Sounds Now mentors 2020-2021

Sounds Now is proud to be working with 4 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, 4 new mentors will be brought in for the second half of the project, 2022-2023.


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.


Composer. Artist. FR

© Locus Athens

TAREK ATOUI is an artist and composer who works within the medium of sound. His works are informed by extensive research into music history and tradition. This comes to life in performances that explore new methods of collaboration and production. 

Atoui has presented his work internationally at the Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates (2009 and 2013); dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany (2012); the 8th Berlin Biennial (2014); Tate Modern, London (2016); CCA NTU, Singapore (2017); Garage Moscow (2018); the 58th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia (2019) and at the Okayama Art Summit (2019). He was appointed co-artistic director of STEIM studios in 2007, and of the Bergen Assembly, a triennial for contemporary art in Norway in 2016.

Tarek Atoui was born in Lebanon and currently lives and works in Paris, France.


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.


Artistic Director & CEO // Reykjavik Arts Festival, IS

VIGDIS JAKOBSDOTTIR is a theatre director, workshop facilitator and lecturer in her home country Iceland and globally. She has directed performances at the National Theatre of Iceland and with numerous independent theatre companies. She was Head of Education at the National Theatre of Iceland from 2002-2011 and adjunct and later programme director for MA studies in Theatre Education at Iceland University of the Arts from 2002-2016. She is also the founder of Þjóðleikur – The National Youth Theatre festival in Iceland, which she directed from 2008-2017. Vigdis was chairperson of ASSITEJ Iceland (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) and artistic director of UNGI, an international performing arts festival for young audiences in Reykjavík for many years.

Sounds Now Associated Partner 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.