Sounds Now mentors 2020-2021

Sounds Now is proud to be working with 3 music and performing arts curators who actively bring inclusion into their work. Their participation will bring an added value to the project and lay the groundwork for an in-depth exploration of music curating practices, audience building and inclusion. These professionals will function as mentors for a 2-year period, bringing their experience, expertise and vision to all parts of the project.

To widen the number of perspectives, new mentors will be brought in for the second half of the project, 2022-2023.

DU YUN

Composer. Performer. Curator. CN/US

© Xiao Nan

DU YUN, born and raised in Shanghai, China, and currently based in New York City, works at the intersection of opera, orchestral, theatre, cabaret, musical, oral tradition, public performances, electronics, visual arts, and noise. 

Her second opera, Angel’s Bone, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize; in 2018 she was named a Guggenheim Fellow; and in 2019, she was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Classical Composition category for her work Air Glow. As a curator for new music and art, she was a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble; served as the Artistic Director of MATA Festival (2014-2018); conceived the Pan Asia Sounding Festival; and founded an ongoing multi-year FutureTradition Initiative in China.

JULIA GERLACH

Secretary, Music Department // Akademie der Künste, DE

A curator and producer of contemporary music and sound art, JULIA GERLACH served as project coordinator and curator at the ZKM I Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, and later headed the Music division of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD from 2012 to 2018. Currently she is Secretary of the Music Department of Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

Her curatorial practice includes concerts and sound installations in public space, interdisciplinary formats between music, visual arts, dance, literature, improvisation, transcultural projects and festivals. She is interested in challenging the notion of contemporary music and curation within the structure of the Akademie der Künste.

VIGDIS JAKOBSDOTTIR

Artistic Director & CEO // Reykjavik Arts Festival, IS

Vigdis Jakobsdottir is an Icelandic theatre director and educator and has been Artistic Director and CEO of Reykjavik Arts Festival since 2016. The multidisciplinary festival is the leading arts festival in Iceland and has been running since 1970.

Vigdis is passionate about the ability of the arts to challenge conceptions, shape society and celebrate humanity. She feels strongly that access to the arts should not be reserved for the privileged few but should be accessible to all. Throughout her practice she continuously explores ways to reach out to an ever broader audience demographic through meaningful artistic exchanges.

For many years Vigdis was Head of Education at the National Theatre of Iceland, programme director for MA studies in Theatre Education at Iceland University of the Arts and has initiated two theatre festivals in her home country.  She was on the Executive committee of ASSITEJ from 2011-2017. 

Sounds Now Associate Partners in Research

Warsaw University // YULIA LASHCHUK

The University of Warsaw’s Institute of Philosophy currently has a research project “Cartographies of strangeness, otherness, and (ex)(in)clusion” that includes YULIA LASHCHUK, a curator and PhD candidate. Over the past years, Yulia has been curating and coordinating international art and research projects that aim to reinforce intercultural dialogue and promote inclusiveness through arts and culture. She cooperates with art and academic institutions and NGOs from Poland, Germany, Ukraine, and Georgia.

University of Salzburg // MONIKA ZYLA

Monika Żyła is a musicologist, cultural theorist, writer, artistic director, curator and pianist. She is completing her Ph.D. dissertation “Contemporary Music and Its Others: Female Composers, Gender Politics and Constructions of National Identity at the Warsaw Autumn Festival” (working title) at the University of Salzburg. Monika currently teaches at the Berlin University of the Arts and University of Vienna, and gives workshops and lectures on gender issues in contemporary music and sound art in both academic and festival contexts. She also writes and produces a series of podcasts about contemporary music called “Radio w Kuchni”. Monika Żyła is currently serving as Chairwoman of the Frankfurter Gesellschaft für Neue Musik.