AEC announces the appointment of Finn Schumacker as new Executive Director  

AEC announces the appointment of Finn Schumacker as new Executive Director  

The Hague, 9 November 2023 

The AEC – European Association of Conservatoires today announces the appointment of Finn Schumacker as its new Executive Director from February 2024 onwards.

The announcement was made by AEC President Deborah Kelleher at the Opening Event of the AEC Annual Congress at the Royal Conservatoire – The Hague.

Finn will succeed Stefan Gies, who will retire in early 2024 after holding the position since October 2015.  

Finn Schumacker brings more than 20 years of experience to the position having worked previously as Artistic Director and General Manager of symphony orchestras in Denmark and Sweden and as Principal of the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus – RAMA, Denmark from 2004 to 2007. He also served as an AEC Council Member in 2006 and 2007.

Finn Schumacker brings a wealth of experience to the role of Executive Director of the AEC, as a professional musician, arts leader and manager.  I can think of no one better than Finn to lead AEC into the next exciting phase of our development. I must also acknowledge the great leadership of Stefan Gies, who has led the association magnificently for the last eight years
- Deborah Kelleher (AEC President)

As a professional tubist, Finn Schumacker was a member of the Bavarian State Orchestra 1987-1995, performing with world-class conductors and singers and travelling throughout Europe, USA and Asia as a soloist and clinician. After returning to Scandinavia, he has been Artistic Director of the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and General Manager of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, then Principal at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus. From 2007 to 2021, Finn was CEO of the Odense Symphony Orchestra. Since 2021, he has been Chairman of the industry organisation DEOO (Danish Ensembles, Orchestras and Opera institutions) and Chairman of the Association of Danish Boards in the Cultural Field. 

At the European level, Finn has been active within Pearle* – Live Performance Europe, as a peer reviewer for MusiQuE, and he participated in the Working Group set up by MusiQuE to revise its Standards (2020-2023).

I am extremely honoured to be entrusted with the leadership of the AEC and its incredibly important work on behalf of the Higher Music Education Institutions in Europe. In an increasingly unstable world, I am convinced that music and the arts can contribute to the necessary solutions, and with its universal language, music has always been able to work across borders and cultures. Higher Music Education is therefore in a unique position to create hope and set the direction for a better world. I am thrilled to join this important work as Executive Director of the AEC.
- Finn Schumacker - new Executive Director appointed


About AEC

The Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC) is a European cultural and educational network with around 300 member institutions for professional music training in 57 countries.