Featured Guests


  • Andrew Burke – Chief Executive, London Sinfonietta – London, UK
  • Lawrence Cherney, Artistic Director, Soundstreams – Toronto, Canada
  • Patricia Rosner – Director of Cooperations and Social Media, Berlin Phil Media GmbH, Digital Concert Hall, Berliner Philharmoniker – Berlin, Germany
  • Melissa Smey, Executive Director of the Arts Initiative and Miller Theatre at Columbia University – New York, USA
  • Nicolas Thirion – Artistic Director, Why Note Association & Ici l’Onde (Department of Music of the Contemporary Art Centre Le Consortium) – Dijon, France


Andrew Burke has been the Chief Executive of the London Sinfonietta since 2007.  He is responsible for the overall running of the ensemble, curating a wide range of artistic projects and developing the ensemble’s work with partners at home and abroad.

In 2009 he launched the London Sinfonietta’s Academy programme and in 2013 its Emerging Artists Programme, to give training and professional experience to brilliant players of the next generation.  In 2010 he started the next phase of the ensemble’s Blue Touch Paper programme to nurture new cross art-form work from emerging composers.

From 2003-2007, he was Head of LSO Discovery and from 1998-2003 he was Education Officer at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.


photo credit: Trevor Haldenby

Lawrence Cherney’s first professional engagement was under the baton of Igor Stravinsky. A recognized national leader at the forefront of Canadian music for over 40 years, he is often referred to as Canada’s “Ambassador of New Music”. His paramount role in the commissioning, developing, producing, performing, touring and recording of new music by Canadian and international composers has been widely recognized: Member of the Order of Canada, Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement, two Lieutenant Governor’s Awards and the Chalmers National Music Award. Lawrence founded Soundstreams in 1982, which under his leadership, has become an international centre for new directions in music and one of the most dynamic organizations of its kind in the world.


Patricia Rosner, cultural manager, social media specialist and musician, is Director of Cooperations and Social Media at Berlin Phil Media GmbH, the company behind the Digital Concert Hall of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Prior to her work with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Patricia studied composition, vocal performance, literature and musicology in Berlin and London and served as a music marketing specialist with several companies. She initiated and now runs the orchestra’s Facebook page (460k fans) and an online outreach project, EXPLORE CLASSICAL MUSIC!. She is also responsible for the orchestra’s cinematic distribution and manages cooperations with other organisations.


photo credit: Brannon Chase

Melissa Smey is Executive Director of the Arts Initiative and Miller Theatre at Columbia University, where she leads the campus’s pioneering venture to make the arts a vital part of every Columbian’s experience and the most acclaimed venue for new music in New York City.  She has commissioned new works from composers Georges Aperghis, Julio Estrada, Hilda Paredes, and John Zorn; produced the United States premiere productions of Kaija Saariaho’s ballet Maa and James Dillon’s epic new music cycle Nine Rivers; and produced the urban outdoor premiere of John Luther Adams’s Inuksuit, featuring 99 musicians and 1,000 percussion instruments for an audience of over 2,500 in Harlem’s Morningside Park.


Born in 1973, Nicolas Thirion is a musician, guitar player and electronics artist, notably with Death in Death Valley (noise improv) and Toro Piscine (experimental song). In 2010, he created La Générale d’Expérimentation, a collective of adventurous musicians in Burgundy, with whom he develops projects focussed around experimental and contemporary music and sound art performances. He completed studies in electroacoustic composition at the Conservatoire de Chalon-sur-Saône (teacher: Jean-Marc Weber). Since 2003, he is the Artistic Director of Why Note in Dijon, an association dedicated to the creation, diffusion and promotion of contemporary and experimental music. He is also Artistic Co-Director of Ici l’Onde, a festival at the Department of Music of the Contemporary Art Centre Le Consortium.

Additional National & International Guests

Check out who was invited in response to the inaugural Open Call for Proposals