Developing leadership, confidence, and effective communication in music

High-level – Holistic – Sustainable

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 aspiring orchestra leaders. We believe that young artists who have an understanding of the management structures and internal functions of the classical music business will manage their careers more naturally and effectively. Our focus is therefore not only on on developing technique and leadership skills, but also on providing insight into the classical music industry, on which our experienced mentors offer candid advice. In a sector gravely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, we feel this is more important than ever.

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 annual Fiskars Summer Festival, which hosts eminent international guest artists and teachers from Finland and beyond. The foundation also collaborates with educational
institutions worldwide. The LEAD! Digital Academy, our latest venture, will run four online teaching sessions per year for young conductors. These will include interactive analysis, critique and discussion of participants’ video materials, career workshops and individual advice sessions.

Young Conductor Conducting

Mentorship and Teaching

We believe that active mentorship is a crucial part of any teaching programme, and that passing on knowledge directly is the most effective way. Our mentors are not only respected teachers, but top performers who are well-acquainted with their field. Their common aim is to pass on their knowledge and experience on to the next generation, and our principal goal is to offer them a platform through which to do this.

Our Professional Mentors @MUSICMENTOR 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.

Community and Support

The LEAD! Foundation aims to create a sustainable environment for teaching and advice by encouraging students to stay in touch with its broad and supportive network. Its digital initiatives allow students and alumni from all over the world to continue learning and to continue building their networks.

“I experienced the masterclass as fundamentally transformative to my understanding of the profession, both musically and in terms of self-promotion and career building.”
Georg Köhler, Conductor


Latest Project

Fiskars Summer Festival – 31 July – 6 August 2023

Spring is here and we are delighted to announce the 4th edition of the Fiskars Summer Festival 2023!

In addition to our conductors’ masterclass - led this year by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Dalia Stasevska and James Gaffigan - and our mentorship programme for young musicians, we will be introducing a new workshop about the music industry for young composers, which will be led by Magnus Lindberg and Paul Hughes.

Our popular chamber music series will take place in a number of atmospheric venues around Fiskars Village – this year at the Granary (Makasiini), the Old Knife Factory (Veitsitehdas), Karin Widnäs Gallery (KWUM) and the Assemby Hall (Lukaali), and will feature our own Lead! Soloists – a group of outstanding young musicians and their internationally-renowned mentors.

The festival’s closing concerts will kick off in the Threshing House (Puimala), and for the first time, the extraordinary formerly industrial space in Billnäs (Iso-Paja). We’re thrilled to announce that acclaimed soprano Camilla Nylund will be performing Gustav Mahler’s Rückert Lieder as well as in the composer’s Symphony no. 4 – check out the full programme here: Fiskars Summer Festival 2023

Tickets available now at Tiketti.fi