Developing leadership, confidence, and
effective communication in music

What is the LEAD! Foundation – Mission statement

LEAD! Foundation’s mission is to support the emerging careers of the next generation of young conductors and those already working as young professional conductors. We believe that well-informed artists, who understand the management structures and internal functions of the music business, will be able to manage their careers with more ease. For this reason, we take a holistic view of teaching. We focus not only on developing musical competence, leadership- and communication skills but also provide mentoring and insight into the classical music industry so that participants can learn how to navigate today’s competitive music world with more confidence, both on and off stage.

LEAD! Foundation Academy and Digital Academy

LEAD! Foundation provides teaching and mentoring through the LEAD! Foundation Academy and the LEAD! Foundation Digital Academy. The LEAD! Foundation Academy runs the Conducting Masterclass during the Fiskars Summer Festival. It also collaborates with musical education institutions worldwide. The LEAD! Digital Academy, our newest venture, will run four online masterclass sessions a year. The sessions will include the online and interactive analysis, critique and discussion of participant’s videos, career workshops and 1:1 sessions.

Young Conductor Conducting
Mentorship and Teaching

Community and Support

The LEAD! Foundation believes in creating long-lasting change and a supportive community. Through it’s in person and digital initiatives and activities, it offers teaching, ongoing support and assistance to students and alumni no matter where they are in the world and in their career.

We believe that mentorship is crucial to teaching and that passing on knowledge directly is the most effective way. Our teachers and mentors are top performers and respected teachers. They share the common aim of passing their knowledge and experience on to the next generation. The LEAD! Foundation Academy Conducting Masterclass sessions are unique. They not only focus on producing a good performance but concentrate more on actively making the conducting students understand the internal processes and functions of an orchestra.

Our Professional Mentors from www.musicmentor.ch are industry professionals who have many years of experience in the classical music industry. They provide personal guidance and frank advice on every aspect of the music business. The focus is on topics ranging from managing relationships, fee- and contract negotiation and decision-making to networking, orchestra politics, self-branding and finding representation, as well as broader issues pertaining to the emotional and psychological life of an artist.


latest project


LEAD! Foundation Academy is delighted to announce its inaugural summer festival and masterclass for young conductors in Fiskars, Finland, this summer (2-8 August 2020). This will be dedicated to supporting the emerging careers of the next generation of young conductors. LEAD! will run conducting workshops and provide mentorship through active career coaching, advice on the music business, interactive seminars and public talks on leadership and teaching. It will be led by LEAD! Artistic Director Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and feature renowned guest professors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sakari Oramo and Jorma Panula. Special guests will include Dalia Stasevska, Klaus Mäkelä and Pekka Kuusisto.