International Advisory Board

The International Senior Advisory Board for Sustainable Futures is comprised of:

Professor Birgit Abels (Germany)

Birgit Abels studied Musicology and Arabic and Islamic Studies at Ruhr University Bochum (Germany) and London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Following the completion of a master’s degree at Bochum in 2004 and fieldwork in North India, she took up doctoral studies, receiving her degree from Ruhr University Bochum in 2007, having written my dissertation on the music and dance of Palau (Micronesia). She lived and conducted fieldwork in Palau from 2005 to 2007, after which she implemented a research project on the performing arts of the communities of the Southeast Asian island world, primarily the Sama Dilaut (Bajau Laut). Birgit Abels worked mostly in Borneo through the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, and later with the University of Amsterdam. In March 2011, she was appointed professor at Georg August University.

Professor Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco (Portugal)

Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco is Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Instituto de Etnomusicologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. She has carried out field research in Egypt, Portugal and Oman resulting in publications on cultural politics, music revival, identity, music media, modernity, and transculturation. Her recent publications include (with John O’Connell) the 2009 edited book Music and Conflict, and editorial oversight for the 2010 Enciclopédia da Música em Portugal no Século XX. Professor Castelo-Branco holds and has held numerous posts in key music organisaitons including Vice President of the Society for Ethnomusicology 2007 – 2009, Vice-President of the International Council for Traditional Music (1997-2001 and since 2009), President of the Portuguese Musicological Association (1996 – 2006).


Dr Shubha Chaudhuri (India)

Shubha Chaudhuri has worked at the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies since its inception in 1982, and Director since 1985. In the field of audiovisual archiving her major interests have been database applications, the needs of research archives and issues of intellectual property rights.  She has been on the Executive Board of the IASA, ICTM (International Council of Traditional Music), where she is currently national representative for India and a council member of the Society of Ethnomusicology. She has been a consultant for the Ford Foundation in the area of audiovisual archiving for projects in India, Indonesia and Sudan.  Her fieldwork has been has been in Western Rajasthan, and more recently in Goa. She is also consulting with the WIPO Creative Heritage Project and with UNESCO for the cultural mapping project for India.


Professor Ursula Hemetek (Austria)

Ursula Hemetek is professor of ethnomusicology at the Institut für Volksmusikforschung und Ethnomusikologie at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria. Her research focuses mainly on the music of minorities in Austria. She has published works in the field of ethnomusicology on music and minorities, focussing on Roma, Burgenland Croats and other more recent immigrant groups. She chairs the ICTM Study Group for Music and Minorities. Among her most recent works, she has edited Cultural Diversity in the Urban Area: Exploration in Urban Ethnomusicology together with Adelaida Reyes in 2007, and Music from Turkey in the Diaspora together with Hande Saglam in 2008.


Dr Krister Malm (Sweden)

Krister Malm is professor of (ethno)musicology at Gothenburg University and past president of the ICTM. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and of the Executive Boards of FREEMUSE – World Forum on Music and Censorship and Ethnomusicology Online (EOL). Krister Malm has been involved with a wide range of music and culture organisations in his career, with professional positions in Europe and the Caribbean. He is the author of several books and papers on African, African-American and Arabic musics, as well as Scandinavian traditional music, issues of music and rights and the music industry. He has also been active as a producer of documentary record albums and TV and radio series.


Professor Richard Moyle (New Zealand)

Director of the Centre for Pacific Studies, Richard Moyle is a graduate of The University of Auckland. He has held teaching positions at Indiana University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and for eight years was a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in Canberra. He came to Pacific Studies after 22 years in the Department of Anthropology. Since 1993 Richard has also been Director of the Archive of Māori and Pacific Music. Richard’s research career spans 43 years, including 10 years of fieldwork in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Niue, the northern Cook Islands, Central Australia, and Takuu. His many books include landmark volumes on the musics of Samoa, Tonga, Takuu, the Pintupi, Alyawarra and Kukatja Aboriginal tribes, and also bilingual collections of oral tradition from Samoa, Tonga and Takuu.


Professor Bruno Nettl (USA)

Bruno Nettl is a key figure in ethnomusicology and has published numerous works that are considered cornerstone publications in this field. He has taught at the University of Illinois, where he is Professor Emeritus of Music and Anthropology, since 1964. Bruno Nettl has conducted extensive fieldwork with Native American peoples (1960s and 1980s), in Iran (1966, 1968-69, 1972, 1974), and in Southern India (1981-2). He has served as president of the Society for Ethnomusicology and as editor of its journal, Ethnomusicology.


Professor Caroline van Niekerk (South Africa)

Caroline van Niekerk is Emeritus Professor of Music Education at Pretoria University.  After a degree in Music and English she acquired a teacher’s diploma, two music licentiates, an M.Mus and a PhD, plus qualifications in translating, editing, television presentation, leadership and negotiating skills.  She has lectured at different tertiary institutions and been a Director in the South African national Education Department.  Author and editor of many publications, she has supervised over 100 Masters’ and doctoral theses.  She examines nationally and internationally, has travelled extensively and presented at conferences worldwide. She has twice been an elected member of the International Society for Music Education’s Board of Directors and was responsible for all arrangements for their 1998 world conference in Pretoria, widely acclaimed as one of the best ever.


Professor Meki Nzewi (Kenya)

Indigenous-Africa sensed musicologist, composer, musical dramatist, mother drummer and creative writer with 22 books, 40 published articles and numerous compositions. Meki Nzewi‘s research commitment focuses on authoritative discernment of Africa’s indigenous philosophy, theory, science and practices of synthesized musical arts conceptualizations and conformations, and advancing them into contemporary humanity, education and societal relevance. He is Founder/Director of the Centre for Indigenous Instrumental Music and Dance Practices of Africa (CIIMDA) for SADC based in Pretoria. Currently his research interests include explicating and applying the indigenous musical arts as proactive soft science that tangibly manages the mental-physiological wellness of humanity, thereby societal systems.

Professor Svanibor Pettan (Slovenia)

Svanibor Pettan is professor and chair of the ethnomusicology program at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Zanzibar, Egypt, and Kosovo, as well as Australia, Croatia, Norway, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the USA. The prevalent themes in his studies include music in the contexts of politics and war, multiculturalism, music of minorities, and applied ethnomusicology. His work with Romani musicians in Kosovo resulted in numerous publications in various formats. Dr. Pettan serves as vice-president of the International Council for Traditional Music, president of the Cultural and Ethnomusicological Society Folk Slovenia, member of several international editorial boards, initiator and chair of the ICTM study group Applied ethnomusicology and vice-chair of the study group Music and minorities.


Professor Ricardo Trimillos (USA)

Ricardo Trimillos is Professor in Ethnomusicology at the Music Department and Chair of Asian Studies at the School of Pacific & Asian Studies, University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Honolulu, Hawai’i. His purview is broadly based and includes the expressive arts (music, dance, theatre) in their social environment. He has been consultant to a number of governments (including the former Soviet Union, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong) in the area of arts and public policy. His research foci include Asian peformance, Hawaiian music and dance, and the music of Muslim groups in the Southern Philippines. His theoretical emphases include ethnic identity, the arts and public policy, and issues of gender in the arts of the Pacific and Asia. He is a recognised resource for world music in public education.


Dr John Sloboda (UK)

John Sloboda is Emeritus Professor at Keele University, where he has been a member of the School of Psychology since 1974, and where he was also Director of its Unit for the Study of Musical Skill and Development (founded in 1991). Known internationally for his work on the psychology of music, he is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and has been President of both the Psychology and General Sections of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as President of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music. John Sloboda remains active as a researcher with numerous honorary positions in the UK as well as membership of the Senior Management Group of the Oxford Research Group.


Dr Einar Solbu (Norway)

Einar Solbu is the Chief Executive Officer of Rikskonsertene – the Norwegian Concert Institute. He has an academic background in Church Music, and worked for a number of years in the State Academy of Music in Oslo. Einar Solbu’s contributions to music research internationally are reflected in his published books and articles on music education and communication. He has been involved in a number of international organisations for music and music education, and served as President of ISME from 1998 to 2000. He presently serves on the Executive Committee of the IMC.

Professor Ted Solís (USA)

Ethnomusicologist Ted Solís is a Professor of Music. He holds a BA in Music History and Literature from Arizona State University, an MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and the PhD in Music from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He has carried out field research in Northern India, Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. A member of ASU’s School of Music since 1989, he directs the School of Music’s Latin Marimba band “Marimba Maderas de Comitán” and the Javanese gamelan “Children of the Mud Volcano.” His research interests include the Hispanic Caribbean, dance, Hindustani Music, Diasporic musics, Javanese gamelan, the construction of careers, and pedagogical issues.


Professor Frans de Ruiter (The Netherlands)

Professor Frans de Ruiter has served music in many capacities: as artistic Director of the Holland Festival, as Director of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and later Chairman of the Board of Management of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Design, Music and Dance in the Netherlands. Prof. de Ruiter has occupied leading positions in various national and international arts organisations and served as President of the International Music Council from 1997-2001 and again from 2009-2013.He is currently Director of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University, and joint founder and co-director of DocARTES, a cooperative PhD programme for music with the participation of academies and institutes in the Netherlands and Belgium.


Professor Tina K. Ramnarine (UK)

Tina K. Ramnarine is a musician, anthropologist and a Professor of Music at Royal Hollaway University of London.She has held academic appointments at the Royal College of Music and Queens University Belfast. Her interdisciplinary research looks at music, performance, globalization, identity politics and environment. Extensive fieldwork in Nordic and Caribbean contexts has led to several publications including the books Creating Their Own Space: The Development of an Indian-Caribbean Musical Tradition(University of West Indies Press, 2001), Ilmatar’s Inspirations: Nationalism, Globalization, and the Changing Soundscapes of Finnish Folk Music (Chicago University Press, 2003), Beautiful Cosmos: Performance and Belonging in the Caribbean Diaspora (Pluto Press, 2007), and an edited volume Musical Performance in the Diaspora (Routledge, 2007).


Professor Ramon Santos (Phillipines)

Ramon Santos is a composer, musicologist, music educator and Professor of Music at the University of the Philippines. He is Vice President of the International Music Council, and Commissioner for the Arts, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Philippines. Santos holds the positions of Secretary of the League of Filipino Composers, Member of the ISCM Advisory Panel on the World’s Musical Cultures, Lecturer for the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music, Member of the Humanities Division of the National Research Council of the Philippines. His past positions include Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Chairman of the Asian Composers League (1994-1997), Dean of UP College of Music (1978-1988), and President of the National Music Council of the Philippines (1984-1993).


Mr Daniel Sheehy (USA)

Daniel Sheehy is director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Sheehy joined the Smithsonian in 2000, serving as director of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, curator of the Folkways Collection and director of Smithsonian Global Sound. Prior to this, he served as director of Folk & Traditional Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts (1992-2000) and staff ethnomusicologist and assistant director (1978-1992). A Fulbright-Hays scholar in Veracruz, Mexico, he earned his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from UCLA. He co-edited the South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean(1998) volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. His book Mariachi Music in America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture was published by Oxford University Press in 2006.


Professor Jeff Todd Titon (USA)

Jeff Todd Titon received the B.A. from Amherst College, and the M.A. (in English) and Ph.D. (in American Studies) from the University of Minnesota, where he wrote his dissertation on blues music. He has done fieldwork on religious folk music, blues, and old-time fiddling, with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the author or editor of seven books, including Worlds of Music (five editions since 1984); Powerhouse for God (a book, record, and documentary film); and American Musical Traditions (Gale, 2002), chosen by Library Journal as one of the outstanding reference works of 2003. His work in applied ethnomusicology was the subject of an interview by John Fenn in the fall, 2003 issue of Folklore Forum.


Professor Tran Quang Hai (Vietnam)

Tran Quang Hai worked as an ethnomusicologist for the National Center for Scientific Research in France, attached to the Department of Ethnomusicology of the Musee de l’Homme, from 1968 to 2009. A specialist in Vietnamese music, his research also encompasses overtone singing in Siberia. He is a member of many international societies for music (and Executive Board member of the ICTM), has produced 23 records on Vietnamese music (from 1971 to 1997), and numerous DVDs. His publications range from contributions to the New Grove Dictionary Music and Musicians and New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments to over 100 research articles in the international arena.

Dr Heidi Westerlund (Finland)

Heidi Westerlund is currently Professor of Music Education at the Sibelius Academy, Finland. She teaches postgraduate research methods, history of music education and philosophy of music education at the Sibelius Academy, and had taught flute and piano in several music schools in Finland. Dr. Westerlund’s main area of research interest is in philosophies of music education. She was a member of the Editorial Committee of the International Journal of Music Education (Research) from 2004 to 2008, and has published internationally on issues relating to music pedagogy and teaching philosophy.

Professor Deborah Wong (USA)

Deborah Wong is an ethnomusicologist, specialising in the musics of Thailand and Asian America. Her first book, Sounding the Center: History and Aesthetics in Thai Buddhist Ritual (Chicago University Press, 2001), addresses ritual performance about performance and its implications for the cultural politics of Thai court music and dance in late twentieth-century Bangkok. Speak It Louder: Asian Americans Making Music (Routledge, 2004), focuses on music and identity work in a series of case studies (Southeast Asian immigrant musics, Chinese American and Japanese American jazz in the Bay Area, and Asian American hip-hop). She is currently Professor of Music at University of California Riverside. Deborah Wong has been very active in the activities of the SEM, both as Secretary, President and in the establishment of the SEM Committee on the Status of Women with Elizabeth Tolbert in 1996.

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