News & Activities

Supporting ECHO Rising Stars

In mid June CFE convened workshops for next season’s ECHO Rising Stars to offer two days of training and professional development support to help them on the reflection, articulation and delivery of their artistic and social goals.
The two intensive days took place within the inspiring environment of the Philharmonie Luxembourg, looking ahead and supporting the artists in setting goals for the season ahead and working at how to proactively create the conditions artistically, emotionally and physically to enable them to do their best work.

Through an improvisation workshop we explored elements such as honesty, authenticity and confidence which contribute to best communicating musically to audiences. We then looked at how the same qualities can be developed through verbal communication, supporting the artists to feel better prepared to speak to audiences and participants whether from the concert stage, in a workshop setting or on broadcast.

The next element explored the vast array of approaches taken by concert halls, looking at the skillsets artists need to best contribute in the field of education, learning and participation.

Professional video and photo shoots also equipped the artists and the venues to best promote the upcoming European appearances of these outstanding young artists supported by CFE. Closing reflections from artists included feeling ‘inspired’, ‘refreshed’ and ‘motivated’ but also ‘tired’!

Signing up to Keychange

The European Concert Hall Organisation has signed up to the Keychange initiative founded by the PRS Foundation. Keychange is an international gender equality campaign which invests in emerging talent whilst encouraging festivals, conferences and a growing range of music organisations and institutions to sign up to a 50:50 by 2022 gender balance pledge. ECHO has pledged a 50/50 gender across new commissions, inviting all selected artists to include at least one female composer in programme proposals to its member halls and the partnering with a new major international competition for emerging female conductors in Paris in 2020.

THE ART OF MUSIC EDUCATION, Vol. VII, 26 February – 28 February 2020

ECHO continues our association with the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Körber Foundation on the international symposium “THE ART OF MUSIC EDUCATION, Vol. VII will take place from Wednesday 26 February to Friday 28 February 2020. The tagline of the next edition is “Connection in place of communication – new roles for music education & audience development”.  The symposium will explore to what extent our musical and arts institutions as politically and socially engaged actors.

La Maestra, 16-19 March 2020 Paris

As part of our commitment to improving gender equality in the music sector ECHO is proud to work in close collaboration with our member hall the Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris and the Paris Mozart Orchestra on La Maestra, a major international competition for female composers, taking place in Paris in March 2020.

Applications are open now and we welcome as broad a range of applicants as possible.  The deadline is 16 September 2019. Applicants need to be able to demonstrate that they are already working at professional level as a conductor, there is no upper age limit.

As part of our association with the competition ECHO will convene an international committee of senior figures from some of Europe’s leading venues and will offer selected candidates follow up professional engagements and wider professional development opportunities with orchestras and venues across our network.

Partnering with La Maestra forms part of ECHO’s public pledges as part of the Keychange project, a movement across Europe, proactively working towards achieving gender equality in the music sector.  Gender equality also forms an important part of the current work plan for culture of the European Union, ECHO is committed to providing a platform for its member concert halls to connect and to act on this topic.


The Art of Music Education Vol. VI, 14-16 February 2018

The sixth edition of the international symposium “THE ART OF MUSIC EDUCATION Vol. VI” took place from Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 February 2018. The conference was once again being organised in partnership by the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Körber-Foundation Hamburg, in association with ECHO.

The topic of the sixth symposium was “Discovering cultural relations – music institutes in multi-diverse urban societies”. Society needs spaces to gather, people need places to get inspired and for individual and collective reflection. To what extent can concert halls provide such a space – even more so than they are today? How can we explore more the opportunities of different cultures, different ways of participation and perception, the role of cultural heritage, etc.

The idea is that the form and the activities of a cultural venue in the 21st century should reflect their role within the urban eco-system. What exactly does this mean however?

These were the questions – amongst others – which were addressed and examined during keynotes, discussions, workshops concerts together with 170 participants from 15 European countries.

“THE ART OF MUSIC EDUCATION Vol V”, “Rethinking the dialogue in Music Education” took place Wednesday 3 February to Friday 5 February 2016

The event was organised by the Körber Foundation and Elbphilharmonie Laeiszhalle Hamburg in partnership with ECHO. The conference explored schools work in relation to cultural institutions.

International Seminar: The Knowns and the Unknowns, 14 April 2015 at the Philharmonie Luxembourg.

The 14/15 season marked the tenth anniversary of four members of the ECHO network: Casa da Música, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Müpa Budapest and Sage Gateshead.

At a seminar open to Concert Hall CEOs from across Europe we explored the learning (both successes and challenges) as the starting point for exchange and shared reflection on the key strategic priorities for Concert Hall life in Europe for the next ten years to come.

Luxembourg Seminar

Symposium, 22-24 January 2014, Hamburg

Together with our partners the Körber Foundation and the Laeiszhalle Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, ECHO was pleased to invite the international community of music educationalists to the fourth edition of THE ART OF MUSIC EDUCATION (which took place from Wednesday 22 January to Friday 24 January 2014) at the Körber Forum in Hamburg, Germany.

Overarched by the theme of CHANGE, the seminar covered three main topics, each of which linked to the notion of evolution, change and development in Music Education and in our wider society:

Classical Music and its future in an open society

Media and beyond

Education as a Stakeholder in the music industry

Funding for the Arts in Challenging Times 28 November 2012, Centre for Fine Arts Brussels
See below for the video introduction recorded for the event by Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council.

With reducing public subsidies for the cultural sector and governments offering less fiscal incentives for giving, how will European Arts and Cultural institutions survive in the future? Sessions on the day included:
“Developing a good balance between direct and indirect public support for arts and culture”;
“Fiscal Policies for Encouraging Private Support to Culture in European Member States”;
“How are Funding Departments of European Art & Cultural institutions facing changing times?”
“Mission funding: developing reciprocal partnerships between the cultural and private sectors”

This seminar was organised by ECHO in partnership with Bozar (Centre for Fine Arts Brussels) and PROMETHEA.

The Art of Music Education Volume III, Hamburg 25-27 January 2012
This event was delivered in partnership with the Körber Foundation and the Laeiszhalle Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.

Following the motto “energy through synergy” and incorporating best-practice-examples from concert halls across Europe, this symposium highlighted different models of structural, financial and programmatic cooperation in the field of Music Education. For three intensely rewarding days, 160 members of the international Music Education community (coming from 17 different coutries) explored questions such as: how can collaborative alliances and partnerships be created so that they are both effective and sustainable? How does successful lobbying work? Who are the necessary partners of concert halls and orchestras to ensure the successful communication, delivery and impact of our educational activities and output?

ECHO Digital, 20/21 June 2011, Sage Gateshead
In June 2011 ECHO presented the first in its new series of European training seminars open to colleagues from both inside and outside of the ECHO network.

This first event was produced by Sage Gateshead, UK, and explored the transformative opportunities offered to the landscape of the performing arts by Digital Media. See below for a short video of the event which featured 30 hours of talks, presentations, debates and performances over two days.