Managing Board

Mary Ellen Kitchens

Mary Ellen Kitchens M. A.
Mary Ellen Kitchens was born in 1959 in Houston/Texas. Very early on, she began taking piano and cello lessons. After completing high school in New York she studied at Yale University (USA) and spent an exchange year in Paris (École Normale de la Musique/Sorbonne). In 1980 she moved to Munich, where she attained her MA majoring in music science at the Ludwig Maximilian University. She took courses in conducting with Rodney Wynkoop (Yale University, Connecticut), Pierre Dervaux (Paris), Sergiù Celibidache (Munich) and Julius Kalmar (Vienna). From 1984 to 1991 Mary Ellen Kitchens directed the Haydn Orchestra in Munich, which was founded by her. Since 1991 she has led the Orchestra Society Kempten/Allgäu. She has been musical director of the Munich International Choral Society since 1986, and since its foundation in 2004 she has also led the Regenbogenchor in Munich. In 1991 she began working at the audio archive of the Bayerischer Rundfunk radio station, which she headed full-time from January 2004 to the beginning of 2015. Since April 2015 she has been responsible for leading the Inventory Management and Digitalization department at Bayerischer Rundfunk. From 1994 to 1998 she was the chair of musica femina e.V., and she remains a member of mfm today. She has chaired the International Working Group of Women and Music since 2013, and as a result is intensively involved with the activities of the Archive of Women in Music in Frankfurt/Main in a voluntary capacity. In 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017 she headed the Frauen Orchester Projekt (women’s orchestra project) in Berlin, and she is currently working with the planning team to prepare the next session (February 2019).

Heike Matthiesen

Heike Matthiesen
Heike Matthiesen is one of Germany’s most renowned guitarists and one of the few female guitarists on the worldwide concert scene. Born into an opera family in Braunschweig, she grew up in Berlin and in Neu-Isenburg near Offenbach. She received her first piano lesson in early childhood but switched to the guitar at 18, beginning her studies at the Frankfurt College of Music just one year later. After graduating, she became a master-class pupil of Pepe Romera and participated in numerous master classes at world-class level. During her studies she helped out at the Frankfurt Opera orchestra and made guest appearances at the opera houses in Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Stuttgart. Since 1997 she has also been closely connected with the Villa Musica Mainz, consequently performing in many concerts in Rhineland Palatinate, both in various chamber-music ensembles and as a soloist. Today she is a freelance soloist and chamber musician, has released four solo CDs and gives concerts worldwide, for example in China, Japan, the USA, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Tajikistan, and Europe. Over the last several years she has become more intensely focused on the works of female composers. Her fourth album, Guitar Ladies, consists solely of works by women and has been highly praised in the specialized press. She has been a member of the Archive of Women in Music for many years, is now the repertoire specialist for guitar and has been an active board member since October. “For me, playing music by female composers is a matter of the heart. I am overcome again and again when I see how much wonderful music there is to discover!”

Dr. Vera Lasch

Dr. Vera Lasch
Sociologist at the Institute of Economics at the University of Kassel and elsewhere. Managing director of KulturNetz Kassel e. V.




Extended board

Dr. Vivienne Olive © Volker Blumenthaler

Dr. Vivienne Olive
Vivienne Olive was born in London in 1950. She received piano and music theory lessons from an early age and studied cembalo and organ at Trinity College of Music in London. In 1968 she continued her music studies at the University of York/England (B.A.). She subsequently specialized in composition, first with Bernard Rands (Y ork), then with Franco Donatoni (Milan), Roman Haubenstock-Ramati (Vienna) and Klaus Huber (Freiburg). In 1975 she earned her doctorate in composition (University of York). In Freiburg, she continued her cembalo studies with Stanislav Heller. She won various prizes and awards. Since 1979 she has lived in Germany, where she works as a professor of music theory at the Nuremberg College of Music. From 1993 to 1995 she lived in Australia, where she not only worked as a lecturer at the James Cook University/North Queensland, but also initiated and directed the music festival Contemposfest Townsvill 94. In 2004 she was the Composer in Residence in Bundanon/New South Wales in Australia. Since 2014 she has directed the Brixworth Music Festival in the United Kingdom.