Beauty provokes positive change, empowers individuals and builds strong communities: this belief has always been at the core of my professional and private choices. With this same spirit, twenty-four leading concert halls in fourteen European countries come together to be stronger and promote professional exchange, share reflections, and initiate joint projects.
As the manager of the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), I have the responsibility to bring cultural leaders together and propose a relevant agenda. Our current priorities include sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, ethics, and management in times of outrage. Working together - and not only in the cultural field - is even more necessary and impactful today: we certainly propose the most amazing concert seasons, but we also have a strong political agency, as shown by recent activism.
The path that brought me to the LSE was not the most common among my cohort. I had already obtained two Masters’ and had worked for eight years in charge of the international development of a cultural centre in Northern Italy and a European network in France. I’ve always been eager to learn languages and meet other cultures: when I arrived at the European Institute, I had already studied or worked in Vienna, Jerusalem, Belo Horizonte, and Paris. Nonetheless, my experience at the EI was unforgettable and I think two factors were particularly important for the success of my studies and my successive career: the people and the method.
It may sound rhetorical, but it’s not. My fellow students, the staff and the faculty together created an ideal environment for me to thrive in. My cohort featured a full range of interesting, brilliant, and international people with whom to spend days and nights, engaging in amazing conversations, celebrations and all range of activities. Many of those people are still good friends today. From the institutional side, the academic support in combination with the interpersonal attentiveness of the faculty enabled me to exceed my limits and to progress enormously. A very special thanks goes to the staff of the EI, who never lacked thoughtfulness, professional support and human sympathy.
The method proposed by the faculty was a game changer for me. The years spent in the “Latin” system at the University of Pavia and at Sciences Po have certainly provided me with an extensive set of knowledge. However, it was at the LSE that I learnt how to deconstruct and desacralize my approach and be able to really challenge the ideas of the political and academic establishments. In other words, I was able to better structure and empower my thoughts, and to develop a stronger, more meaningful voice.