AEC Council


The AEC Council represents the members of the AEC. It consists of twelve representatives from member institutions in twelve different countries: the Executive Committee (President, Secretary General and two Vice-Presidents) and 9 regular Council members (including a co-opted representative of the AEC Associate Members). The AEC Members elect these representatives for 3-year terms of office during the Association’s annual General Assembly. Council and Executive Committee members may be elected for a maximum of two terms to the same position. The AEC Council meets 3-4 times a year.

The Council is entrusted with the Association's administration including the administration of the Association's funds and other properties. It is charged with upholding the mission and character of the Association, determining its strategic direction and overseeing its financial health and solvency. Council also decides upon the admission of active and associate members. The decisions of the Council and the General Assembly are implemented by the AEC Office, which is located in Brussels (Belgium).



      Eirik Birkeland   

      Former Rector, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, Norway



       Elisabeth Gutjahr

       Rector, Mozarteum University Salzburg, Austria

       Deborah Kelleher

       Director, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, Ireland

Secretary General



      Harrie van den Elsen

      Principal, Prince Claus Conservatoire, Groningen, The Netherlands

Council members

     Jeffrey Sharkey

     Principal, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, United Kingdom


      Ivana Perković

      Professor, Department of Musicology, Faculty of Music, University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia



      Kathleen Coessens 

     Director of Music Deparment, Conservatoire Royal de Liège, Belgium      

      Ingeborg Radok Žádná

      Rector of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts, Czech Republic



       Claire Michon

       International Relations Coordinator, Pôle Aliénor Poitiers-Tours, France




      Lucia Di Cecca

      International Relations Coordinator, Conservatorio di Musica "L. Refice", Frosinone, Italy

      Zdzisław Łapinski

      Head of the Cello and Double Bass Department, The Academy of Music in Krakow, Krakow, Poland


      Rico Gubler

      President, Musikhochschule Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany

       Bernard Lanskey

       Co-opted Representative of AEC Associate Members
       Director & Professor, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, Singapore


       Miranda Harmer

       Co-opted Representative of the Student WG and Network
       Student, Leeds College of Music, UK


       Eline Accoe

       Co-opted Representative of the Student WG and Network
       Student, Luca School of Arts, Belgium

Honorary Presidents


Ian HorsbrughFormer Principal Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, UK

Johannes Johansson,  Former Rector Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden

The AEC is fortunate in the quality of the individuals who have served the Association as Presidents. The two most recent Presidents to complete a full double-term of office were made Honorary Presidents at the Congresses where they each stepped down – Ian Horsbrugh in 2004 and Johannes Johansson in 2010.

Sadly, both Ian and Johannes are no longer with us. Ian passed away on the 22nd July 2006 and Johannes on 30th May 2012. Their Honorary Presidencies stand in perpetuity as a symbol of the outstanding contributions they both made to the development of the AEC and of the enduring gratitude of the AEC membership for all their achievements while in office.
A commemorative text celebrating the lives and achievements of Ian can be accessed by clicking on his name.

Honorary Secretary General

George Caird, Principal Birmingham Conservatoire, UK