INSPIRATION  CONNECTION  INNOVATION
17. April – 09. May 2021

Saturday 8th May - Guest Speakers

Making Change Happen

The 150 year old model of classical music was already almost broken before COVID19 hit. With the pandemic the music stopped. But how do you make change happen in a century-old music world? This will be the topic Vyla Rollins, Executive Director of the Leadership Institute at London Business School, and Krishna Thiagarajan,  CEO and President of Seattle Symphony, explore. A practitioner meets an academic.

Vyla Rollins

Vyla Lejeune Rollins is an award-winning Organisational Psychologist, who has worked as a Strategic Organisational Effectiveness consultant for over 30 years. Vyla is also a widely respected Executive Education practitioner, who has experience in design, delivery, learning facilitation and coaching for globally recognised business school degrees and Executive Education offerings.

She is renowned for combining her research, psychology, and business advisory skills in a way that develops leaders and organisations in concert by accelerating the execution of strategy and tackling organisations’ current business challenges. She is currently Executive Director of the London Business School Leadership Institute.

Vyla Rollins

Krishna Thiagarajan

Krishna Thiagarajan, DMA, is the CEO & President of the Seattle Symphony and Benaroya Hall. Prior to this role he served as the Executive Director of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in New York, and as CEO of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow. A strong believer in cross-cultural collaborations and diversifying voices in classical music, Thiagarajan currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Chineke! Foundation.

He also serves on the National Alliance for Audition Support Advisory Board, a Sphinx Organization-led alliance between the New World Symphony and League of American Orchestras.

Krishna Thiagarajan


Sunday 9th May - Round Table Discussion

Shaping the Future of a Sustainable Classical Music Industry

Fredrik Österling

Fredrik Österling is the Managing and Artistic Director of Helsingborg Concert Hall and Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. In a career spanning nearly three decades, he has worked as a composer and a manager and consultant in the classical music world. As an adviser at the Ministry of Culture, he was tasked with investigating the financing of Swedish orchestras. He has also produced major reports for the Swedish Arts Council and the Royal Swedish Opera. He has served as union secretary of the Swedish Musician’s Association, where he helped negotiate a national agreement for orchestras and regional music. Österling has also been CEO of Stockholm County Wind Symphony Orchestra and CEO of Musikaliska Concert Hall in Stockholm. He grew up in a multilingual environment in the northern Swedish town of Gällivare, where Meänkieli, North Sami and Swedish are spoken, and is himself of Sami descent. He lived for several years in Paris as a child and has maintained close ties with France. Married to the Irish Baroque musician Kate Hearne, he has also spent a lot of time in Ireland.

Markus Bruggaier

Markus Bruggaier has been a classical horn player at the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden since 1998. He played and taught with the “Polyphonia” chamber music ensemble of the German Symphony Orchestra in various countries around the world. Since 2001 he has been teaching successfully at the renowned Hanns Eisler University of Music and at the orchestra academy at the Staatskapelle Berlin and has given master classes in Italy, Slovenia, Japan and China. His students include numerous solo horn players and professors. Because leaving his children with a planet worth living in is a matter close to his heart, Markus Bruggaier founded the initiative “Orchester des Wandels” (Orchestra of Change) in 2009 as a board member together with colleagues of the Staatskapelle Berlin.

With their self-financed foundation “NaturTon” the musicians support various environmental and climate projects. Their most important project, an ebony project in Madagascar, serves to protect ebony wood used in the making of string instruments. For this purpose, they founded the association “Eben! Holz e.V” together with violin and bow makers in 2014, which over a hundred violin and bow makers have now joined.

In June 2020 he founded the association “Orchester des Wandels Deutschland” as a board member together with musicians from other orchestras, which has set itself the goal of making the orchestral landscape in Germany sustainable. Around twenty orchestras from all over Germany have now joined the initiative.

Sam Goldscheider

Sam Goldscheider has worked in classical music management for over a decade, since 2016 as the Orchestras Manager at the Verbier Festival. In 2019 he started the Green Project there, to work on ways of reducing the Festival’s negative impacts on the planet, and inspire its participants to make more environmentally-friendly decisions. Alongside his work at Verbier he set up in 2020 an industry-wide project, Harmonic Progression, to inspire more care for people and the planet in the classical music world.

Harmonic Progression gives people simple and meaningful ideas of what they can do to help, and organises campaigns so that more positive action takes place in our industry. It’s run by volunteers and anyone can get involved – the more the better 🙂

This panel discussion is curated and moderated by Sofia Livotov.

Events from previous weekends

Saturday 17th April - Guest Speaker


Making your mark: how to stand out from the crowd

Sarah Wedl-Wilson

Sarah Wedl-Wilson is the President of the Hanns Eisler Academy for Music in Berlin. She is also the Board Chair of the Salzburg Easter Festival, as well as the President of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. Before that she was the Artistic Director of Schloss Elmau in Germany, Managing Director of the Camerata Salzburg, and Vice-Rector of the Mozarteum Salzburg.


Sunday 18th April - Round Table Discussion

Breaking the Mould: Standing out and making a difference to a structured world

Dana Denis-Smith

Dana Denis-Smith is the CEO and founder of Obelisk Support, a legal services provider offering flexible legal solutions to FTSE100 and law firms delivered by highly-skilled legal freelancers. Obelisk Support was listed as one of the fastest-growing businesses in Europe in 2018 by the Financial Times and in 2020 was one of a handful of UK legal businesses to secure grant funding from Innovate UK. In 2014, she founded the First 100 Years to celebrate the first 100 years of women in the legal profession in the United Kingdom. As of 2020, the campaign is now replaced by the Next 100 Years, focusing on the future of the legal profession for women.

Nadine Benjamin

Nadine Benjamin is a creative empowerment thought leader who uses her art through singing, writing, composing, mentoring and coaching to create an impact on the world around us. Through her mentoring Nadine helps people step up from self-sabotage to self-mastery and really believe in themselves, whilst also making new work. In 2020 she made her Royal Opera House Main Stage debut as a soprano soloist in “New Dark Age” – a premiere by Anna Meridith, Missy Mazzoli and Anna Thorvaldsdottir.

Sholto Kynoch

Sholto Kynoch is a sought-after pianist specialising in song and chamber music. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the world-renowned Oxford Lieder Festival, which won a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2015, cited for its ‘breadth, depth and audacity’ of programming. Recent recitals have taken him to Wigmore Hall, Heidelberger Frühling in Germany, the Zeist International Lied Festival in Holland, the LIFE Victoria festival and Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Opéra de Lille, Kings Place in London, Opernhaus Zürich, Maison Symphonique de Montréal, and many other leading venues and festivals nationally and internationally. Sholto is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in the RAM Honours.

This panel discussion is curated and moderated by Danae Eleni.

Saturday 24th April - Guest Speaker

Change the Future

What if someone from the outside of the music world looks at it? What pops up? What have insiders overlooked? Meet Alex Osterwalder who has changed how executives think about strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship with his practical and very visual books and approach. In this keynote, Alex will take the approach he normally uses for large corporates and startups to the classical music world.

Alex Osterwalder

Dr. Alexander (Alex) Osterwalder is a leading author, entrepreneur, and in-demand speaker whose work has changed the way established companies do business and how new ventures get started. Ranked No. 4 of the top 50 management thinkers worldwide, Osterwalder also holds the Thinkers50 Strategy Award. He invented the Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition Canvas, and Business Portfolio Map together with Yves Pigneur – practical tools that are trusted by millions of business practitioners from leading global companies. His books include the international bestseller Business Model Generation, Value Proposition Design, Testing Business Ideas, The Invincible Company, and the newest one, High-Impact Tools for Teams.
Alex Osterwalder


Sunday 25th April - Round Table Discussion

Music! Future! Now!

Jenna Sherry

A musician deeply shaped by her roots in the bohemian city of New Orleans, violinist Jenna Sherry is currently based in London. A versatile chamber musician who also specializes in historical performance, Jenna has collaborated with Steven Isserlis, composers Unsuk Chin and Julian Anderson, and performed at venues including the Kennedy Center, Barbican Hall, and in the Aldeburgh Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, and the Salzburg Chamber Music Festival.

Myroslava Khomik

Praised for her sensitivity and depth of music interpretation, Dr. Myroslava Khomik enjoys a versatile career as a concert violinist, recording artist, educator and entrepreneur. A winner of the Remember Enescu and New Names of Ukraine competitions among others, as well as the New Artist of Argentina Award, she is one of the few artists in the US championing works by lesser known Ukrainian composers and also regularly collaborates on new music commissions and interdisciplinary projects. Currently based in Los Angeles, Myroslava frequently appears on soundtracks to film and television while maintaining an active and international performing and teaching schedule. She is one of the Artistic Team leaders of the nexTus Festival.

Rosalyn Aninyei

Rosalyn Aninyei, Founder/CEO of Vesta Orchestra and Opera Foundation is a violinist looking to create a world standard stage for the many talented performing arts professionals in Nigeria. Having lived in Vienna, Austria for over a decade, she was inspired by the vibrant musical culture of the city, and returned home to Lagos, Nigeria where she initiated the “African Classical Project”, in a bid to commission, curate, and perform music of mainly African Classical composers with the ultimate goal of a Lagos Opera House where these works would be showcased alongside remarkable European Opera. Rosalyn has put together a team of competent and experienced stakeholders to found the Lagos Opera House.

Sean Lee

A recipient of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Sean Lee has captured the attention of audiences worldwide with his lively performances of the classics. With performances described by the New York Times as “breathtakingly beautiful”, Lee is one of few violinists who dare to perform Niccolò Paganini’s 24 Caprices in concert, and his YouTube series, Paganini POV, continues to draw attention for its use of technology in sharing a unique perspective on violin playing. As a soloist, Lee has performed with orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony and Israel Camerata Jerusalem, and as a recitalist at the Tel Aviv Museum and Vienna’s Konzerthaus. Lee currently resides in the Capital Region of New York State, and also enjoys studying languages, chess, and photography.

This panel discussion is curated and moderated by Bernhard Kerres.

Saturday 1st May - Guest Speaker

Leading into the Future

Already before the pandemic there were more and more tendencies towards a technocratic society driven by algorithms, efficiency, and technology. Yuval Noah Harari, Ray Kurzweil, and others have described the chances the technological progress has for our world – but also the dangers. The other potential future relies more on a humanistic approach celebrating human creativity and unburdening society from routine tasks. But how does one decide as a leader which road to take? And then motivates people to take the same road? Can music play a role in that decision?

Bernhard Kerres

Bernhard Kerres is the founder of the BYOM Academy. He is a sought-after executive coach and keynote speaker based in Vienna, Austria. He was the first opera singer to become a C-level executive of multi-million Euro tech companies. And he was the only artistic director of a world-leading concert house to bring his startup to Silicon Valley. Bernhard coaches executives especially in tech and in consulting, as well as entrepreneurs, business owners, and classical musicians.


Sunday 2nd - Round Table Discussion

Creativity and Critical Thinking in Critical Times

Bill Barclay

Bill Barclay was director of music at Shakespeare’s Globe from 2012-2019 producing music for over 130 productions and 150 concerts. Original scores include Hamlet Globe-to-Globe to every country in the world, Emilia, Edward II, Romeo & Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Pericles and Comedy of Errors. A ‘personable polymath’ according to the London Times, he is an American director, composer, conductor, writer and producer, and currently artistic director of Concert Theatre Works. A passionate advocate for evolving the concert hall, Barclay has created works of ‘concert theatre’ for the LA Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and his original music has been performed in 197 countries, for President Obama, the British Royal Family, for the Olympic Torch, at the United Nations, in Buckingham Palace, and in refugee camps in Jordan and Calais.

David Skudlik

David Skudlik is the founder of David’s Dearest, a platform which aims to promote and curate classical music and connect it with other arts forms. He also works as a digital consultant and producer with some of today’s leading singers, instrumentalists and conductors. He co-founded an accessory label while still being in high school and then started an artist agency working with soloists and chamber music ensembles from the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic as well as with concert presenters all around the world. David graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural and Media Management from the University of Music and Theatre Studies in Hamburg and has been a proud member of the WEF Global Shapers and Sandbox for many years.

William Garfield Walker

Hailed as a “Modern Day Maestro”, William Garfield Walker is currently the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Nova Orchester Wien (NOW!)- Vienna’s newest professional orchestra. With NOW! Walker has performed for the G20 economic forum. In 2020 Walker was selected for the prestigious AAF Ansbacher/Farber Conducting fellowship of the Salzburg Fellowship. In March 2020 a Resolution “Commending the Musical Genius of Mr. WilliamGarfield Walker…” was passed by the Mississippi House of Representatives in a unanimous bipartisan vote. He is also a recipient of the Bruno Walter Memorial Conducting Scholarship. A versatile musician, Walker is also a composer published by the Universal Edition.

This panel discussion is curated and moderated by Myroslava Khomik.