Christopher Alder has planned, negotiated and produced the recordings of many of the world's most famous classical musicians. His recordings have won scores of international awards and have featured on every worldwide classical best-seller chart. Christopher joined Deutsche Grammophon as a tape editor in 1980. Trained by the company initially as a recording engineer, he became a Recording Producer in 1986. Three years later, Christopher was also appointed Executive Producer and for the next two decades was unique at Deutsche Grammophon in combining both those roles. Over the course of his career at Deutsche Grammophon, Christopher has produced several hundred recordings, including all of Maurizio Pollini’s and virtually all of Claudio Abbado’s. He has also made countless solo albums with many of the world’s finest classical musicians. Since 2004 he has produced the recordings of the label’s best-selling artist, soprano Anna Netrebko. In recent years, Christopher has been working as a freelance producer. He continues to make albums at Deutsche Grammophon with Anna Netrebko, Martha Argerich and Maurizio Pollini among others. Christopher also records regularly with major artists from other labels such as Kent Nagano, Placido Domingo, Jonas Kaufmann, Vittorio Grigolo, Lang Lang, Yundi Li, Angela Gheorghiù, Aida Garafulina and Aleksandra Kurzak for SONY, DECCA and Warner as well as at numerous small labels, and privately by artists like Augustin Dumay, Thomas Hampson, Catherine Manoukian, Luca Pisaroni, Stefan Solyom, and Andrew von Oeyen, and by organisations such as the Orquestra Nacional de Espana and the Los Angeles Phílharmonic. He is much in demand for TV and video productions. As of 2017, Christopher’s total Grammy count is ten.
After studying at Trinity College of Music in London, Rebecca Allen began her career at the BBC where she worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and then the BBC Proms. She joined Universal Classics & Jazz in 1999 as Press Assistant, later rising to the role of Director of Media. She remained with the label after it was renamed Decca Records in 2009. Rebecca was promoted to General Manager in 2012, then to Managing Director in 2014 and then President in 2017, becoming the first woman to head up the label in its long and distinguished history. Since taking the helm, she has signed major artists including legendary film composer Ennio Morricone and Norwegian songstress Aurora. She has put UK country music in the spotlight with the success of The Shires, helped bring jazz to a wider audience with Gregory Porter and Melody Gardot, and has championed young classical stars such as Nicola Benedetti and Miloš Karadaglić. She continues to work closely with many high-profile artists including Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli, The Lumineers and Ludovico Einaudi. In 2016 Rebecca became an inductee of the Music Week Woman in Music Awards and Billboard’s Woman in Music Awards, and in 2017 Rebecca was named Music Week Businesswoman of the Year. Rebecca also sits on the Board of the prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.
Born in Denmark in 1970, Ole Bækhøj studied double bass in Aarhus (Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium) and Amsterdam (Conservatorium van Amsterdam), and later read Business Administration in Copenhagen (AVT Business School Copenhagen). In 2001, Ole became General Manager of the Gabrieli Consort & Players in London. During his time there he has secured CD recording agreements with Deutsche Grammophon for the Consort and Paul McCreesh, and artists such as Rolando Villazón, Magdalena Kožená and Mark Padmore. Between 2008 and 2012, he worked as Artistic and Executive Director of the DR Symfoni Orkestret, and was jointly responsible for the opening and profiling of the new concert hall in Copenhagen (DR Koncerthuset). Thereafter, he worked with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra as Chief Executive until 2015, working closely with artists such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding and Mitsuko Uchida. During his tenure, the orchestra celebrated international acclaim with projects such as ‘Beethoven Journey’ with Leif Ove Andsnes, and was especially distinguished for its educational project ‘Feel the Music’ for deaf and hearing-impaired children. In 2015, Ole was the first appointed director to the Pierre Boulez Saal, and began his engagement there in October of that year. Architect Frank Gehry designed the hall, and Yasuhisa Toyota was responsible for its acoustics. In addition, Ole is active on numerous competition panels including the Malko Konkurrencen and the String Quartet Competition of the Paris Philharmonic. He also acts as podium speaker for diverse conferences, such as the IAMA International Conference and Deutsche Konzerthauskonferenz.
Sarah Derbyshire MBE has played a key role in the arts and voluntary sector, working to ensure that high quality live performance is made accessible to all sectors of society; breaking down barriers and overcoming discrimination in the classical music sector and supporting the education and career development of young musicians. Sarah had a long association with Live Music Now, which she led for ten years as the UK Executive Director. This was followed by a period as the Managing Director of the National Children's Orchestras of Great Britain. In September 2015, Sarah launched a report on music education: Musical Routes: A New Landscape for Music Education, in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society. Sarah was appointed Chief Executive of Orchestras Live in 2016. This groundbreaking organisation puts into practice its belief that ‘orchestras are for everyone’. With orchestras, promoters and investing partners, it co-produces innovative solutions to audience development and creative engagement. Orchestras Live is an acknowledged sector leader and has particular expertise in working in culturally underserved communities and with people who face social or attitudinal barriers to engagement. Sarah is Chair of NYMAZ (the young people's music development charity for North Yorkshire) and a board member for Jazz North. She is also a trustee of the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust and on the Board of the University of York Music Press.
Moritz Eggert was born in 1965 in Heidelberg, Germany. As a composer he is comfortable shifting between many musical genres, consequently confusing and delighting both avant-garde and classical audiences. He is committed to changing the way in which contemporary music is approached. Moritz has often gathered media attention with unusual works like ‘I Accept the Terms and Conditions’, a commissioned piece for the 100th anniversary of the Goethe University Frankfurt in 2014. A large percentage of his oeuvre is composed for musical theatre. Moritz has written 14 operas, as well as several ballets and dance theatre pieces. He is also interested in chamber music, which ranges from being performative and experimental like his piano cycle ‘Haemmerklavier’, to being intimate and intense with his song cycle ‘Neue Dichter Lieben’. He has also written extensively for orchestras and large ensembles. As a pianist, singer, conductor and performer, Moritz has championed both modern and classical repertoire, and is also a sought-after accompanist and chamber music partner. For the Neue Musikzeitung he has created the ‘Bad Blog of Musick’, which is the most read contemporary music blog in Germany, while also writing extensively for various other print mediums. Moritz lives in Munich together with his wife, the author Andrea Heuser, his son Milo and daughter Siri.
Jasper Hope is Chief Executive of Dubai Opera, the city’s first purpose built multi-format performing arts theatre which opened on 31st August 2016 in the heart of Downtown Dubai. With an iconic dhow-shaped design rooted in Emirati heritage, Dubai Opera’s vision is to entertain and enrich Dubai’s residents and visitors by being the definitive destination for quality entertainment productions and performances. Dubai Opera’s stage hosts an incredible array of world-class talent, reflecting the dynamic and cosmopolitan population who live, work and visit Dubai. Prior to his role at Dubai Opera, Jasper held the position of Chief Operating Officer of the Royal Albert Hall in London. As one of the world’s leading cultural and entertainment destinations, Jasper was responsible for the implementation of all operational management criteria and the leadership of the day-to-day business of the RAH. Under his leadership, the prestigious venue achieved close to 400 events each year, making it one of the busiest and most successful venues in the world.
A true digital native and nomad, Bernhard Kerres has continually championed innovation in industry, whether that be a consultant to corporations, an executive in tech companies, or as a leader in the traditional world of classical music. Bernhard started his career as an opera singer, later becoming a strategy consultant as well as C-level executive of high tech companies. Before founding Hello Stage he was CEO and Artistic Director of the Wiener Konzerthaus. Bernhard has an MBA from the London Business School and was awarded the Austrian Cross for Science and Art and the Chilean Bernardo O'Higgins Order.
Matthias Röder is the Managing Director of the Karajan Institute and is responsible for the overall strategy and worldwide business development of the KARAJAN® brand and its associated products. Matthias joined the Karajan Institute in 2011 from Harvard University, where he was a member of the music faculty and received a PhD in musicology in 2010. At Harvard he founded the Digital Musicology Study Group (now at MIT) and worked on several music technology and digital learning projects with partners such as the Packard Humanities Institute and the American rock band Incubus. Prior to Harvard University, Matthias studied music at the renowned Mozarteum University in Salzburg.
Paul Smith is an innovative and creative performer, an inspirational educator and an empowering public speaker. As co-founder of vocal group VOCES8, author of ‘The VOCES8 Method’ and CEO of the VCM Foundation, he has enjoyed more than a decade of work including travel to prestigious concert venues, schools and universities across the world. Paul is passionate about the impact singing and the arts can have in the widest possible context, from academic improvement to social skills and building more cohesive communities. As an educator and public speaker, Paul has given speeches and created sessions on music and leadership, teamwork, music and creativity, health and wellbeing, and ‘The VOCES8 Method’, a guide designed to link specific music-making activities with academic improvement in numeracy, literacy and linguistics. In 2014, he gave a TEDx talk entitled ‘How can we use music to help us learn?’ Engagements at international conferences include the ACDA National and Regional conventions, Europa Cantta, the London Music Education Expo at the Barbican, Chor.com in Germany, the World Symposium of Singing in Budapest at the Liszt Music Academy, Singing Cities at BOZAR in Brussels, and at the Royal College of Music in London. Paul is delighted to be an ambassador for Edition Peters, as well as a board member of the 21st Century Musician programme at DePauw University, Indiana, and a trustee for the National Children's Choir of Great Britain.
Full biography coming soon
Ulf Werner was born in Bremerhaven. After studying the violin at Hochschule für Künste Bremen, he studied the violin and chamber music at the Universität der Künste (UdK), Berlin. He then went on to study music and theatre at Freie Universität Berlin, as well as cultural management at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Hamburg. During his time as an orchestral musician, he played with the Philharmonische Orchester Bremerhaven, Philharmonische Staatsorchester Bremen, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Symphonische Orchester Berlin, and Orchester der Berliner Kammeroper. He was the Project Manager for Ensemble Modern before becoming Managing Director of Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Orchestral Director of Bochumer Symphoniker, and Chief Manager of Ensemble Resonanz. In August 2006, he became Orchestral Manager of Konzerthaus Berlin, he then became the Orchestral Director in 2008, and additionally was appointed Programme Director in 2010. Between 2003-2005 he was a Presidium Member of Deutsche Musikrat and has been a Jury Member of Deutsche Dirigentenpreis since 2009.
Michelle Wright is Chief Executive of Cause4. She trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and played the violin professionally in the early stages of her career. A chartered marketer, manager and fundraiser, Michelle set up B-Corporation and social enterprise Cause4 in May 2009. She has since undertaken major strategic and business development projects, including campaign developments with a number of national charities and consultancy work for FTSE 100 brands, developing cultural sponsorship programmes. Michelle also specialises in philanthropy, having recently developed a number of major projects for charities and corporates, and has set up new philanthropic foundations for sports stars, artists and entrepreneurs. In 2015 Michelle was voted by Salt Magazine as one of the top five compassionate business leaders in the UK alongside names like Richard Branson. Cause4 was voted one of the top 50 scale-ups in the UK by Silicon Valley Comes to the UK in 2016.
Kathleen Alder was born in Hamburg and raised in a very musical household. In 2008, Kathleen founded her own PR agency WildKat PR in London. A second office opened in 2009 in Berlin and in 2013 she launched the third WildKat office in New York City. Before founding WildKat PR, Kathleen worked with El Sistema in Venezuela, at the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in Berlin, TVT Europe and Universal Music Group in London. In November 2011, she was awarded at PR Week’s prestigious “29 under 29�? ceremony. Kathleen has given several interviews about founding WildKat PR, including The Times in 2013. Since its founding, WildKat PR has worked with over 150 artists and organizations including Kings Place, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Gustavo Dudamel, the Bamberg Symphony and the creative agency Manners McDade. Besides running WildKat PR, Kathleen speaks regularly at conferences and debates, most recently the Influencer Conference in London and Berlin, at the MIDEM in France and at Classical:Next in Germany. In 2015, she created the fellowship Noted, which aims to offer financial support, industry opportunities and mentorship to up-and-coming talent in arts administration. In 2017, she won the Women Leadership Award by PANDA Berlin.