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.


latest project


We’re thrilled to announce that the next Fiskars Summer Festival and masterclass for young conductors is currently being planned (dates 2-8 August 2021). Our aim remains to provide teaching, mentorship and ongoing support to young conductors in the early stages of their career.

This year, the masterclass will be led by Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Hannu Lintu, and they will be joined by Esa-Pekka Salonen, alongside other guest mentors and speakers. In addition to the masterclass, the week will include seminars, discussions, social- and networking events, and the possibility for one-on-one career advice and long-term follow-up. The festival will culminate in concerts in Lohja and Fiskars on 5, 6 and 8 August 2021, in partnershp with the Lohja City Orchestra and the Finnish Chamber Orchestra.

For young conductors: please send your CV and video material to auditions@leadorchestraproject.com

We accept any repertoire, but we ask that you send material of good quality where your conducting is clearly visible.

Deadline: 30 April 2021