In conversation with...

In the framework of the Arts Festivals Summit, EFA invited 25 prominent international personalities to have a talk with the participants in small groups. The 250 participants will be devided over 25 tables, each table host will inspire a conversation of 30 minutes around one table with the guest. After 30 minutes, the guest switches to another table. This rotation happens 5 times. Below you will find some of the 25 personalities.

Joanna Baker

Joanna has a particular interest in facilitating collaborative and partnership working and over the past 20 years has played a major role in helping to establish collaborative partnerships in Edinburgh and further afield, including Festivals Edinburgh, an organisation which represents Edinburgh’s 11 major Festivals and which she chaired for its first three years. She also helped to establish the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, a biennial event in August which is a partnership between the British Council, the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the Edinburgh International Festival and which brings Culture Ministers from around the world to Edinburgh.

Joanna’s career included the National Theatre London, the Welsh National Opera and Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet before she joined the Edinburgh International Festival in 1992 working alongside three different Festival Directors to help to maintain and develop its status as the world’s leading multi genre arts festival.

Joanna Baker

Tamar Brüggemann

Wonderfeel is a fairy tale” (de Volkskrant) and “Wonderfeel is unique in the world” (NRC Handelsblad) are but two of the descriptions of this outdoor festival for classical music, located in the woods in the centre of the Netherlands co-directed by Tamar Brüggemann. It is no wonder that Tamar Brüggemann is leading this “unusual” format of classical music festival, her career has been intimately linked to bringing Early Music to as many people possible. This she did when working in different departments for the Early Music Organization, famous for its Utrecht Early Music Festival, the world’s largest early music festival with more than 180 events in 10 days, and then again as managing director of Holland Baroque, a radically versatile baroque orchestra. 

With their 55 concerts per year Holland Baroque likes to explore other musical styles – jazz, folk, French chansons, klezmer, singer song writing – without losing sight of its baroque foundation and the experience it wants to establish for and together with the audience. 

Tamar Brüggemann shares her passion and vision also by serving in other organisations as, for instance, in the Board of the International Chamber Music Festival on the island Schiermonnikoog and as advisor for the Performing Arts Fund NL.

Tamar Brüggemann © Foppe Schut

Tom Creed

Tom Creed is a theatre and opera director based in Dublin. His work has been seen at all the major Irish theatres and festivals, but also across Europe and in the USA, Canada and Australia. He stages works by masters like Beckett, Britten and Handel as well as uncovering contemporary voices and developing new creations. Most recently his work has been presented at the Paris Opera, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and BAM in New York.

As a festival curator and consultant, and director of Cork Midsummer Festival from 2011 to 2013, he has focused on creating contexts for new emerging artists to develop ambitious projects, and for international artists to work with local communities on transformational site-specific and collaborative productions.

He is a committee member of the National Campaign for the Arts, Ireland’s grass-roots arts sector movement that makes the case for the arts in Ireland, ensures that the arts are on government agendas and are recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life. He was a member of the inaugural EFFE international jury in 2015.

Discover more details of Tom Creed’s work here.

Tom Creed

Patrick de Clerck

Patrick de Clerck directed the biggest music festivals and concert series in Belgium. At present he curates the New Horizons festival in the Mariinsky theatre, handles projects for major Russian companies in China, and sells innovative concepts to the emerging ambitious markets. Simultaneously he founded Music Projects For Brussels, with as ultimate goal to demonstrate that classical music can be relevant for a city, a society, a hood, if one wants it to be.  

Discover more details of Patrick de Clerck’s work at www.patrickdeclerck.com and www.mpfb.org.

Patrick de Clerck © Alexei Molchanovsky

Keti Dolidze

Wars, Politics and art have featured strongly in the life of perhaps Georgia’s most famous daughter, Keti Dolidze, who has been named as one of the century’s most courageous women for leading 2000 women between the front lines of her country’s civil war which followed the split from the Soviet Union.’ (Ian Johnston, Evening News, November 28, 1998)

Georgia’s leading dramatic figure Keti Dolidze, artistic director of the Tumanashvili Theatre and founder organiser and Artistic Director of the annual Gift Festival/Georgian International Arts Festival in Tbilisi in honour of Mikhail Tumanishvili, was born into the eminent and traditional Georgian family of Siko Dolidze. Her father was a famous Georgian cinema director, who made large contributions to the development of Georgian cinematography. Following in her father’s footsteps, Dolidze not only made a name for herself in the theatrical world, but also in the political world. 

Just prior to the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia gained independence, but two years of civil war followed over the breakaway region of Abkhazia. During this civil war, Dolidze led 2,000 women wearing white scarves to the front lines to stop the warring factions. To commemorate that event, in 1993 she created the Women’s International White Scarf Movement, a movement that now boasts women from over 38 countries who celebrate “White Scarf Day” annually on the last Sunday of September.

Keti Dolidze

Barbara Gessler

Born in Belgium in 1964 with German nationality, she lived and studied in Konstanz, Paris, Buenos Aires and later Bruges. Worked in the European Parliament for an MEP before joining the European Commission in 1994. Started in the Directorate General's Unit for Audiovisual Policy, then changed to Environment in 1996. From 1998 until 2003 she worked at the representation of the European Commission in Berlin. During her year of personal leave 2003-2004, she advised the umbrella organisation of German cultural organisations Deutscher Kulturrat on European affairs. She then became Head of the Regional Representation of the Commission in Bonn. In 2009, she returned to Brussels as Head of the Press Unit of the European Economic and Social Committee. From mid-2011 until 2016, she ran the Culture Unit at the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency which implements the EU's funding programmes in these areas. Since 2017 she is responsible for the culture sub-programme at Directorate General Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. 

Barbara Gessler

Ceyda Söderblom

Ceyda Söderblom is Co-founder and Director at MiklagardArts, a facilitator and connector between Finland and the overseas market to initiate transnational collaborations. As a self-engaged abstract thinker, Ceyda leads MiklagardArts’s development to achieve new artistic expression arising from creative clashes between cultures. Before settling in Helsinki, Ceyda has worked for more than 13 years as Festival Coordinator at the International Izmir Festival (a member of European Festivals Association) and Programmer at the Izmir European Jazz Festival (a member of European Jazz Network) in Turkey. Both festivals are flagship cultural events of the country, with high-level international visibility. In 2014, she was awarded the medal of “Bene Merito” by the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Poland.

Ceyda obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at the Faculty of Communication of Ege University, and her Executive Management Diploma at London College of Management; and is currently working on her research proposal for “participatory arts” at the Arts Management Master’s Degree Programme of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. 

Ceyda Söderblom

Fruzsina Szép

Fruzsina is festival director for Lollapalooza Berlin and Board member of Yourope, the European Festival Association. She was the program & artistic director of Sziget (HU) and was the funding director of the Hungarian Music Export Office and the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Brussels and also initiated CEETEP, the Central-Eastern European Talent Exchange Program that is part of ETEP, the European Talent Exchange Program. Her main goal is to build up and create festivals with a strong artistic and creative content and with a heart & soul to provide a long-lasting festival experience and positive feelings for the audience. Since many years Fruzsina is working on a well structured link between the Eastern and the Western European Festival market and the exchange of a high level of know-how and best practice between cultural and artistic workers in order to strengthen the mobility of artistic repertoire and the cultural and creative value of Festivals. She is a lecturer at Universities where she holds classes on art management, creative concept development and festival organization. Fruzsina was born in Budapest (H), grew up in Munich (DE) and started her professional career in the music and entertainment industry at the age of 18. Fruzsina holds following decorations: Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres – République Francaise | Honorary Associate Professor.

Fruzsina Szép

Haris Pašović

Haris Pašović, a multiple-awarded director, made his name in the late 80s with his landmark theatrical production in Belgrade of Wedekind’s “Spring’s Awakening”. When Sarajevo fell under the Siege, Pašović returned to the city. During this dramatic period, he directed plays and also created the first Sarajevo Film Festival themed as “Beyond the End of the World”.  Pašović also produced now legendary “Waiting for Godot”, directed by Susan Sontag. His shows played at the Edinburgh International Festival; Festival d’Avignon; UK City of Culture; Singapore Arts Festival; National Arts Festival of South Africa and many others. His feature documentary “Greta” about Greta Ferušić, a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp and the Siege of Sarajevo, was shown at the New York Jewish Film Festival at the Lincoln Centre and other festivals around the world. Pašović is a director of the East West Centre Sarajevo and teaches at several universities. Among other plays he directed “Hamlet”; “Faust”; “Class Enemy”; “Nora”; “Europe Today”; “Conquest of Happiness” and most recently his own plays “What Would You Give Your Life For?” and “Uncovering a Woman."

Haris Pašović

Mike van Graan

Currently a Richard von Weiszaecker fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, Mike is writing up the history of post-apartheid cultural policy development in South Africa (after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, he served as a Special Adviser to the first minister responsible for arts and culture). 

In 2011, he was appointed to UNESCO’s expert facility on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, where he still serves.

He was the founding Secretary General of Arterial Network, a Pan-African civil society network advancing Africa’s creative sector, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in March 2017.

He is an award-winning playwright, and is an Associate Professor in the University of Cape Town’s Drama Department.  

Mike van Graan

Paul Dujardin

Paul Dujardin is CEO and artistic director of the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels since 2002. Under his direction the Centre has turned into an internationally recognised, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary arts centre, offering a wide range of events, from concerts, to exhibitions, cinema, literature, theatre, dance performances or debates and workshops. BOZAR has become a true agora, a platform facilitating exchanges and debates between citizens, artists, political decision-makers, and personalities from other sectors. As a passionate advocate of the European project, Paul Dujardin enabled BOZAR to become an essential and indispensable actor both in the European cultural cooperation and in the defence of cultural values in the European project. Paul Dujardin is ambassador of the project "New Narrative for Europe", a pilot initiative of the European Parliament implemented with the European Commission to develop a new vision for Europe through the prisms of art and science. Paul Dujardin represents the Centre for Fine Arts of Brussels in various platforms, such as the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), the Réseau Européen de Musique Ancienne (R.E.M.A.) and ASEMUS – Asia-Europe Museum Network (since September 2010). Since 2013 he is President of the International Music Council (IMC). He is also a member of the board of the European Festivals Association (EFA) since February 2014.  From 1992 to 2002 Paul was the CEO of the Société Philharmonique de Bruxelles, prior to which he was, among others, in charge of the annual festival “Ars Musica” dedicated to contemporary music.  He studied arts history and archaeology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and detains a Master’s Degree in Management Sciences from the Vlaamse Economische Hogeschool (VLEKHO). In 2016 he received the Lobby Award 2016 “Brussels Leader of the Year” for his work in reenergising Brussels.

Paul Dujardin

Michael Haefliger

Michael Haefliger has been involved with major European festivals throughout his career, initially as an active performing artist and, since 1999, as the Executive and Artistic Director of LUCERNE FESTIVAL’s three annual festivals: the Easter Festival, the Summer Festival, and the Piano Festival. His career as a solo violinist included engagements in the early 1980s at such festivals as those in Lucerne, Interlaken, and Spoleto. In 1986 he co-founded the Young Artists in Concert Festival in Davos, where he served as director until 1998. From 1996 to 1998 he was moreover Artistic Director of the program of the Collegium Novum Zürich Festival.

Born in Berlin in 1961, Michael Haefliger began studying the violin and piano at the age of six; in 1983 he completed his violin studies at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree. He went on to study management at the Schools of Business, Law, and Social Sciences at St. Gallen University, earning an Executive MBA in 1999. In 2003 Haefliger received a scholarship (through the Harvard Club of Switzerland) to attend the General Manager Program at Harvard University. Haefliger serves as a board member on international organizations; in January 2000 he was named “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum in Davos. 2003 he also received the European Cultural Innovation Award, and, in 2007, the Tourism Award from the Lucerne Tourism Forum. In 2014 he garnered the Cultural Award of Central Switzerland and was additionally given the Badge of Honor of the City of Lucerne and the Swiss Society of New York Award.
Currently Haefliger is a board member of the Avenir Suisse Foundation, the Davos Festival Foundation, the UBS Cultural Foundation, and the Pierre Boulez Foundation. He serves as Chairman of the Jury for the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award. 

Michael Haefliger ©Marco Borggreve

Monique Veaute

Monique Veaute is chairman of Fondazione Romaeuropa and Romaeuropa Festival. All her life the thought that contemporary art is strictly connected with its presentation's locations has driven her and her vision. That is why a contemporary creation's Festival like REf sets in a city like Rome; the historical heritage, together with the memory of our western culture is omnipresent. Rome itself is an invitation for a sharp debate between the artists we invite and us. The Festival's deep connection with is home in Rome is the starting point of a European vision and inclusion. Since its very first days (over thirty years ago already), REf was born aiming at three specific targets: it was made to spread knowledge through artists' point of view, to share an experience with the audience and to raise a particular curiosity and attention towards the poetic complexity of our modern societies. If the Festival should be addressed as a person, it would probably be a polyhedric artist who presents itself as a musician, a dancer, an actor, an art performer affected by its past and birthplace with a natural tendency for a sharp look to the future.

Monique Veaute, together with a small group of other passionate, created the Romaeuropa Festival as a service to the public. Cultural events, in her opinion, are places of resistance. ReF hosts democracy, freedom of thoughts and fraternity through the voices and the acts of contemporary artists.

Monique Veaute

Péter Inkei

Péter Inkei is the Director of the Budapest Observatory: Regional Observatory on Culture in East-Central Europe. He has done consultancy in various fields of cultural policy, among others for the Council of Europe and the European Commission, is author of the Hungarian entry of the Compendium of cultural policies, and has been a speaker at various international conferences. Previously, he held various positions in the civil service, including deputy state secretary for culture. Péter Inkei has also worked in publishing – with Central European University Press – and was Founding Director of the Budapest International Book Festival in 1994.

Péter Inkei

Aukje Verhoog

Aukje Verhoog (1987) studied MA Theater Studies at Universiteit Utrecht [NL]. She has worked as a freelance dramaturg - a.o. for De Hollanders and GIESCHEand (in collaboration with Münchner Kammerspiele) - and as freelance curator for SPRING Festival in Utrecht and Theater Bellevue in Amsterdam. Currently she is the director of Amsterdam Fringe Festival.

Aukje Verhoog

Sophie Detremmerie

Sophie Detremmerie (1978) is the Managing Director of Flanders Festival Brussels. After 22 festival editions she knows how to smoothly run a festival. Last edition of the Klarafestival - the only broadcasting festival in Belgium - is just over, with more than 23.500 visitors live and millions throughout the radio all over Europe. Sophie converts a theme and concerts to a lively two weeks-event. Involving all different types of public, the ideal is to build bridges between humans. Her specialties lie in finding sponsorship in the most contemporary way, ask more from a team than what they are paid for, and have them back next edition, keeping people connected, but also running the overall organisational part of a festival, ticketing, finances, marketing, public relations, etc. 

The Klarafestival has a great tradition in co-operating with the private sector. Sophie has been fund raising for more than 15 years. She has seen the evolution of the sponsorship market towards cultural sponsorship delivering a true share of the marketing strategy of brands. Companies involved with the Flanders Festival Brussels include Proximus, Yakult, BNP Paribas Fortis, Mercedes-Benz, Siemens, Delta Lloyd, ING, KBC, the National Lottery, Japan Tobacco International, BMW etc. Sophie has published articles for the Flemish Management Association on Marketing and Classical Orchestras, and appears frequently in print and audiovisual media. She is also a member of the board of the Judging Committee for subsidies by the Flemish Government for cultural organisations, is member of the jury of the Belgian Sponsorship Awards and is running for Board member at EFA. She studied Communication Sciences, Culture Management and Management for the Non-profit and Social Sector in Leuven and Antwerp.

Sophie Detremmerie

Renato Quaglia

Renato Quaglia is a project Manager, Festival Director, Coordinator of Institutions and cultural projects, and a Professor of Economics of Culture.

From 1998 to 2007, Renato Quaglia has been Managing Director of the Venice Biennale for the Festivals of Theatre, Music, Dance, and the International Exhibitions of Visual Arts and Architecture.  Then, from 2008 to 2011 he has been the Director of the Napoli Teatro Festival Italia.

He currently is General Manager of the FOQUS Foundation (a project of urban regeneration in Naples), an OECD Analyst and Project Manager of the Future Forum in Udine. He is also consultant for cultural development projects for the Italian Southern Regions, as well as for international organizations. He is Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts des Lettres of the Republic of France.

Renato Quaglia

Razvan Popovici

Razvan was born in Bucharest into a family of musicians and started studying viola with his father, Mugur Popovici.  As a soloist he has appeared in the Théatre-dés-Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Cologne Philharmony, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Musashino Hall in Tokio, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna and at the Carnegie Hall in New York. As a chamber musician he has performed with Konstantin Lifschitz, Natalia Gutman, Alexander Lonquich, Rainer Kussmaul, Radovan Vlatkovic, Daishin Kashimoto and Gilles Apap at the Lucerne Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Schwetzinger Festspielen, Harrogate Festival, Ferrarra Musica, Boswil Sommer, Oxford Chamber Music Festival, Elverum Festspiele and Kobe International Music Festival as well as in renowned concert halls such as South Bank and Wigmore Hall in London, YMCA in Jerusalem or Prinzregententheater in Munich. Razvan perfrmed as an extra player with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and has been guest principal violist in many European orchestras, such as the Essen Philharmonics, the München, Köln and Kobe Chamber Orchestras and the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. Razvan is director of the Chiemgauer Musikfrühlinging Festival in Germany and SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest, Romania.

Razvan Popovici

Ibrahim Spahic

Ibrahim Spahic has been President and the organizer of the International Festival Sarajevo “Sarajevo Winter” since the foundation of the festival in 1984. Mr. Spahic has engaged in political, humanitarian, cultural and youth activities all his life. He is the current President of the International Peace Centre (IPC). He served as the initiator of the project “Sarajevo — European cultural centre” (1993-4), initiated and coordinated the Project “Sarajevo — First Intercultural Centre of Europe” (2003-4) and organised the first Intercultural Forum of the European Council (2003).  In 2001, Mr. Spahic was the President of the 10th Biennial of Young Artists of Europe and Mediterranean (BJCEM) and Founder of the International Association BJCEM. He chairs the European Organising Committee for the project “Link Diversity”, an awareness-raising campaign to promote multi-ethnic society and democratic citizenship in the South-East European region. Mr. Spahic is the author of numerous works on foreign policy, human rights, culture and art.

Ibrahim Spahic

Ong Keng Sen

Ong Keng Sen is the Festival Director of the all-new Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) he will direct the festival for the fourth time in 2017. He holds a Masters in Performance Studies (Intercultural Performance) from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and was also an Adjunct Professor with the National University of Singapore, where he started the theatre studies programme in 1992.

He is the first Singapore artist who received both the National Arts Council Young Artist Award (1992) and the Cultural Medallion (2003). Ong is a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded the prestigious Fukuoka Asian Arts and Culture Prize in 2010 for his work in Asian contemporary performance. His works have been presented to much acclaim all over the world including Lincoln Center in New York City, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, Edinburgh International Festival, Theater der Welt in Berlin (1999), Shakespeare Festival at Hamlet’s Castle in Denmark, Roma Europa Festival, Idans Festival 

Ong Keng Sen

Pablo Álvarez de Eulate

Pablo holds a degree in International Relations from the Universidad Complutense en Ciencias Políticas y Sociología (Complutense University in Political Science and Sociology). He has a postgraduate degree at the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales – Ministerio de la Presidencia (Center for Political and Constitutional Studies - Ministry of the Presidency), presenting his thesis on "Comparative cultural policies". 

He is a former student of the Master in Cultural Management: Music, Theater and Dance, attending his studies in the 3rd promotion. He has done his research work on "Cultural activity in National Heritage"

He is currently the coordinator of the Programming Department of Acción Cultural Española AC/E. In his professional activity he’s developing the Program of Internationalization of the Spanish Culture PICE, an AC/E incentive system to international programmers with the purpose of promoting the professional networks of the cultural management and the contracting of Spanish artists abroad. It facilitates international cultural agents’ access to knowledge of the activity of the producers and musical programmers in Spain.

Pablo Álvarez de Eulate

Jurriaan Cooiman

Born in the Netherlands in 1966, Jurriaan has lived in Switzerland since 1994. He has been the head of Performing Arts Services, a production agency that organises theatre and dance productions, tours, etc., and has worked in collaboration with, amongst others, the Od-theater, Circle X Arts, Sankai Juku, Werkbühne Berlin, Goetheanum Dornach. 1995-2002 He made festivals around contemporary music in context of the inspirational sources of composers such as: Sofia Gubaidulina, György Kurtag, Elena Firssowa, Toshio Hosokawa, Giya Kancheli, Valentin Silvestrov and Elmar Lampson. 

Jurriaan is the founder of the multi-disciplinary Festival CULTURESCAPES in 2003. Country focusses has been on the cultural landscapes of Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Estonia, Romania, Turkey, Azerbajzan, China, Israel, Moscow, Balkan, Tokyo, Island. 

In autumn 2017 is the first edition of CULTURESCAPES as Biennale and will be dedicated to Greece. 

In September 2004, he successfully graduated from the University of Basel having studied Cultural Management at post-graduate level. Since 2008 Jurriaan Cooiman is a member of the European Cultural Parliament. In 2011 he founded with some colleagues swissfestivals which he presided ever since. 

Jurriaan Cooiman

Veerle Simoens

Veerle Simoens is the artistic director of the Ghent Festival of Flanders, one of the oldest and most prominent festivals in Belgium.

She graduated from the Antwerp Conservatory, the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and the European Chamber Music Academy. She is a professionally trained cellist and made an impressive career as a soloist as well as a member of the SimoensTrio, with whom she has won numerous awards at international chamber music competitions. During her career as a cellist she founded the SimoensTrio Festival, a biennial series of themed concerts in enterprising and innovative venues. This saw the genesis of a new direction in her career—the management of organizations and events.

In 2010 she became General Manager of Casco Phil— The Chamber Orchestra of Belgium, one of the finest ensembles in the country, known today for its refreshing and versatile working practice in an ever-changing cultural environment. In 2014 Veerle Simoens was invited to become Artistic Programmer of the Ghent Festival of Flanders, leading the following year to her appointment as Artistic Director. Famous names such as Jan Briers (founder), Gerard Mortier and Serge Dorny went for her. As a leading figure in contemporary Flanders culture, she is responsible for over 180 performances in classical music, dance and world music during the annual festival in which 1,500 invited artists reach an audience of over 60,000 people. In September 2017 the Festival celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Veerle Simoens

Anita Debaere

Anita Debaere is Director of Pearle*-Live Performance Europe. This European sector federation counts, through its member associations, more than 10 000 organisations in the live performance sector across Europe. Anita Debaere represents Pearle* since more than ten years. Before joining Pearle* her career was in the classical music sector, with an intermission period where she worked in the external relations department of an energy company, including responsibilities on public affairs, sponsorship and patronage. Committed to create a sustainable environment for the live performance, she seeks to put specific concerns and issues forward which may impact the daily operations of a performing arts organisation. International touring and international relations are the thread running through her career.

Anita Debaere

Irene Rossi

Festival professional known for her work within Couleur Café Festival. 

Irene Rossi
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