Next to the Table Guests who will share their personal experiences and stories, there will be a moderator - or Table Host - at each table guiding the conversation.

Kai Amberla

On graduating from university with an MA degree in world literature and musicology and completing his training in classical guitar at the conservatoire, Kai Amberla (b. 1962) spent a few years teaching. In 1989 he gave up "working as an honest musician" in favor of journalism on Finland's only professional classical music magazine, Rondo, and remained its Editor-in-Chief until 1995, when he was invited to assume the post of Executive Director of the Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras. 

In 2002 Kai Amberla was appointed as Executive Director in the Finnish Music Information Centre (Fimic). In 2007 he decided to move on to become the Executive Director of Finland Festivals, a collaboration forum for Finland’s leading cultural events, with nearly one hundred affiliated events. Kai Amberla is also a consultant to a number of music foundations and organizations.

Kai Amberla

Banu Tuncag

Banu Tuncag was born in İstanbul on March 22, 1979. She got her degree on Stage and Art Design and works at one of Turkey’s most established arts, culture, music and entertainment companies, Pozitif since 2005. Pozitif is dedicated to creating authentic community experiences. Transforming the cultural landscape since 1989 through its events, venues, and media platforms, Pozitif runs the leading festivals in jazz, rock, alternative and multi-disciplinary experiences, as well as producing global scale stadium shows. Besides the legendary Babylon live music club, Pozitif also manages Volkswagen Arena, bomontiada culture campus, Alt art space, Kilimanjaro restaurant, record label Doublemoon and the progressive many festival such as Cappadox, Akbank Jazz Festival, Babylon Soundgarden, International D-Marin Classical Music Festival (from 2017 the festival will be named as Bodrum Music Festival). 

She is the Festival Director of two succeding festivals; Akbank Jazz Festival since 2009 and International D-Marin Classical Music Festival (from 2017 the festival will be named as Bodrum Music Festival) since 2015 of which she is is responsible for the artistic programming and the content management. She also has a leading role to maintain strong relations with local & international cultural collaborations. With her vision, she developed many novelties in these festivals throughout her directorship

Banu Tuncag

Sophie Tortladze

Founding General Manager of the Georgian International Arts Festival GIFT in Tbilisi in honor of Michael Tumanishvili. Chair of the Georgian-British Culture Platform. Currently collaborates closely with the Edinburgh Assembly Festival and with the International Board of Directors including Théâtre Des Bouffes Du Nord, Paris; “Radialsystem V”, Berlin, Germany;  Florence Intercity Festival , Anatoly Vasilev’s “School of Dramatic Art” , Dmitry Krymov Theatre Laboratory etc.

Sophie has held a number of prominent positions in the Georgian theatre sector including Head of International Affairs at the Rustaveli National Theatre of Georgia; UK-Caucasus Projects Coordinator at Stichting Caucasus Foundation; Organizer/Performing Arts Coordinator of the Caucasus International Culture Fair ICF; Director of International Relationships at Marjanishvili State Academic Drama Theatre.  From 2007 she was   representing the Royal National Theatre (UK) in Georgia and closely collaborated with the British Council Tbilisi. Last year became TED Speaker on Georgian Culture in Changing Times.

Sophie Tortladze

Philippe Toussaint

Philippe Toussaint has always been passionate about music. He is the President and creator of the festival « Septembre musical de l’Orne » (since 1983) in Normandy. He is also President of the Orchestre régional de Normandie. From 1999 to 2016, he was the President of France Festivals, a French federation of music festivals and of the performing art which represents 80 of the most important French festivals. Since 2016, he is a member of the board of directors of France Festivals in charge of European Affairs. Involved in the conservation of the World Heritage, he is one of the managing directors of the Fondation du Patrimoine since 2004, President of the association Vieilles Maisons Françaises since 2002, which works on the preservation of national heritage and gathers 20 000 members, President of the Fondation VMF since 2009 and a member of the Commission Supérieure des Monuments Historiques since 2011. 

In parallel, Philippe Toussaint leads an active career. Former student of the prestigious ENA school (1970-1972), Philippe Toussaint began his career as general auditor. In 1976, he joins the cabinet of Christian Bonnet (at the time Minister for Agriculture and then Interior Minister) as a technical Advisor. Afterward, he becomes Director, General Director and President of the board of directors of Crédit du Nord. In 1997, he joins PARIBAS as an Advisor to the Chairman and then joins AGF (Allianz group) in 1999 as President of the AGF Bank. Since 2006, he is company administrator. Philippe Toussaint is Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur, Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite and Chevalier de l'Ordre National des Arts et Lettres.

Philippe Toussaint

Filiz Eczacıbaşı Sarper

Filiz Eczacıbaşı Sarper, the President of Izmir Foundation for Culture, Arts and Education was born in Izmir. Graduate of American Collegiate Institute, she also graduated from the Institute of Choreology in London with master’s degree. She gained the title “A.I.Chor” with her work “Kurban”, a ballet by Sait Sökmen which she notated in Benesh Dance Notation. During her work at the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, Sarper presented Turkey three times at the World Meeting of Choreologists. She wrote many works such as “Walpurgis Night”, “Graduation Ball”, “Formation”, “The Miraculous Mandarin”, “Memories”, “Kavak Yeli”, “Balanchine Armağan”. She also produced ballets “Les Patineurs” and “Giselle”. Filiz Eczacıbaşı Sarper, being one of the founding members of IKSEV that was established in 1985, served as the Vice President during the period of Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı, the first Chairman of the Administrative Board. She was elected as the President in 1993. In the period she took the lead, the only festival that was being held by IKSEV was the International Izmir Festival. IKSEV, growing rapidly under the leadership of Sarper, started to organize Izmir European Jazz Festival in 1994. The same year IKSEV also started a National Composition Contest in the field of symphonic music in the memory of Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı. Young composers are encouraged and nearly 200 symphonic works were composed with this contest which is held biannually. The Foundation continues to influence the cultural and artistic life in Izmir by holding cultural congresses, exhibitions and masterclasses. A mansion in Alsancak dated back to the second half of 1830s was restored and Sarper founded MÜZİKSEV, the first music museum in Turkey. Around 400 traditional invaluable instruments Turkish instruments are exhibited in MÜZİKSEV. A sound archive and a music library became available for public. 

Filiz Eczacıbaşı Sarper, who has been working for IKSEV as a volunteer for 32 years, has been awarded many times for her contributions to the cultural and artistic life of Izmir. One of these awards is the Grand Service Medal presented by Ege University Senate in 2000. She obtained Grand Service Award by the Governor of Izmir in 2001 and Izmir Chamber of Commerce in 2002. With recognition of Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano on 26th May 2009, she was honored the title “Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity” due to her contributions to the culture and art of both countries. She was also awarded “The Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland” for her contributions to cultural and scientific cooperation between Turkey and Poland. 

Filiz Eczacıbaşı Sarper

Frans de Ruiter

Frans de Ruiter studied musicology at Utrecht University and harpsichord at the Conservatory of the Muzieklyceum Society. He was Director of the Holland Festival (1977-1985) and co-founder and director of the Holland Festival Early Music (1982-1994). He has occupied, and still occupies, many governmental and advisory positions, both national and international, a.o. at the Prins Bernhardfonds, at the Holland Festival, at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, at the The Netherlands Bach Society, at Kunsten ’92 (National Campaign for the Arts), at the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage, at the Association of European Conservatoires and at the European Festivals Association.

Frans de Ruiter was Director of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague (1985-2006) as well as President of the Board of the University of the Arts The Hague (Royal Conservatoire & Royal Academy of Art) (1990-2011).

Frans de Ruiter performed on harpsichord, clavichord, and keyboard, and as an actor and singer in ‘Flow my tears’, a musico-theatrical performance by the ‘Veenfabriek’, Leiden 2012 (director: Paul Koek).

He was President of the UNESCO associated International Music Council (Paris) (1997-2001 & 2009-2013) and is President of the European House for Culture (Brussels) since 2008. He was co-founder/director of docARTES, a cooperative doctoral programme in musical arts (2001-2016) and co-founder/director of PhDArts, a doctoral programme for fine arts and design.

Prof. Frans de Ruiter is currently Director of the Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (Faculty of Humanities).

Frans de Ruiter

Magdaléna Lišková

Magdaléna Lišková (1986, Czech) is a director of the Linhart Foundation, an independent, non-profit cultural organization founded in 1987, whose mission is to promote the freedom of artistic and opinion expressions by creating and supporting projects in cultural, social and environmental field. She is also a founder of the FoxArts International company, where she runs a number of international, national and European cutural and artistic projects. Magdaléna obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Theatre Management at the Theatre Faculty of the Janacek Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, where she currently also carries out her PhD distance learning research on Cultural Diplomacy and Culture in External Relations.

Between 2010 and 2016, Magdaléna lived in Brussels, where she was engaged with several European networks, such as ENCATC (European Network on Cultural Management and Policy), EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) and the European Youth Forum. Magdaléna is an expert on international cultural cooperation, cultural policy and management and also an IPMA certified project manager.Among her core publications can be listed “Who is Your Audience?: Practical Basis for Audience Development” (2013) andCultural Networks in the 21st Century: From Networking to Synergy” (2012).

Magdaléna Lišková

Elisso Bolkvadze

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in the family of poets and writers, Elisso Bolkvadze began her musical study at the early age of four and performed her first concert with orchestra at the age of seven. She’s a musician with numerous talents with an outstanding sensibility and brilliant virtuosity. A superstar in her country of birth, prize winner of many international piano world competitions, Elisso Bolkvadze was awarded with “The Medal of Georgian Government” – one of the most prestigious national honours. The Georgian artist has established herself as a vivid cultural heritage protector and became UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2015, in Paris. Bolkvadze is actively engaged in charity actions in order to help young talents and founded Charity Foundation “Lyra” in 2013, in her homeland Georgia. She recorded several albums for Sony BMG, Cascavelle and Audite Lable. Elisso Bolkvadze is actively engaged in cultural and human rights actions.

In 2013 she founded Batumi International Music Festival on the shore of the Black Sea. It’s an important cultural highlight in Georgia, where artists of different cultures gather to create musical excellence.  One of the main inspirations of the festival is to broaden the power of cultural dialogue, unify people around high values and become one of the important bridges of building peace around the world. For her outstanding contribution to the development of culture and personal commitment to cultural exchanges between France and Georgia, Elisso Bolkvadze received the distinction of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by French Republic.

Discover more details about Elisso Bolkvadze at www.elisso-bolkvadze.com

Elisso Bolkvadze

Hermann Schnitzer

I am President and founder of the Meraner Musikwochen/ Settimane Musicali Meranesi, since 1986. Our Festival is member of EFA since 1998 and we had the great honour to host the EFA General Assembly.

In Merano in spring 2010 and we hear that it was one of the best GA in the Long history. I have been a member of the board for the last 6 years and now standing for the election for Vice President.

From 17 to 23 November of this year our Festival will be hosting the Atelier for Young Festival Managers together with the Festival Academy of EFA, we have proposed a very interesting Programme and we are sure that it will be a great success.  As I have been for many years a professional in the Tourist Business (President of Tourist Board and Director of a big Travel Agency) it is obvious that also within EFA I try to give more visibility and importance to the cooperation between Festivals and Tourism Industry, pointing out that there are many Festivals which can only exist with a great number of tourists in the audience. All this aspects should be discussed and focused in the Meetings. 

Hermann Schnitzer


Joana Meneses Fernandes

Joana is co-founder of OPIUM, the first Portuguese company totally devoted to the creative industries sector. With a degree in Art and Heritage and a Master Degree in Cultural Heritage Management, Joana has specialized in projects that bring together art, heritage, tourism and community engagement.

Some of her consultancy work includes contributions has a co-author to the “Historic Center of Porto UNESCO World Heritage Site: Management Plan”, the “Macroeconomic Survey: Development of a cluster of Creative Industries in Northern Portugal" and “Mapping the Cultural and creative industries in Galicia and northern Portugal” amongst others.

Joana was General Project Coordinator of Manobras do Porto (2011-2012), a large cultural event that took place continuously for two years in the historic centre of Porto, and Festival do Norte, an event that celebrated the intangible cultural heritage in northern Portugal through contemporary artistic creation.

She is an invited researcher at CITAR (Centre for Research on Arts Science and Technology), Portuguese Catholic University - Regional Centre of Porto.

Joana Meneses Fernandes

Jovanka Višekruna Janković

Jovanka Višekruna Janković, a classical music pianist, started her professional carrier as a concert pianist and pedagogue at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, performing at numerous recitals at home and abroad, yet always finding the time to investing her unique energy in multidisciplinary cultural projects.

Driven by personal experience and a determination to help young artists achieve their professional goals, Jovanka founded the ArtLink Association in 2004, with a focused mission to support the creative work of young artists. As the Artistic and Managing Director of ArtLink, together with ArtLink’s partners, she initiated and completed numerous cultural projects of which the first was the Nordic – Balkan Youth Chamber Orchestra, while “The ArtLink Most Promising Young Artist in Serbia” annual award has grown into its second decade, and the international “ArtLink Young Talents’ Festival”, an EFFE Label recipient.

In 2013, in cooperation with Musical Mecenat of Societe Generale Serbia, Jovanka crafted and implement a tailored program for young, talented musicians called the “Music Cycle for Young Musicians”. Throughout the Cycle’s 4 years, over 200 young musicians had the opportunity to be trained by leading national and international mentors, and to perform as a part of this unique educational program. As an integral part of the Cycle, a new youth chamber orchestra – The ArtLink Young Virtuosi – has been created. ArtLink’s Young Virtuosi quickly became a cherished guest performer at many youth festivals throughout Serbia, with plans to begin performing internationally from 2017.

Jovanka Višekruna Janković is serving as President of the Serbian Festival Association and represents ArtLink as the Hub for Western Balkans in the European project “Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe”.

Jovanka Višekruna Janković

Zoran Veljanoski – Letra

Zoran  Veljanoski – Letra Studied photography at ESRA (University of Audiovisual Arts, European Film Academy, ESRA  Paris-Skopje-New York) and has a Master studies in Film & TV Production from the European Film Academy, ESRA  Paris-Skopje-New York). Amongst other things he was the Founder of  NIP(News and Publishing Company) LETRA and editor in chief of the one of  the first  private  jurnals in Macedonia : Lake News. He was an advisor for publishing activity to the Ambassador of Republic of Macedonia in France,  h.e. Mr.  Jordan  Plevnesh, founder and director of the publishing house DANTE, Gen. Secretary of the Ohrid Academy of Humanism,  Director of the Festival of French Film in Ohrid and Advisor to the Mayor of Ohrid for Culture and International Cooperation. 

In 2004 Zoran Veljanoski won the highest municipal award: Sv.Kliment Ohridski - patron of the city of Ohrid in the field of culture.  He has published more than 200 articles, catalogues, books and prints. He participated in numerous group exhibitions and contests and organized and curated numerous exhibitions. Zoran Veljanoski gives lectures in the field of photography, especially in the field of analogue photography. Photographer in the field of commercial photography – specialized in Byzantine art - Icons and Frescoes, Woodcarvings, Ethnological exhibits, Churches and Monasteries, Coins, Arts and Crafts. One example is the Photo monography: Three reflections of the view and Nostalgia in B&W frames.


Zoran Veljanoski – Letra

Davinia Galea

Davinia Galea is a Director at the ARC Research & Consultancy in Sliema, Malta. She has worked in the cultural sector for more than thirty years in various roles including musician, cultural event producer, policy maker, and CEO. In 2014 she set up ARC Research and Consultancy which is the Malta Hub for the European Festivals Association (EFA) project Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE). Davinia is an IGCAT Expert (Institute for Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) and a member of the Roberto Cimetta Fund Expert Committee that provides mobility and cultural development grants in the Euro-Med zone. Davinia has recently been appointed Director of Management with AP (Architecture Project), whose historical and technical research is at the core of concern with design, partnered with an inherent dedication to heritage. Davinia is a visiting lecturer at the School of Performing Arts at the University of Malta.

Davinia Galea (Photo: Amanda Hsu)

Jennifer Dautermann

Jennifer has been the Director of Classical:NEXT since its inception in 2011. She majored in classical music performance at Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Michigan and has sung professionally at the Michigan Opera Theater. After a short stint in NYC working in photography, she moved to Berlin and was part of the British Council's Arts Department for over seven years. In 2009, she initiated the C3 Festival (Club Contemporary Classical) which continues to this day and recently was granted funding through the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

Jennifer Dautermann (Photo by Michael Mann)

Anna Vondracek

Anna is coordinator of the Policy Department at the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (BOZAR). She coordinates the European and international policy of BOZAR in close collaboration with its CEO and the artistic departments. She has set up several European cultural collaborations, reflecting on the role of culture and the arts for the European project in particular and for society more in general.

Before joining BOZAR in 2013, she has worked at KEA European Affairs consultancy in Brussels.  Anna is Czech and German and has studied political sciences, with a focus on cultural policies and public policy evaluation at Sciences Po Paris. 

Anna Vondracek c Yves Gervais

Sona Hovhannisyan

Sona Hovhannisyan was born in Yerevan, Republic of Armenia in 1974. She is a co-founder and General Manager of Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival, which artistic high level made the Festival recognized in Europe and all over the world. Her name is linked to visits to Armenia of some of the top class musicians and orchestras of our days during the past 17 years, as well as for implementation of special projects featuring star names of classical, jazz and pop music. In 2003 Ms. Hovhannisyan had an internship on festival management with Eesti concert, Estonia. Before in 2000, she became a chosen participant for Arts Managers Placement program of Visiting Arts, London.  Mrs. Hovhannisyan graduated piano department of Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory. In 2001 she acted as a General Manager of the Festival’s Management of the State Commission to celebrate 1700th years of adoption of the Christianity as the state religion in Armenia. She was a founding member and editor of Vem classical music radio station in Yerevan. In 1994-1999 has been a music editor of the academic publication of treasure of Armenian sacred music from V-XVth cc “Sharakan”.  In 2004 she received title of honorary doctor from the International Academy of Sciences of Nature and Society, Armenian Branch. In 2014 Sona Hovhannisyan was awarded by Medal of Appreciation from the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan for her outstanding contribution to the music life of Armenia as well as success in international cooperation projects.

Sona Hovhannisyan


Jan Briers

Jan Briers was appointed in 2013 Governor of the province of East Flanders. Before he was the Managing Director of the Flanders Festival Brussels-Ghent. In 2010 he set up the Informal Summit Ghent, a yearly conference under the chairmanship of Herman Van Rompuy and Jacques Rogge, in partnership with Voka, Vlerick Business School, Flanders Investment and Trade, PMV, Unizo, universities, ports, etc. In 2009 Jan Briers he founded the Allegretto Festival Foundation with the purpose of lifting children out of isolation thanks to music and he founded with MET-X the children's choir Shanti!Shanti!, half composed of underprivileged children. It is now represented in Brussels, Antwerp and Mons. He was also behind the creation of international broadcasting festival MusMA (Music Masters on Air), a partnership of 8 festivals and 8 TV and radio channels in 8 European countries. In 2008 he was a founding member of AAPAF (Asian Association of Performing Arts Festivals) to bring Asiatic and European festivals closer to each other. In 2003 he founded FMIV, the Federation of Music Festivals in Flanders. His career in the Festival sector in Flanders also included being Managing Director of the OdeGand city festival in 2003 and in 2002 he planned the new KlaraFestival in Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges, which would grow into the largest classical music festival in Belgium. Before that he steered the organization of the Concertgebouw, the new concert hall in Bruges. During his vice-chairmanship of the European Festivals Association (EFA) he moved the headquarters of this umbrella organization of 1.500 festivals from Geneva to Ghent and he also carried out its complete reorganization. Jan Briers is also member of the Board of the Flanders Festival Ghent, the Flanders Festival Brussels, the Ghent International Film Festival and the association of people of East Flanders 'Club van de Oost-Vlamingen'

Jan Briers

Peter Eriksson

Peter Eriksson, musician, viola player and chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm. He is a member of the Concert Hall Foundation Board and has been a member of the Stockholm Concert Hall Programme Council for 25 years.

Peter Eriksson is the founder artistic director of Saxå Chamber Music Festival (founded in 1986). A festival of good national reputation. He is the President of the Association Sweden Festivals, which gained increasing importance in the Swedish cultural landscape. He, along with others, started and has been involved in the festival cooperation on the Nordic and Baltic region. Peter is a passionate chamber musician, seeing the importance that new music will be available and that young musicians get a good education and support. As such he is in charge of the Music school at the Immanuel Church in Stockholm. 2011 he was elected board member of the European Festivals Association, EFA.

In 2011, Peter Eriksson was awarded His Majesty the King's Royal Medal for recognition of eminent skills in the artistic field

Peter Eriksso



Colm Croffy

Colm is Executive Director of the Association of Irish Festivals and Events (AOIFE). He serves as a Board Member of the European Festivals Association and was a past Secretary of World International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) and currently serves as the Hon. Treasurer of International Festivals and Events – Europe.

Formerly Co-ordinator for Ballinasloe Fair and Festival - one of the largest festival and heritage events in the West of Ireland, he now is involved with The Rose of Tralee – one of Ireland’s longest running televised festivals based in Kerry in the South West, as a Senior Manager .

Colm started his career as an Arts Officer for the University of Limerick, went on to be the Director of the Mary from Dungloe Festival in Donegal and then the Chief Executive of Ballinasloe Chamber of Commerce. Since 2001 he has been a consultant specialising in media, marketing and event management.

His undergraduate bachelor of arts discipline was in European Studies at the University of Limerick and he holds post graduate qualifications with a professional diploma from the Irish Public Relations Academy in Event Management and A Postgraduate Applied Diploma in Festival and Event Management from the University of Napier, Edinburgh. He also holds a FETAC Trainer Diploma.

He was elected Chair of AOIFE in 2001 and subsequently took on executive roles leading to him becoming Operations Director in 2003 and Executive Director in May 2008.

He has been involved in the strategic growth of the Association as an all island network of community and some professional festival events.

AOIFE partners the Government and other stakeholders in developing world class festivals and events in Ireland. He was involved with the Irish Government‘s Task Force on the Tourism Industry and has been key in championing the role of the Festival and Cultural Events Sector within Irish Tourism, Arts and Community policies.

He also served on the board of the Voluntary Arts Network (V.A.N.) which supports voluntary participation in arts and cultural activities across the U.K. and Ireland. He serves as an Associate Director with the UK based Festival and Event Consultancy Firm Festivals Events International and is an Event Consultant with People and Places – a UK company specialising in Community Regeneration.

Croffy has spent over 25 years working in events and festival management crossing the educational, arts, business and cultural sectors and toured and lectured extensively in Irish, British and European Festival and Tourism industry circuits. He has been engaged by the International Network of Event Professionals, the British Arts Festivals Association, the Festivals of Wales, and the National Outdoor Events Association as well as participating in the Draft Working Party for a European Code of Safety and Practice.

He has been involved in Festival and Event Management Lecturing in China, Korea, US, Ireland , Scotland , Middle East, Holland and Spain over the past 3 years and was the Head External Examiner for the Graduate Degree Programme in Festivals and Events Management  with the Galway- Mayo Institute

He divides his time between the Secretariat in Ballinasloe, running a 360 Arts Venue, training and lecturing, and being a part time producer with the Rose of Tralee International Festival.

Colm Croffy

Allan Xenius Grig

Allan Xenius Grige is a Senior Consultant at Theatre Projects Consultants, one of the world's leading consultancies for theatres and concert halls. In his capacity as Senior Consultant, he conducts feasibility and market studies for new venues, and works closely with clients to set up efficient operations, programming strategies, audience development programmes, and help them manage strategic, political, and financial realities of their project. Theatre Projects has been consultants to venues such as The Esplanade (Singapore), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Oslo Opera House (Oslo), Quatar National Convention Centre (Quatar), City of Dreams (Macao), and many other. He is also a Lecturer at Copenhagen Business School at CBS Center for Tourism and Cultural Management: Festival & Event Management, Tourism & Hospitality, HR Management/Motivation, Experience Economy and Strategic Management). Allan Grige is chairman at IFEA Europe (founded in 1992), the European affiliate of the worldwide IFEA network. The association engages festival and event organisers, city cultural workers, university lecturers and researchers, and city tourism officials in the sharing of best practice in event and festival management. IFEA Europe holds seminars, conferences, workshops, lectures, and behind-the-scenes activities on a regular basis all across Europe.

Allan Xenius Grig

Jan Ove Hafstad

Jan Ove Hafstad is - since 2006 - the Director of Sweden Festivals, the Swedish national association counting nearly 50 member festivals.

He was born and educated in Norway. In his youth he was often engaged in voluntary work, from village build-up in Sri Lanka to anti-apartheid work in the Nordic countries. It took him to Stockholm where he worked nearly 10 years with SWAPO (the Namibian Liberation Movement) and the ANC throughout the Nordic area. After independence he was hired by the Namibian Government to establish their Embassy in Stockholm. Before getting into art and culture he also worked for a couple of years as a teacher in experimental Danish schools. 

In 1997, Jan Ove Hafstad founded and then managed the Läckö Castle Opera Festival for eight years. From 2000-2005 he was on the board of Sweden Festivals (named Swedish Music Festivals back then) and eventually become their Director. He was for three seasons engaged as the Production Planning Manager of the Drottningholm Opera Festival, and was during the Sweden Festivals years also hired to recruit freelance musicians into the employment scheme Musikalliansen. 

Jan Ove Hafstad was recently appointed the Vice President of MAIS (the Association of Organizers of Music in Sweden)

Jan Ove Hafstad

Kim Hart

With an early career in architectural and theatre design, Kim is a cultural administrator and researcher with over twelve years in depth knowledge of the creative sectors in the UK and Europe. With particular knowledge and experience of research, marketing and social media, membership services and delivery of cultural projects including conferences and training, Kim was employed by BAFA as part of its relaunch in 2006. In this time she has been responsible for the growth of the organisation to its current membership of over 300 and an extensive year round events series and is particularly proud of the success of BAFA’s new engagement programme with the university sector positioning BAFA as the bridge between the educators and the employers.

On 1 December 2019 BAFA will be 50 and this year Kim is leading the Spring Road Show ‘Big Conversation’ visiting every BAFA Member. These 121’s discussions focus on the individual festivals themselves as well as marking the launch of the ‘National Applause’ project to celebrate BAFA@50. Also key is beginning the debate that looks forward to the next 50 years.

At FEI, Kim is involved in a wide range of projects from national level festival evaluation, through to strategic cultural planning for local authorities. FEI’s work also extends overseas both with festival consultancy and for organisations such as the British Council in sharing festival expertise.

Kim is also a serial cultural volunteer; everything from running the bar at a local monthly ceilidh, to managing merchandise at a green-field summer festival, to manning a gate at a (very) muddy Glastonbury. A volunteer is typically the only person connected to a festival or cultural event that the public meet. Simply put, without volunteers, the cultural sector could not survive.

British Arts Festivals Association website | BAFA main Facebook page @BritArtsFests | Festivals & Events International website | #2017BAFA #festivalfriday

Kim Hart

Thomas Engel

Thomas Engel is Managing Director of the German Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). He studied theatre at Humboldt-University Berlin and got a PHD 1988. Over 10 years he was working as dramaturge at several East German city theatres. He was a member of several international juries, boards and committees.

Thomas Engel

Stefanie Poulton

Originally from the UK Stefanie has been living and working in Brussels for 8 years - as an assistant to an MEP at the European Parliament and more recently at the British Council and now EUNIC Global as Events and Administration Manager.  EUNIC - European Union National Institutes for Culture is Europe’s network of national cultural institutes, with 36 members from all 28 EU member states and offices in over 150 countries.  EUNIC members work in the arts, languages, youth, education, science, society, intercultural dialogue and development.  At local level, EUNIC members join together in over 100 clusters - in cities, regions and countries - to collaborate in common projects and programmes and to promote the role of culture in the EU’s internal and external relations. Stefanie has a keen interest in festivals and the arts and was a participant at the EFA training programme last year: Festival Production Management training, spending one module with the Holland Festival working on the production of the Syrian Orchestra and Damon Albarn.

Stefanie Poulton

Federico Rinaldi

Passionate by art, politics, cultural management, specialized in public relations, development and management of international projects, Federico Rinaldi works in the art field at Ghislierimusica, Pavia, Italia, since 7 years. He holds a master with honors in communication and journalism; he studied piano, cello and orchestra conducting; he speaks fluently 5 languages. In 2015 he took part in the EFA Atelier for young festival managers in Beirut.

Federico Rinaldi

Karolina Rugle

Karolina Rugle is Producer at the Croatian Composers’ Society, organiser of the Music Biennale Zagreb. Karolina is also managing the EFFE Hub in Croatia.

Karolina Rugle
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