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. 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 our rapidly changing field, we feel that 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.


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.