer Music.

Kristel Pedak graduated from the Cultural Management MA programme at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2010. She works at the Estonian Choral Association as a programme coordinator. She is also a manager of the 2nd Tallinn International Piano Competition (2011) and a manager of Viimsi JazzPopFest for choirs.


Georges Poussin, a post-graduate in law and political sciences. In 1979, adviser of the French National Commission for UNESCO and Secretary-General in 1991. UNESCO Staff member since 1998, now Chief of the Cities and Creativity Section, Culture Sector. Themes: arts and creative industries notably music; cooperation with cities; arts education.


Brett Pyper is a South African festival manager, music researcher and academic. He holds Master’s degrees from Emory University New York University, and is currently writing a doctoral dissertation on contemporary jazz culture in South Africa. He was founding Chair of the South African Society for Research in Music. Since August 2007, he has been CEO of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (Absa KKNK).


Roger Press (London) is the founder and Managing Director of, a major online retailer of music and one of the main suppliers of content to libraries around the world. He is an expert in content management and development in this field and has a long background in the music industry, having held senior management positions at EMI International and PolyGram (today Universal Music).


Fred J. Rees is Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music and Arts Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.  His expertise is in distance learning and music technology. He holds a DMA from the University of Southern California and a BM in music eduation from SUNY-Potsdam.


Otto Romanowski (1952) has studied the theory of music, computer music and composing at the Sibelius Academy and musicology at the Helsinki University. Romanowski is one of the most notable Finnish authorities in computer music. Romanowski is a renowned lecturer in music technology and is currently employed as a researcher in the Department of Music Technology at the Sibelius Academy.

Matti Ruippo, Senior Lecturer, Music Technology, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), MMus, has led Degree Programme in Music, Music Technology since 2004. Besides technological topics he teaches music education technology and web based music teaching. Mr. Ruippo is currently pursuing doctoral studies in the field of music distance learning.


Aarne Saluveer is producer, educator, conductor, prize-winner in world top choir contests, President of Estonian Choral Association, Board member of IFCM, Estonian Music Council and Council of World Choir Games, founding member of the Estonian Society for Music Education and its first Chairman. Saluveer is the Artistic Director of the Estonian Song Celebrations an open-air concert uniting a joint choir of 20 000 singers.


Ahmad Sarmast, Founder of Afghanistan National Institute of Music, is an Afghan native and son of the pioneering musician Ustad Sarmast. He studied at Moscow State Conservatorium and received his PhD from Monash University (Australia) where he later joined as a Research Fellow. He has researched Afghan music since 1993, resulting in a landmark book on the subject.

Fredrik Schwenk (1960) graduated from Hochschule für Musik und Theater München (composition) and Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München (history of arts and musicology). He is currently a professor of music theory and composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. He is an active composer and an artistic director of Opus XXI, bilateral academy for contemporary music Lyon/Hamburg.


Husham Sharaf, 45 years old, is an Iraqi based in Jordan at present.  He works as director in the Arab Academy of Music and manager of Amman Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles at the National Music Conservatory of King Hussein Foundation. Furthermore, he is a clarinet faculty member at the same Conservatory. Mr. Sharaf, who holds a diploma in music (clarinet) and a bachelor's degree in mathematics, filled many music responsibilities before leaving Iraq in 2005.

Eugene Skeef (FRSA) is a musician/composer/educationalist. Key specialisms in cultural development, conflict resolution and creative leadership. Co-led literacy campaign across apartheid South Africa, runs UK based charity Umoya Creations, developed education programmes of major UK orchestras, shortlisted for PRS New Music Award (2010), artistic director of Quartet of Peace project.


Blasko Smilevski is currently Secretary General Jeunesses Musicales International, member of the Board of the IMC and member of the Board of Culture Action Europe. He has previously worked as International Officer for Jeunesses Musicales Macedonia, Youth Policy Advisor for the Macedonia Government and Consultant on youth policy and development for the World Bank. His work has allowed him to gain significant experience in working with young people in the design of local and national cultural and youth policies.

Kadri Tali is an Estonian music manager. She has studied Choral Conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. She is one of the founders and also the manager of Nordic Symphony Orchestra. Since 2011 also the General Manager of Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

Helena Tulve (1972) studied composition in Estonia and France. She is one of the most original talents in contemporary Estonian music. Her elaborate and rationally constructed works achieve exquisite expressiveness and emotional tension. Her works do attest to the richness and variety of her musical experiences and interests: French spectral music, IRCAM’s experimentalism, Saariaho and Scelsi, Gregorian chant, exotic melody-designs.

Olivier Urbain, Ph.D. is director of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research and founder of the Transcend: Art and Peace Network (T:AP). He is the editor of Music and Conflict Transformation (2008) and co-editor of Music and Solidarity (2011).  He is preparing a volume on music and freedom.

Wang Yaohua is currently a professor in Music Institute, Fujian Normal University, China. He is also the executive board member of Chinese Musicians Association, president of the Asia Pacific Society for Ethnomusicology. His research interest includes theory of Chinese traditional music, comparative study on music of Ryukyu and China, music education. He has published over 30 monographs and more than 100 academic papers.

Xie Jiaxing (PhD) is Professor and Director of the Music Research Institute of the China Conservatory. He is a board member of IMC and ISME, Director-General of the Chinese Music Education Society, and Standing Director of the Society for Music Aesthetics of China. He has published 7 monographs and over 100 papers.


Féthi Zghonda is Director of Music and General Secretary of the National Committee of Tunisian Music. He became vice-president of the IMC in 2009 and is also a member of the executive Council of the Afro-American Cultural Institute. Dedicating his career to the preservation of traditional Tunisian music as cultural heritage he was nominated artistic director of the “Rachidiya Orchestra”.


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