Towards 2020

How tomorrow's musician leaders can solve today's audience challenges

Marshall Marcus
Suzanne van Els by Alex Schröder
  • event type:Classical:NEXT 15 conference
  • date:21 May 2015
  • time:15:00 - 15:45
  • city/area:Rotterdam
  • venue:De Doelen - Conference Room 1
  • country:Netherlands
  • event posted by:Piranha Arts

Chaired by:

Marshall Marcus (UK)
Chief executive, European Union Youth Orchestra; Chair, Sistema Europe


Suzanne Van Els (The Netherlands)
Head of classical music department, Koninklijk Conservatorium - Royal Conservatoire

Everyone with the interest of classical music at heart wants to grow classical music audiences. There are a number of ways that this can be successfully done, and whilst nobody owns the monopoly on all of them, the current session focuses on a couple of examples from one particular sphere: that of training tomorrow's musical leaders to find their own ways to engage with 21st century audiences.

You could call this playing the long game with audiences. This session is about scaling: asking the Classical:NEXT 2015 conference members not simply how do we grow new audiences, but how do we hit on models that are transferable and scaleable? The proposition is that in such a way we gather not only audiences but also funders, politicians and other influencers into a virtuous circle.

Welcome to the world of 'Towards 2020: Skilling Musicians and Engaging Audiences'.


Marshall Marcus:
Marshall Marcus is chief executive of the European Union Youth Orchestra and chair of Sistema Europe. His former roles include CEO and chair of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Head of Music at Southbank Centre. An Oxford and Cambridge graduate in philosophy and experimental psychology, he is an associate of the Royal College of Music and has performed in over 60 countries.

Susanne van Els:
Susanne van Els is head of classical music at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. She was one of Holland’s leading musicians for many years. Susanne played the Dutch premiere of Ligeti’s "Sonata for Solo Viola" for which she was awarded the Deutscher Schalplattenpreis and the Diapason d’Or de l’Année 2009.

Photo credit: Susanne van Els, by Alex Schröder