Artistic Director and CEO of Reykjavik Arts Festival
Vigdís is an experienced theatre director and workshop facilitator, both in her home country Iceland and globally. She has directed performances at the National Theatre of Iceland and with numerous independent theatre companies. She was Head of Education at the National Theatre of Iceland between 2002-2011, and Adjunct and later Programme Director for MA studies in Theatre Education at the Iceland Academy of the Arts between 2002-2016. She is the founder of Þjóðleikur – The National Youth Theatre festival in Iceland, which she led from 2008 until 2017.
Vigdís was elected to the executive committee of ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) in 2011 and was Vice President of the association between 2014-2017. She was Chairperson of ASSITEJ Iceland for many years and Artistic Director of UNGI festival in Reykjavík during 2013-2016.
She holds a BA honours degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from the University of Kent (UK) and a Post.grad. diploma in Teaching Studies for Higher Education from the University of Iceland.
Programme Director of Aarhus 2017: European Capital of Culture
Juliana Engberg is an award winning and internationally recognised curator, cultural producer and writer. She has a reputation for creating ground breaking, compelling and engaging multi-form festivals, visual arts projects, commissions, events and public engagement programs. Her exhibition TEMPEST at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery won the best exhibition in Australia award for 2016.
Before joining Aarhus 2017 she has taken the roles of Artistic Director for the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; Artistic Director of the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire; Visual Arts Curator for the Edinburgh, Adelaide and Melbourne Festivals; Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Biennial: Signs of Life; Senior Curator at the Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; Artistic Director of the Adelaide Biennial: All This And Heaven Too; and has been guest curator of various exhibitions at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Spike Island Bristol, CCA Glasgow, and more.
Juliana is known for her authentic engagement and approach with artists, organisations, governments and corporations. Her work is valued for its understanding of site, context, history and the legacies that are produced from bringing these opportunities into play with art and events that captivate and inspire a public.
Her more than 30-year career as a curator at the international and national level has enabled her to develop a knowledge and network of artists, colleagues, associates and aligned professionals to ensure the best outcomes for projects. Her connections, experience and history with many of the world’s leading artists is exceptional and impeccable, and provides the opportunity to create world class commissions.
Head of Marketing and Innovation of Festivals Edinburgh
Born and raised in Ireland, James travelled to his first festival at the age of four with his family of nine in an old Morris Minor car, leaving him with a love of festivals and a dislike of car travel. He joined Festivals Edinburgh as their first Head of Innovation and Marketing following senior management roles with a number of organisations including Salisbury International Festival, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Arts Council England where he had lead responsibility for regional funding programmes of £25m. His interest in festivals as a key element of the cultural infrastructure has led him to develop various festival policies and international festival partnerships including the European Festival Research Programme. In his current role with Festivals Edinburgh, a uniquely collaborative organisation, he works to sustain and develop the position of Edinburgh as a world leading festival city—which now sees the Festivals host each year over 25,000 world class artists, more than 1000 accredited media and audiences of 4.5m while generating £313 million for the Scottish economy. James is also a Trustee of the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and sits on the board of New Media Scotland.
Head of Culture of Creative Europe Desk Denmark
Bradley Allen has been the head of culture for the Creative Europe-programme in Denmark. His focus there has been to help Danish project managers with developing their skills in applying for funding within the programme and partnering them with other partners abroad. Before this position Bradley worked for 10 years as the manager of the music-theatre company Hotel Pro Forma. From 1 December 2017 he will be the administrative manager of the theatres in Tivoli.
Executive Director of Finland Festivals
On graduating from university with a MA degree in world literature and musicology and completing his training in classical guitar at the conservatoire, Kai Amberla spent a few years teaching. Still a student, he contributed articles on music, literature and culture in general to various newspapers and cultural journals. So it was no surprise when, in 1989, he gave up "working as a honest musician" in favour of journalism at Finland's only professional classical music magazine - Rondo. Only a year later he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, retaining the job 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 at 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.
Director of PLMF Arts Management Ltd / Coordinator of NBFP
Leelo has worked in classical music and the arts for over a decade managing artists' careers, inaugurating and running different festivals and international projects through PLMF Music Trust* (Member of the Board) and PLMF Arts Management Ltd. (Founder and CEO since 2013). She was a member of the Board of the Estonian Music Festivals Association from 2011-2016 and is in the steering groups for the NordicBaltic Festival Platform (NBFP) and many other arts initiatives.
Leelo grew up in Tallinn, Helsinki and London, holds a degree in Social Sciences/Government Administration from Tallinn University. She has given lectures about music export at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre as well as annually moderated panel discussions and spoken at the Tallinn Music Week and other industry conferences, such as those of the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) and the International Artist Managers Association (IAMA). Since September 2015 Leelo is steering the Classical Music Committee for the International Music Managers Forum (IMMF) to increase the dialogue across music genres.
Other initiatives that Leelo is currently steering include the creation of a global platform for associations/umbrella organisations in Arts & Entertainment, establishing the Mexican Arts Presenters Association and launching a network specifically for managers/agents of opera singers.
*PLMF Music Trust organises around 300 concerts (including 4 festivals) in Estonia annually as well as many collaborative projects around Europe. It is the biggest and strongest private NGO working in music in Estonia.
President of the Lithuanian Jazz Federation
Head of PR of the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society
For the past ten years Julijus Grickevičius has been building his path towards research of modern marketing and PR language for classical music and jazz. Currently Julius works for the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society as the Head of PR. A recent and ambitious project developed with the Lithuanian National Philharmonic – Digital Concert Hall, is a milestone of classical music communication in Lithuania.
Additionally, since 2017, Julijus is the president of the Lithuanian Jazz Federation, cooperating with several jazz festivals including Nida Jazz, Broma Jazz festivals. He is the coordinator of the conference programme of one of the biggest festivals - Vilnius Mama Jazz. For the festival audience Julijus is known as the presenter and announcer of the concerts.
In the past Julijus has served the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, Kaunas big band, International contemporary dance festival „Aura“ just to name a few.
Director of Volunteer Programs, Stace Employment Agency of Latvia
Artistic Director of youth choir BALSIS
Since 2011, Ints has been actively involved in the formation and organisation of volunteering in Riga and Latvia. As the founder of the volunteer programme in Riga in 2014 (European Capital of Culture), he has attracted to the program, and been actively involved with, more than 4,000 volunteers in the cultural field. Ints has been active in the shaping and introduction of laws relating to volunteering (effective from 1 January 2016) and has been central to the establishment of annual awards recognising the contribution of volunteers in Latvia (from 2014). At present, he is steering the creation of an electronic coordination system / database for volunteers in Latvia. Along with responsibilities associated with volunteering, he is one of the most recognisable and successful conductors in Latvia, organiser of many music festivals and mega concerts (the Early Music Festival, the Great Music Award, Song Celebrations etc.).
Director of Harpa - Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavík, Iceland
Svanhildur has over twenty years of successful experience in the cultural sector in Iceland. In recent years, she has served as the Director of Culture and Tourism of Reykjavík; a department responsible for all the City’s cultural, artistic and tourist activities, including the operation of Reykjavík‘s cultural institutions and Visit Reykjavik, a marketing and events office for the greater Reykjavík area which she started. She headed the work leading up to Reykjavík becoming a UNESCO City of Literature, and the recent Reykjavík Music City Program. Svanhildur became the director of Harpa in spring 2017.
Svanhildur’ s background is in journalism and media and she is the author of two books. She has worked for the Reykjavík Arts Festival and Reykjavík European City of Culture. Other international projects include collaboration with Yoko Ono on IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Videy Island and promotion of Icelandic culture abroad through various channels and partners.
Helsingør Teater / Passage Festival
University lecturer and artist, Rita Sebestyén holds a PhD in the Aesthetics of performative spaces, publishing extensively in volumes of studies and academic journals. After leaving behind an award-winning dramaturge career of fifteen years in traditional theatres, in the last five years she has designed courses, performances and events to offer hands-on experience of the most intriguing philosophical, aesthetic and societal questions: cross-cultural encounters, otherness, and performative techniques to facilitate social inclusion. Intertwining her academic and artistic experience, she has worked out her own methodology based on participatory action research; a learning by doing process, a crossover genre between art and science, to create site- and community specific performative events.
Currently based in Denmark, she has been working with Helsingør Teater and Passage Festival in diverse artistic and research projects in the last two years.
Jens Frimann Hansen
Artistic Director of Helsingør Teater
Jens Frimann Hansen is both Artistic Director of Helsingør Teater and the street theatre festival Passage Festival which takes place annually in Helsingør (DK) and Helsingborg (SE).
Since 2009, he has been Artistic Advisor for a street theatre festival in England and has also been programming circus, street theatre and theatre in in- and outdoor venues in Helsingør.
Founder and Manager of the Drakamöllan Opera Festival
Head of his own Opera house, GuidOpera
Baryton, er uddannet fra Operaakademiet og debuterede på Det Kongelige Teater i1982. Han har sunget alle operaens ledende baryton partier og er en efterspurgt gæst i operahuse, koncertsale og ved festivaler i bl.a. Stockholm, Helsinki, Savonlinna, Dublin, New York, Houston, Tulsa, Washington DC, Philadelphia og Wien. Hans store repertoire omfatter også lieder, sange og et stort solorepertoire indenfor operaarier. Han har medvirket på adskillige cd og dvd indspilninger af operaopsætninger og har senest indspillet en cd; ”Carl Nielsen Salmer og Sange. Guido Paevatalu har etableret guidOpera, hvor han er operachef og kunstnerisk leder. Han er instruktør, scenograf og producent af ensemblets forestillinger La Traviata (2009), La Bohème (2010), Madame Butterfly (2011), Carmen (2012), Elskovsdrikken (2013) og Barberen i Sevilla (2014), Tosca (2015), Rigoletto (2016) Il Tabarro (2017) og Bajadser (2017) der turnerer i Danmark og Skandinavien. Han er tildelt Ridderkorset af 1. Grad af Dannebrogsordenen, og har modtaget Edith Brodersens Æreslegat og Holger Bruusgaards Legat.