The decisions of the Council and the General Assembly are implemented by the AEC Office, which is located at Keltenlaan / Avenue des Celtes 20, 1040 Brussels, Belgium.
The AEC Office also regularly welcomes student interns, who gain valuable experience during their placements as well as making an essential contribution to the smooth running of the Association.
Stefan Gies has been the Chief Executive of the AEC since September 2015. His work focuses on networking with other organisations active in the fields of music, art and higher education at European and international level, as well as on lobbying the institutions of the European Commission and the European Parliament. The key topics he is currently working on include: campaigning for the recognition of the specific features of artistic education; ensuring the long-term preservation of adequate framework conditions to maintain a musical life and cultural offers; promotion of musical education at all levels and according to diverse needs; establishing artistic research and facilitating cross-border mobility.
Stefan was born in 1954 in Landau in southwestern Germany. He studied viola, composition, musicology and music education at the Musikhochschule Freiburg, but also performed in the fields of rock and jazz music. He worked as a classroom and instrumental teacher and got his doctorate degree in music pedagogy. Stefan does research and publishes on theories of musical Bildung and the history and constitution of the institutions. Stefan can look back on an academic career spanning more than 30 years as a scholar, professor of music education and principal at German Higher Music Education institutions.
Stefan has been actively involved in AEC since 2007. Before taking on the position as its CEO, he took part in: the ‘Polifonia’ working group on accreditation in higher music education (2007-2010); in the AEC Quality Enhancement Committee (2011-2014) and he also chaired the working group ‘Evaluation for Enhancement’ within the FULL SCORE project (2014-2017). He is responsible for running the AEC’s current Creative Europe project ‘Strengthening Music in Society’ (SMS). Stefan can be reached via email@example.com.
General Manager/Deputy CEO
Linda joined the AEC in March 2007 as project administrator of the ‘Accreditation in European Higher Music Education’ project. She coordinated the ERASMUS Network for Music ‘Polifonia’ (2007-2010) and the AEC Institutional and Programme Review Scheme. Linda is General Manager since January 2011 and supports the CEO in managing the AEC Office. Linda also works for the new external evaluation body MusiQuE – Music Quality Enhancement. Linda has a Master in European Politics from the Institute of Political Sciences in Strasbourg. She is French, speaks English and some German and works hard on her Dutch. She can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events and Project Manager
Sara has been part of the AEC Team since 2009. She coordinated the European Students Chamber Orchestra Tour 2011 in the framework of the project “Widening Participation on the Road to Membership” and in September 2010 she became the Office Manager of the AEC. Since November 2011 Sara has been the Events Manager of the AEC, being in charge of the organization of the AEC Annual Congress, the International Relations Coordinator Annual Meeting and the thematic working groups and platforms (Pop and Jazz, Early Music and Artistic Research). She also represents the AEC at international meetings. Since 2016 she also got involved with project management at AEC: she is the Project Manager of the European Online Application System (EASY) and she represents the AEC in the management working group of Erasmus Strategic Partnership and Creative Europe projects where the AEC is involved as communication and dissemination partner. Sara has got a Master of Science in Economics and Management of Arts and Culture at Bocconi Business University in Milan with a final dissertation on conservatories’ international relations. She was also trained as a musician and she got a violin degree at Conservatorio di Novara (Italy). Sara is Italian, speaks English and French and has some knowledge of Spanish and Dutch. Her main fields of interest are: management of cultural and educational institutions, event management, mobility and international relations.
Alessandra joined the AEC team in October, 2022. She comes to the AEC after working at ECSA – The European Composer & Songwriter Alliance as Project & Communication Manager. She also previously worked as an Admissions Representative and Business Manager at “Up with People”. She holds a Degree in International and Diplomatic Science. At AEC, she coordinates the communication activities, managing the AEC website, social media and newsletters. She also supports the coordination of the METRIC Network and the AEC Digitisation Working Group. Ms Callegari is an Italian mother tongue speaker and fluent in English with an intermediate knowledge of French and German. She can be reached via email@example.com.
Membership and Finance Coordinator
Alfonso joined the AEC in 2019, first as an intern and later as Membership and Finance Coordinator. He graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels (Belgium) with a master’s degree in Music composition, and holds a master’s diploma in EU Project Design & Management 2021-2027 from the Europa Innovation Business School. Besides liaising with nearly 300 member institutions and monitoring the overall financial management of the office, Alfonso is involved in project management and has developed expertise in diversity, inclusion and gender equality matters as coordinator of the Diversity, Identity, Inclusiveness Working Group of the AEC – Strengthening Music in Society (AEC-SMS, 2017-2021) project, and more recently coordinator of the IncluMusic (2022-2025) project. Moreover, he is dedicated to culture as an active composer, harmony teacher and professional music engraver at the Alain Van Kerckhoven Éditeur publishing house. Since 2022, Alfonso coordinates the association’s flagship project AEC – Empowering Artists as Makers in Society (ARTEMIS, 2022-2025), and is involved in project writing and reporting processes. Alfonso is Spanish, speaks fluently in English and French, and is working on his Portuguese. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beatriz joined the AEC team in February 2021 as an intern in Communication and Advocacy, and started her position as Events Coordinator in January 2022. She graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (KCA) with a Master’s Degree in Music (cello performance) and she holds a Master in Management at the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Her interest in these two disciplines has led her to be a founding member of several musical projects, where she is actively involved in the artistic and in the coordination side. She speaks Spanish and English and is working on her Dutch. She can be reached via email@example.com.
Office and Project Coordinator
Ashkhen joined the AEC as Office and Project Coordinator in April, 2023. Her responsibilities at the AEC inter alia include supporting the Council and the General Assembly, coordinating the PRIhME project and supporting the ARTEMIS project, as well as intern supervision.
Previously she worked in a Brussels-based human rights and advocacy organization as Project and Policy Officer and later as Project Manager. Moreover, she has been involved in several volunteering projects and youth initiatives and also has worked as an independent consultant. She has a vast experience in project management, event organization, policy-making, and research. Ashkhen received her MA in Interdisciplinary History Studies from Central European University. Furthermore, she holds an executive master’s diploma in EU Project Design & Management 2021-2027 from Europa Business School and a Postgraduate Certificate in EU Policy-Making from Brussels School of Governance/Free University of Brussels. In addition to her native Armenian, Ashkhen is fluent in English, French, and Russian, has an intermediate level in Czech and Arabic. She can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org .
Beate is a Latvian flutist who joined the AEC team in January 2024 as a Communications intern.
She has graduated from Maastricht Academy of Music in flute performance and has been an active freelance musician in Europe since then.
Aside from music Beate also has a keen interest in marketing and in 2020 received her certification as a Digital Marketing Professional from the Digital Marketing Institute. She is fluent in Latvian, English, and Dutch and has intermediate-level Russian and German.
She can be reached via email@example.com.
Project and Membership management intern
Tiina is a Finnish-Italian musician, music educator and linguist who joined the AEC team in January 2024 as a Project and Membership management intern. She has graduated from the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki (MMus in Music Education) and from the University of Helsinki (MA in Italian Philology).
Tiina is fluent in Finnish, English and Italian. She has an intermediate level in Swedish and she’s brushing up her French and German skills. Tiina can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.