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Opus 1:
'Monday Lectures' with Bernhard Kerres, Nick Winter, Natalja Slobodyreva - Online on Zoom 

February & March 2021




Monday, 22 February 2021 [21.00 CET]

Bernhard Kerres

Title: Don’t Wait, Get Going!



Many great musicians wait for an agent to manage them, for an orchestra to pick them up, for a university to find out about them. One can wait, or one can get going. The probability of a successful career is immensely higher when one starts to manage one’s own career. Bernhard Kerres will lead through the basics of career management.


Bernhard Kerres is a sought-after executive coach and keynote speaker based in Vienna, Austria. He was the first opera singer to become a C-level executive of multi-million Euro tech companies. And he was the only artistic director of a world-leading concert house to bring his startup to Silicon Valley.

Bernhard coaches executives especially in tech and consulting, as well as entrepreneurs, business owners, and classical musicians.


(Photo credits: Vanja Pandurevic) Read more about Bernhard here:



Monday, 1 March 2021 [21.00 CET]

Nick Winter

Title: “Emerging conductors: what orchestra and opera house administrators are REALLY looking for.”



“Emerging conductors: what orchestra and opera house administrators are really looking for.” Drawing on his experience with orchestras and opera houses both across Europe and in the United States, Nick Winter will provide an insider's view on what motivates major artistic organizations when choosing conductors in the early stages of their career. The talk will address both the musical and personal characteristics likely to attract –or discourage! –artistic administrators and casting directors. The informal talk will be followed by a Q&A session (questions may be sent in advance).


Nick Winter has been involved in the auditioning and casting of conductors, singers, and instrumentalists for over 30 years. As Director of Artistic Planning/Administration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Welsh National Opera he has been responsible for artistic programmes involving up to a hundred guest artists annually. As Artistic Administrator of the European Opera Centre, he developed and managed a Europe-wide network of artist auditions and coordinated collaborations with opera houses from Barcelona to Budapest, from Copenhagen to Riga. In Chicago, he set up the Sir Georg Solti CSO Conducting Apprentice program at the request of music director Riccardo Muti. He has extensive musical links with Russia where he founded and ran an independent concert agency in the 1990s.

Monday, 8 March 2021 [21.00 CET]

Natalja Slobodyreva

Title: Make the first steps’ –How can you help yourself to build a sustainable career?



How can you help yourself to do the right things in order to succeed? What are the first steps, and necessary steps to make? Sometimes the simplest things are the most difficult such as being proactive, having clear communication, self-presentation, and a healthy portion of self-confidence, not to under-or over-represent yourself, etc. Also, understanding how the music industry works, which is still a mystery to many musicians, and how you can find yourself in this picture, as a successful musician. And, do you really need a manager? What are the tendencies in the nearer future?


The founding director of Meta Artists International, Natalja Slobodyreva has worked in a management capacity with the world’s most prominent orchestras, conductors, and soloists, both in the Touring and Artists Management departments.

​After joining IMG Artists in Hannover, Germany in 2010, Natalja worked with Harold Clarkson, managing director, and global director of touring, on a series of important projects with orchestras and artists such as the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit and Vadim Repin; the Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi and Khatia Buniatishvili; the Basel Symphony Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies and Yuri Bashmet; the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia "Evgeny Svetlanov", Vladimir Jurowski and Julia Fischer; the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, and Nicola Benedetti; the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, Kristjan Järvi, and Alexander Toradze; the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theater and Mischa Maisky; Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Jakub Hruša, Louis Langrée, Mikhail Pletnev, Ye-Eun Choi, Hilary Hahn, Daniel Lozakovich, Sandrine Piau, and Nikolai Lugansky.

Other highlights of Natalja's years at IMG included the Moscow appearance of Claudio Abbado with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Maria João Pires; the first European tour of the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, with concerts at the Musikverein Wien and the Brucknerhaus in Linz conducted by Alexander Sladkovsky and featuring Denis Matsuev; and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic's debut in Moscow, conducted by Kristjan Järvi.

Drawing on her background as an experienced manager, Natalja has lectured at Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Korean National University of Arts in Seoul on the importance of self-management skills, artist's agencies, organizational structure, creativity, and new concert formats, public relations, and marketing. She has also served on the jury of competitions.

Natalja grew up in a family of musicians amidst the natural beauty and rich musical traditions of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the daughter of a violin teacher and a violin maker. She was eleven when her family emigrated to Germany and had already received an intensive music education from the Uspensky Music School for Gifted Children in Tashkent. She subsequently studied with Alexander Kramarov, and Josef Rissin, and took master classes with Roman Nodel, Zakhar Bron, and Ivry Gitlis.

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