World Leaders

The 5th World Forum on Music features a number of world leaders who will facilitate, demonstrate, embody, contribute, challenge, lead and pull together some of the myriad views and forces making up the ecosystems of music in 21st century.

William Barton (Australia)

William is one of Australia’s leading didjeridu players and a powerful advocate for his cultural traditions. Born in Mount Isa, he was taught the didjeridu by his uncle, an elder of the Waanyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga tribes of Western Queensland. He has specialised in musical collaborations, performing his first classical concert with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17, and since then has appeared with the Adelaide, Sydney, Tasmanian and West Australian symphony orchestras and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, amongst others. He tours extensively overseas and is regularly invited to perform at prestigious events including, in recent years, the Venice Biennale, the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, and G’Day USA concerts at Carnegie Hall and Los Angeles’ Royce Hall. He has collaborated with composers such as Ross Edwards, Matthew Hindson, Liza Lim, Sean O’Boyle, Philip Bračanin, George Warren, Michael Nyman and Peter Sculthorpe. His own compositions include Songs of the Mother Country and Journey of the Rivers, performed at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 2006. He has written works for Leigh Warren and Dancers, and Queensland Ballet, with whom he has toured Europe. He has received honorary doctorates from Griffith University, University of New England and University of Sydney. In 2012, Barton won a prestigious Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Award for Best Classical Album.

Dr Shubha Chaudhuri (India)

Dr Shubha is one of the leading experts on the benefits and the challenges of archiving traditional music for posterity. She is the Director of the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute for Indian Studies in New Delhi. There she presides over the collection of classical music, popular music and the many regional traditional musics of the subcontinent. She is chief coordinator of the Archives Resource Community (A.R.C.), a network of 13 audiovisual archives in India, and is responsible for research collaborations, seminars, workshops, and training programs, as well as special programs such as the well-received Remembered Rhythms festival on Diaspora and the Music of India.

Nora Farrell (USA)

Nora is renowned for her groundbreaking internet-based artistic and educational innovations. Mediated communication and community are central to her creative work, where she draws on data feeds, social networks, virtual instruments, and open source to build her sound palette, mixing the multiple streams live in connected performance. She maintains a software company that develops applications for education, music, and the arts, for clients such as Prentice Hall, Pearson, Thomson, AT&T, Microsoft and the National Library of Australia. Farrell’s long-term collaboration with the late William Duckworth –one of the foremost composers of his generation– led to several ingenious cross-platform projects. These included: Cathedral, the first interactive work of music and art on the internet (1997); iOrpheus, an ‘iPod opera’ staged with Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University across South Bank Parklands (2007); and Sonic Babylon, a multi-year project which involves planting 'sound gardens':  invisible gardens of sound which can be heard on mobile devices as visitors pass through an area.

Professor Lisa Gasteen (Australia)

Lisa is one of Australia’s most acclaimed Wagnerian sopranos. After winning Cardiff Singer of the Year in 1991, she embarked on an international career that brought her to all major opera houses in the world, singing alongside the likes of Placido Domingo under conductors Bernard Haitink and Simone Young. In recent years, she has dedicated herself to preparing the young opera singers of the future by giving them access to some of the world’s best coaches, such as John Fischer and Siegfried Jerusalem, through her Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, which runs parallel to the Forum and will share some sessions. In her other life as a potter, she has crafted African udu’s at the request of Eugene Skeef for community and delegates to enjoy at WFM5.

Professor Liane Hentschke (Brazil)

Liane was recently appointed Director of Institutional and International Cooperation of Brazil’s largest research agency CNPq. Until July 2013, she served as Vice-Rector of International Affairs at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre, Brazil. She received her PhD in Music Education from the University of London, England, and carried out post-doctoral studies at the same university. Professor Hentschke was President of the International Society for Music Education and is currently Vice-President of the International Music Council. During 2009-2010 she was a member of a UNESCO Committee to develop the Goals for the Development of Arts Education in the world. Currently, she is a Member of the steering committee of the International Network of Research in Arts Education.

David Price OBE (UK)

David is a highly experienced public speaker, project manager, strategic adviser and education consultant. After a 15 year stint in the music industry, he began working in education, lecturing in adult, further, and higher education. In 1994, he helped establish Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he was Director of Learning for seven years. Since then, he has led national projects in arts and education in the UK, and advised companies, third-sector organisations and government departments internationally. His public speaking – he specialises in talking about creativity, human capability, the impact of digital technologies and education - has taken him all over the UK and Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA and China. In 2001 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and received the O.B.E. in 2009, for services to education.

Professor Frans De Ruiter (The Netherlands)

Frans is a harpsichordist and currently serves his second term as President of the International Music Council after an illustrious career as the youngest ever Director of the prestigious Holland Festival (1976-1985), driving force between the Festival of Early Music in Utrecht (1982-1985), and Director of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (for over two decades). From 1990 until 2011, he served as Chairman of the Board of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Design, Music and Dance in the Netherlands. Meanwhile he is Founding Director of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University (created in 2001). He was responsible for jointly founding and co-directing DocARTES: a cross-institutional music PhD program based in the Netherlands and Belgium. Since 2009, De Ruiter has been President of the European House for Culture. He has occupied leading positions in various member organisations of the International Music Council.

Anthony Seeger (USA)

Anthony, Emeritus Professor at UCLA, is renowned for his work with Brazilian Indian musical traditions, land rights, human rights, archiving and intellectual property, as well as ethnomusicological theory and method. In addition to authoring a multitude of articles on these subjects he was responsible for the landmark publication Why Suyá Sing: A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian People (Cambridge University Press, 1987). From 1988-2000, Seeger served as Director of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (Smithsonian Institute) during which time he was Executive Producer on 250 recordings. Prior to this, he was Director of the Archives of Traditional Music, and a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University (1982 - 1988). Between 1975 and 1982 he worked in the Department of Anthropology at the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro as a researcher and professor. Through the International Council for Traditional Music, Seeger also played an important role in the implementation of UNESCO initiatives to safeguard musical traditions as Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Eugene Skeef FRSA (South Africa)

Eugene is a London-based South African percussionist, composer, poet, educationalist and animator. He works in conflict resolution, cultural development, creative leadership and broadcasting. As a young activist in apartheid South Africa, Skeef co-led a nationwide literacy campaign in schools, colleges and communities. To facilitate his charity work he founded Umoya Creations in 2003, with the aim to improve access to facilities, education and support to the most vulnerable people across the globe. Skeef is at the forefront of the contemporary music scene and has worked with innovative artists including Anthony Tidd, Brian Eno, Bheki Mseleku, Tunde Jegede and Eddie Parker.  In his capacity as a teacher, he has been instrumental in developing education programs for some of the United Kingdom’s major orchestras. Skeef is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Board of Directors. He sits on the advisory committee of Sound Junction, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music’s award-winning interactive multimedia educational project. Currently, Skeef is Artistic Director of the award-winning Quartet of Peace, which uses music to bring about peaceful resolutions to conflict and poverty, especially for young people.


Brian Rothschild (USA)


Helmut Rilling (Germany)


Ferdinand Richard (France)


Daniel Kellerhals (Switzerland)