The meeting, organised by the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC), is meant for administrative or teaching staff members in European conservatoires who deal with international relations and European programmes (such as ERASMUS), as well as for institutions not familiar with these programmes, but with an interest in becoming involved.

The meeting is important for networking, exchanging useful information and for developing partnerships. With this annual meeting, the AEC is bringing together a growing community of International Relations Coordinators.

The next Annual Meeting for International Relations Coordinators of Conservatoires will take place at the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp on 13 – 15 September 2013. More information will be published in May 2013.

The IRCs Preparatory Working Group:
Rima Rimsaite (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius)
Keld Hosbond (Royal Academy of Music Aarhus, Aalborg)
Knut Myhre (Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo)
Tuovi Martinsen (Sibelius Academy, Helsinki);
Raffaele Longo (Conservatorio di Musica “S. Giacomantonio”, Cosenza)
Bruno Pereira (ESMAE, Porto)
Pascale Pic (Conservatoire de Lille)
Payam Gul Susanni (Yasar University School of Music, Izmir)

The AEC preparatory working groups members work on the preparation of AEC events on voluntary basis. The AEC Preparatory Working Groups are all formed by coopting active individuals in the relevant field of specialization within AEC member institutions. Proactivity, as well as geographical and gender balances are the applied criteria to guarantee the diverse and dynamic character of the groups, who should ideally recreate the diversity of AEC members institutions.
Working group members are financially supported by their home institutions, which cover their travel and accommodation expenses to the working group meetings and to the actual event.

Call for Venue: IRCs Meeting 2015

The AEC is currently looking for an AEC member institution willing to host the IRCs Meeting in September 2015. Should your institution be interested, please mail our Events Manager Sara Primiterra at for more information

‘Preparing for Partnerships:
Strategies and Practicalities’

AEC Annual Meeting for International Relations Coordinators
Antwerp 13-15 September 2013

Royal Conservatoire Antwerp,
13-15 September 2013

(12 September: pre-meeting Polifonia Workshop)

The Venue

Royal Conservatoire Artesis University College, Antwerp (map)
Desguinlei 25
2018 Antwerpen
tel : 03 / 244 18 00
fax : 03 / 238 90 17

The Theme

Already, in Naples in 2012, a great deal of the IRC meeting was devoted to discussions concerning the European Commission’s proposed funding programme for mobility from 2014. The generous scope of the proposals, and their integration of currently separate streams, was welcomed, as was their emphasis on encouraging a strategic approach mobility and the international dimension as integral aspects of institutions’ missions. This year’s meeting will concentrate on developing existing and new partnerships in line with this strategic approach, finding the right alliances to maximize the benefits of internationalism. A number of case-studies will be offered alongside updates on key initiatives such as the online applications system presented at last year’s meeting, intensive projects, work placements and other entrepreneurial actions and joint programmes.

We expect there to be further details of the new European Commission mobility programme available by the time of the meeting. With this in mind, we are very pleased that we shall be joined not only by experts in this area but, at our opening session, by Mr Jan Truszczyński, Director General for Education & Culture. As well as these exciting and informative presentations, plenty of time will be dedicated to networking opportunities which we will round off on Sunday during the networking trip to Antwerp Zoo.

New Features

Alongside plenary sessions, parallel sessions and networking sessions (this year called Coffee and Connect), the 2013 IRCs Meeting will experiment some new features:

New Format of the Introductory Session

After a brief introduction on the AEC by the AEC Office Staff, participants will split in small groups, chaired by experienced IRCs, to talk informally about practical issues related to the IRC profession, exchanging practices, ideas, opinions and advice.

The “Dance Card” Assignment

In order to optimize the networking time, as well as to increase the possibility of getting to know new colleagues coming from different regions, every participant will be given a card with data (name, institution, contact) to fill in. By the end of day (Friday) he/she has to fill it in, in the manner of a “Dance Card” with the data of 3 participants he/she didn’t know before, coming from 3 different regions. Participants will have a colour code according to the region they come from. In the Participant questionnaire they will be asked to indicate which new participants they met

The Project Ideas Fair – CALL FOR PROJECT IDEAS

Even though details on actions and possibilities given the new programme are not known yet, IRCs might have some ideas for future projects and willing to share those ideas in order to look for potential partners. During the “Project Ideas Fair” on Saturday, participants will be given the opportunity to speak about their project ideas in order to attract colleagues potentially interested in it as project partners. Should you be interested in getting a slot to present your project idea, please indicate so in the Registration Form, explaining your project idea in maximum 500 words. In case of too many applications, the working group will select the ideas which will have the chance to be presented during the Fair.

Speakers’ Corner

Participants interested in asking questions and engage in a deeper discussion with the invited speakers will be invited to stay in the plenary session room during the networking session in order to continue the discussion beyond the session time.

Pre-meeting Seminar on International Strategy
In order to provide an occasion for practical training for experience IRCs, the relevant Polifonia working group is organizing a seminar right before the start of the IRCs Meeting. Please see below for further details.

Pre-meeting activity: Polifonia ‘Interactive Workshop on International Strategies in Conservatoires – creating, implementing and sustaining’

Royal Conservatoire Antwerp,
12-13 September 2013

The Erasmus Network for Music ‘Polifonia’ team would like to invite you to an ‘Interactive Workshop on International Strategies in Conservatoires – creating, implementing and sustaining’ which will be organised by the Polifonia Working Group on ‘Mobility Recognition, Monitoring and Joint Programmes’ in conjunction with the IRCs Meeting in Antwerp. The workshop is designed as a pilot to prepare similar workshops in the future, during which International Relation Coordinators in AEC institutions can meet in small groups to discuss issues of mutual interest as a form of continuing professional development. Please note that extra fees apply and a separate registration form has to be filled in to take part in the workshop. For more information on the workshop, the link to the registration and information on the extra fee payment please click HERE.


IRCs Meeting 2013 Antwerp

13 – 15 September 2013

Preparing for Partnerships: Strategies and Practicalities

Royal Conservatory, Antwerp (map)

Thursday 12 September (optional)
Polifonia Pre-Meeting

Interactive Workshop on International Strategies – creating, implementing and sustaining

Thursday 12th 14:00 – 18:30

Friday 13th 10:00 – 11:30
For more information on programme, fee, and link to the registration to the Polifonia Workshop, please click HERE

Friday 13 September

12:00 Registration Open (until 18:45) (3rd floor, Witte Foyer)

13:00 – 13:30 Introductory Session for first-time delegates (Gele Zaal)

13:30 – 14:30 Networking Session: “Coffee and Connect” and “Dance Card” Assignment (Witte Foyer)

14:30 – 15:00 Opening event (Witte Zaal)

Music performance
• Welcome words by:
Pascale de Groote, Director, AEC President
Jerry Aerts, Director of DeSingel
Jeremy Cox, AEC Chief Executive
Singing together of the Canon composed for the IRCs Meeting by the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp

15:00 – 16:00 Plenary Session I (Witte Zaal)

The new generation European programmes in education and culture
Strategic Partnerships: a new framework for cooperation

Karel Bartak, DG Education and Culture, Head of Unit, Creative Europe-Culture, European Commission

Strategic Partnerships: working in concert within Erasmus+, Livia Ruszthy, DG Education and Culture, Unit “Higher Education: Modernisation strategy, Erasmus”, European Commission

Introduction and moderation by Jeremy Cox

Practical Announcements

16:00 – 17:00 Networking Session “Coffee and Connect” and “Dance Card” Assignment
Opportunity to talk informally with Karel Bartak and Livia Ruszthy
New AEC Website Helpdesk- Maarten Aarse (Witte Foyer)

17:00 – 18:30 Parallel Sessions (repeated twice 17:00 – 17:40 + 17:50 – 18:30)
New Developments that underpin partnerships

1) NOAS- Nordplus Online Application System by Hanneleen Pihlak and Bjorn Halvorsen, Nordplus Network
2) Intensive programmes:internationalisation of studies
– Rima Rimsaite, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre
– Lied Forum: Presentation by Axel Bauni, UDK, Berlin
– Phoenix II: Presentation by Raffaele Longo, Project Leader, Conservatory in Cosenza
3) Entrepreneurship in Music
– The work of Polifonia by Gretchen Amussen, CNSMD Paris
ActinArt and South Caucasus needs analyses, presentation by Christofer Fredriksson, Opera College in Stockholm and Nana Sharikadze, Tblisi Conservatory
4) “Working With Music”: placements in Europe for graduates, Lucia di Cecca, Conservatory in Frosinone

18:45 – 19:15 Concert (Witte Zaal)

19:30 Dinner (Foyer Conservatorium)

Saturday 14 September

9:30 – 10:00 Plenary Session II (Witte Zaal)

Musical Introduction

Presentation on the Flemish Music Education System and Antwerp’s international activities by Floris Lammens IRC

10:00 – 11:00 Plenary Session III (Witte Zaal)
Taking the strategic approach to partnership development – case studies

Strategic Partnership: case studies from the higher education sector by Jean Pierre Roose, Compostela Group
MATCHES- Mediterranean Addresses Top Challenges to Higher Education System by Raffaele Longo
Some thoughts on strategic partnerships from the Royal Conservatoire The Hague by Martin Prchal

Introduction and Moderation by Knut Myhre, Norwegian Academy of Music

Practical Announcements

11:00– 12:00 Networking Session “Coffee and Connect” and Project Ideas Fair
New AEC Website Helpdesk- Maarten Aarse (Witte Foyer and Gele Zaal)

12:00 – 13:00 Discussion Groups on Partnerships (8 groups)

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch (Foyer)

15:00 – 15:30 Plenary Session IV (Witte Zaal )
Polifonia Project – Mobility: Recognition, Monitoring and Joint Programmes

Developments and reporting back from the seminar Interactive Workshop on International Strategies by Polifonia WG5

15:30 – 16:30 Workshops on Polifonia Themes

1- Mobility & Recognition– small discussion groups on the “code of good practice”
2- External Examining- case studies and discussion by Martin Prchal and Knut Mhyre
3- Joint Study Programmes:
– CoPeCo- Contemporary Performance and Composition by Hanneleen Pihlak, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
– EUJAM- A joint study programme on masters level for young elite jazz performers and composers by Aage Hagen, RMC Copenhagen
SIAV (Sound in Audio Vision) by Maarten Weyler, Hogeschool Gent Conservatorium

16:30 – 17:30 Networking Session “Coffee and Connect”
New AEC Website Helpdesk- Maarten Aarse (Witte Foyer)

17:30 – 18:30 Closing Event with Music (musical intermissions between speeches) (Witte Zaal)

– Reporting back of the discussion about Strategic Partnerships
– Fill in your Participant Questionnaire
– News from the AEC
– Announcement of the IRCs Meeting 2014
– Practical Announcements Networking Trip on Sunday
– Closing Remarks
Singing of the Canon

Free Evening

Sunday 15 September

Networking Trip from 10:00 to 13:30 to Antwerp Zoo

19 € pp

Information on fee payment
AEC Annual Meeting for International Relations Coordinators 2013 in Antwerp


Category Payment and Registration
by August 16
Payment and Registration
after August 16
Representative of an AEC member institution (staff) 125 euro + 30 euro
(if taking part in the Polifonia pre-meeting seminar)
160 euro + 30 euro
(if taking part in the Polifonia pre-meeting seminar)
Representative of a non-AEC member institution 420 euro + 30 euro
(if taking part in the Polifonia pre-meeting seminar)
450 euro + 30 euro
(if taking part in the Polifonia pre-meeting seminar)
Student from an AEC member institution 80 euro 110 euro
Student from a non-AEC member institution 120 euro 150 euro


The participation fee includes:

  • conference documents,
  • participation to all plenary and parallel session
  • participation to the networking moments
  • possibility to desplay information brochures posters and materials about AEC members institutions
  • Coffee Breaks
  • One organized Dinner
  • One organized Lunch
  • Concerts organized by the hosting institution

The rates do not inlcude the participation fee to the Networking Activity on Sunday (visit to the Antwerp Zoo, 15 euro per person, to be paid cash in Antwerp) and the participation fee of accompanying partners such as family members

The participation fee will not be reimbursed for cancellations notified after August 23
Bank details for payments
BNP Paribas Fortis
Kantoor Sint-Amandsberg, Antwerpsesteenweg 242
9040 Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium
Account Holder AEC-Music
IBAN: BE47 0016 8894 2980
VAT number/ N° TVA/ USt-IdNr. BE 503 980 425

When making the transfer, please clearly quote:
 the code of the event (IRC 2013)
 the last name of the participant
 the name of your institution (if fitting)
Example:,IRC2013, Smith, Gotham Conservatory

The Hotel

The suggested hotel for the participants of the IRCs Meeting 2013 in Antwerp is the Crowne Plaza Antwerpen, located 5 minutes walking distance from the hosting venue.

Rates per night from Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th September

Room Type Single Double
Standard 70 euro 80 euro
Superior 80 euro 90 euro
Deluxe 90 euro 100 euro

Rates per night from Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th

Room Type Single Double
Standard 100 euro 110 euro
Superior 110 euro 120 euro

The AEC pre-reservation expired on 1st August, but there are still rooms available for the same rates (subject to availability)

To book a room please send a mail to

The City of Antwerp

Please find here more information on how to get to Antwerp, transportations within the city, hightlights and tourist information