André de Quadros has been described as “one of the most inspiring human rights educators of our time” by the Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights. He is a human rights activist, conductor, ethnomusicologist, music educator, and writer whose work has taken him to the most diverse settings in 40 countries including professional ensembles, projects with prisons, psychosocial rehabilitation, refugees, and victims of sexual violence, torture, and trauma. He focuses on race and mass incarceration, peacebuilding, forced migration, LGBTQ+, public health, and Islamic culture. He uses music for peacebuilding, reconciliation, and empowerment. 

Dr de Quadros directs three international choirs – in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the US. He also directs a peacebuilding project, Common Ground Voices (Israel, Palestine) and a forced migration project Common Ground Voices / La Frontera (Mexico-US border). 

Dr de Quadros is a professor of music at Boston University where he holds affiliate faculty positions in African, African American & Black Diaspora, American and New England, Asian, Jewish, and Muslim studies, as well as the Center for Antiracist Research, Center on Forced Displacement, and the Prison Education Program. His work with rival prison gangs and divided communities has served as a model for reconciliation work. 

In addition to hundreds of international workshops, seminars, and performances, he has numerous publications to his record, including ten books, severalbook chapters and articles, at least 50 choral editions, together with several research grants. He directs The Choral Commons, a justice-focused media platform, that produces podcasts, webinars, and creative work. In 2019, he held a distinguished faculty position at the University of Cambridge, and in 2024, the Miegunyah Distinguished Fellowship at the University of Melbourne.

Dr. Tuulikki Laes is a researcher and lecturer at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. She holds a doctoral degree in music education, and her research interests include policy, systems thinking, democracy, inclusion, activism, and social justice within higher music education and socially engaged music practices. She is a member of the ISME Commission for Policy: Culture, Education and Media. Among numerous international publications, her most recent work includes an upcoming book, co-edited with Gert Biesta and Heidi Westerlund, titled “The Transformative Politics of Music Education” (Routledge, in press). Currently, she is leading an Academy Research Fellowship project,“Performing the Political – Public Pedagogy in Higher Music Education” (2023–2027), funded by the Research Council of Finland.

Dr. Guadalupe López-Íñiguez is a Spanish musician and researcher based at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. She holds a PhD in the psychology of music education and a master’s degree in cello performance. Her research expertise includes constructivism and conceptual change, giftedness and talent, employability and careers, wellbeing, performance optimization, and theories of emotion and motivation. She is co-editor in chief of ISME’s Spanish language journal “Revista Internacional de Educación Musical” and co-chair of ISME’s Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician. She is co-editor of “Learning and Teaching in the Music Studio – A Student-Centred Approach” (Springer, 2022) and “Research Perspectives on Music Education in Ibero-America” (Routledge, forthcoming). She is currently leading the project “The Politics of Care in the Professional Education of Children Gifted for Music” (2022–2027), funded by the Research Council of Finland.

Dr. Heidi Westerlund has been a professor at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland since 2004. Her research interests include higher arts education, music professionalism, cultural diversity, and democracy in music education. She is the co-author of “Music Education, Ecopolitical Professionalism and Public Pedagogy” (Springer, 2024) and co-editor of “Collaborative Learning in Higher Music Education” (Ashgate, 2013), “Music, Education, and Religion” (IUP, 2019), “Visions for Intercultural Music Teacher Education” (Springer, 2020), “The Politics of Diversity in Music Education” (Springer, 2021), “Expanding Professionalism in Music and Higher Music Education” (Routledge, 2021), and “Music Schools in Changing Societies” (Routledge, 2024). She has led several Research Council of Finland funded research projects, of which the ongoing projects are “Music Education, Professionalism, and Eco-Politics” (2021–2025) and “Transition Pathways Towards Gender Inclusion in the Changing Musical Landscapes of Nepal” (2023–2026).

Described as a 'rising star' by BBC Music Magazine, Kristina Arakelyan is widely acclaimed for her powerful, emotive and intensely lyrical output. Her work includes operatic, choral, solo, symphonic and chamber music. 

Growing up in Armenia, Kristina’s interest in music started as a young child when she would often be found singing at home or listening to classical music, particularly opera arias. At seven, Kristina started piano lessons and, aged 11, she auditioned and was accepted as a scholarship student at the Purcell School for young musicians in the UK. 

Kristina went on to train at the Royal Academy of Music and University of Oxford, followed by a PhD in composition at King's College London. She has won numerous awards and accolades, from first prize in the BBC Proms young Composers Competition in 2010, to representing the UK in the 2022 International Rostrum of Composers in Palermo, Italy. Frequently heard on BBC Radio 3, Kristina has been commissioned by the BBC Proms, BBC Singers and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Other new works include pieces for organist and Director of Music at Pembroke College Cambridge, Anna Lapwood, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the The Sage Gateshead and the Royal Albert Hall. Recent works include the opera Penelope: Seven Ways to Wait to a libretto by Helen Eastman and Seascapes, a choral companion piece to Britten's 'Four Sea Interludes' from Peter Grimes.

With a passionate commitment to education, Kristina combines composition and performing as a pianist with teaching at the Junior Royal Academy of Music, King’s College University London and the University of Surrey. Her vision as an educator is to inspire – to bring the appreciation and love of classical music to the younger generation. Her goal is to create a safe and motivating environment for students to achieve their musical dreams, also reaching out to those who do not have access to music education. 

Kristina’s music is available through several music publishers including Oxford University Press (OUP), Stainer & Bell and through her website. Her compositions for education have included the piano syllabus of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (2023-2024), as well as the National Children’s Orchestra and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.

David Maggs