Classeek Forum 2019
Innovation, Openness, Education
Supporting Young Talent
September 4 – Vevey, Switzerland

Join leaders in the music industry for a one-day immersive event focused on supporting young musicians as they embark on professional careers.


in partnership with

About the Classeek Forum

Classeek Forum is a unique opportunity for international classical music key decision makers and leaders to meet and collaborate by building bridges – because together we can join forces and find solutions to improve and keep classical music growing.

Our forum is featuring an inspirational program looking at current themes which will shape the industry of tomorrow.  Topics covered are talent discovery and characteristics of a successful career, nurturing young talent and surviving the transition and thriving as a professional and more… 

We are delighted to host our 2019 event in the frame of the Septembre Musical Festival at the Hotel au Lac in Vevey, Switzerland, a world-renowned area for its richness of Classical Music on the Leman Lake Riviera.
The landscape of classical music continues to change with the times, bringing new opportunities as well as threats. We seek to bring together industry leaders and key decision makers with the aim to keep classical music thriving. Montreux has a rich and storied music legacy. Now is an ideal time to look back at the history of the Montreux Festival, founded in 1946, and think about it as an inflection point to reflect on what the future of classical may hold. 

What will the classical music world look like in 2030?  With this year’s Forum we aim to create an inspiring spirit and creative interconnected space where decision makers can brainstorm and collaborate to help address the sustainability challenges we face globally. Themes of interest include a focus on: the continued importance of classical music, a focus on the rewards of a cultural education, new opportunities for funding, and new ways to foster excitement about this genre.  We also wish to discuss new opportunities available through new tools, and machine learning. AI can offer new ways to harvest and analyse ballooning datasets and apply this learning to improve the well-being of the field.

Mentorship is more important than ever in supporting careers. The Forum aims at being Classeek’s open platform and meeting point for young talents, its mentors and Ambassadors and Funders. A place where talented artists are at the heart and can express their stories, expose their projects, find answers to their needs, be noticed and scouted. We all know the tangible benefits of culture as part of an educated population, and that being exposed to classical music or learning an instrument improves creativity and learning outcomes as well as working well in a group and emotional intelligence, qualities ever in demand for the next generation.

A key to future success is a creative toolbox, a whole ‘set of innovation skills’ enhanced through music learning.  We believe that during the next decade classical music can play a key role in education and our society —it is crucial to insure the continued enjoyment and sustainability of classical music for present and future generations: but its ability to flourish depends on availability and access with curation in innovative ways that everyone can benefit and enjoy its many gifts.

Full Program

Sept. 4th, 2019
rue d’Italie 1, 1800 Vevey

Doors open

Welcome address

Session 1

Discovering  and Nurturing Very Young Musicians

Since Mozart’s arrival on the world stage, the public has been fascinated by extraordinarily gifted young musicians. What are the key challenges in guiding young talent and what are some common mistakes, pitfalls for parents and the industry to avoid? Which methods (competitions, technology) are most effective in identifying those artists who will make a life as performers?


  • Mischa Damev
    Migros Pourcent Culturel, Lausanne

  • Stephen McHolm
    Verbier Festival Academy, Lausanne

  • Benjamin Woodroffe
    World Federation of International Music Competitions, Geneva

  • Alasdair Tait
    Young Classical Artist Trust, London


  • Charlotte Gardner
    The Strad, Grammophone, London

Session 2

Surviving the Transition and Thriving as a Music Professional

Becoming a leading young musician in demand at the world’s top concert halls does not happen overnight. The road is paved with both opportunities and obstacles. Learn from seasoned professionals about what they consider to be the most important attributes for young artists seeking a top professional career. What do they really listen for and what information do they seek when making decisions about whom to sign?


  • Costa Pilavachi
    Consultant, Universal Music

  • R. Douglas Sheldon
    Former artist manager, Columbia Artists Management

  • Sonia Simmenauer
    Impresariat Simmenauer, Berlin


  • Jessica Lustig
    21C Media Group, NYC

Session 3

Music as a Means For Creativity and Innovation

Philanthropists and artist advocates are critical to a healthy and empathetic society. They seek to make our world a better place by providing tools and opportunity for creativity.  Music education leads to a more productive workforce where innovators flourish. Hear from those at the forefront of the field as they discuss their goals and methods in providing tools for these outcomes.


  • Dr. Donald Glowinski
    Fondation de Ribaupierre-Graz, Switzerland

  • Olga Litviniuk
    Patron of the conference, Lausanne

  • Frederik Paulsen
    Patron of the conference, Lausanne

  • Jason Price
    Tarisio Founder, London

  • Hélène Vareille
    ‍‍Fondation Vareille, Switzerland


  • Charlotte Gardner
    The Strad, Grammophone, London


Reflet-Théâtre de Vevey
50CHF – Open seating

Session 4

Meet the New Generation of Russian Artists

Join us for an enlightening discussion with the newest Gen Z laureates of the Nutcracker Competition.  Hear from 10 - 13 year old musicians violinist Daniil Bessonov,  pianists Alexandra Dovgan and Oxana Pislegina, saxophonist  Sofia Tyurina and oboist Timofei Yakhnov about their current concerns and  their dreams for the future, as well as their plans for the next few years.


  • Alexandra Conunova
    ‍‍Violinist, Lausanne

  • Irina Nikitina
    Musical Olympus Foundation

  • Щелкунчик (Nutcracker) Competition Laureates


Markus Wyler
Trans-Siberian Art Festival, Novosibirsk

Session 5

How Tastemakers and Impresarios Inform the Life of the City

Tastemakers and programmers are critical to fostering an exciting, evolving community for artists and audiences. They make decisions on both artists and repertoire.  Hear from those at the forefront of the field as they discuss their goals when programming at world’s leading concert halls. Learn how they decide on performance opportunities for young artists, bring new works to the public, and build new and diverse audiences for music.


  • Emmanuel Hondré
    Philharmonie de Paris

  • Roger Lämmli
    Zurich Opera

  • Markus Wyler
    Trans-Siberian Art Festival, Novosibirsk


  • Jessica Lustig
    21C Media Group, NYC

Closing remarks



rue d’Italie 1, 1800 Vevey
+41 21 925 06 22