Deborah Kelleher

Deborah Kelleher Elected President of the Association of European Conservatoires

Published: 14th Nov, 2022

On Saturday 12 November 2022, Deborah Kelleher, Director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, was elected President of the Association of European Conservatoires (AEC). Deborah is the first Irish person and the second woman elected to this position in the association’s 70-year history.

AEC is the leading voice for Higher Music Education in Europe, a powerful advocate for its 300 member institutions, all of whom are conservatoires of music and performing arts schools based around the world. AEC supports music and arts education, together with cultural participation, as central contributors to quality in human life, and inclusive societies founded on democratic values.

The Association’s work focuses on three pillars: fostering the value of music and music education in society, enhancing quality in Higher Music Education, and promoting participation, inclusiveness and diversity within music and wider arts sector.

Speaking about her appointment, Deborah Kelleher said:

AEC is an Association that has stayed true to its longstanding mission, to enhance quality in higher music education, to strengthen partnerships within our sector and beyond it, and to advocate for the value of music and music education in society. More recently, it has begun to shine a light on issues of participation, inclusion and diversity in our quest to nurture generations of artists and educators who will make their unique contribution to the world.

My role as President is to build on this firm foundation and further promote the development of our European and Global network, seek new ways to lead developments in learning and teaching, and artistry, in the 21st century. I am proud as the first Irish person to lead this distinguished European association, which has contributed so much to music and the performing arts.