ARD Music Competition Organization

Published at: 31-5-2023

The artistic directors and the organization team of the ARD International Music Competition present themselves.

Meret Forster Artistic Director

Meret Forster | Picture: BR

Meret Forster grew up in Munich and took intensive piano tuition with Begoña Uriarte while still at school. She then took musicology, modern German literature and comparative studies in Tübingen, Amsterdam and Berlin, writing her thesis on Ernst Krenek and Karl Kraus. During her student years, Meret Forster worked for a number of German broadcasters and print media and is a founder member of the "Akademie Musiktheater heute" (musical theatre academy of today).

She has worked freelance for Bavarian Radio since 2001 and has covered the ARD Music Competition as a reporter, including one year when she was assistant to the jury. In 2004 she moved to the Halle/Leipzig studios of MDR to work as a music editor and producer; there she was responsible for the New Music department, including concert recordings, broadcasts, CD co-productions and events. She has also worked as a presenter and author for magazine programmes.

Falk Häfner Artistic Director

Falk Häfner, Moderation | Picture: © BR/Markus Konvalin

Falk Häfner was born in Schmalkalden/Thuringia in 1971. He began his musical education at the local music school. After several years in a special class for talented students at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy College of Music and Drama in Leipzig he graduated there in 1988 in piano studies.

During his years of study Falk Häfner gained early journalistic experience in the arts department of the Berliner Zeitung newspaper and through work experience at WDR in Cologne and at Bayerischer Rundfunk. From 1995 Falk Häfner worked as a reporter, presenter and editorial staff member for the MDR Kultur station. From 2003 he was also a member of the permanent presenter team at BR-KLASSIK in Munich.

In 2007 Falk Häfner worked at Deutschlandfunk in Cologne as a music editor and producer. In 2011 he returned to BR-KLASSIK as editor and has a wide remit there. He is often to be heard presenting programmes on the radio. He is responsible for the music feature department and together with Meret Forster he heads up the BR-KLASSIK studio concert series.

In 2008 Meret Forster returned as a music editor to BR. She has been Head of Department with BR-KLASSIK since 2011, where she is responsible for live broadcasts from the Bavarian State Opera and by BR's Choir and Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Radio Orchestra, as well as studio and live recordings in the field of chamber music, planning and organization of BR-KLASSIK's studio concerts and the "Festspielzeit" series featuring international concert and opera highlights.

Elisabeth Kozik Managing Director

Elisabeth Kozik | Picture: BR

Elisabeth Kozik, originally from Poland, studied Romance languages and attended a music college in Katowice. From 1990 to 2001, she taught languages (French, Spanish and Polish) and worked in the artistic office of the Munich Chamber Orchestra. In September 2001, she took up employment with the ARD International Music Competition.

She assumed the managing direction of the ARD International Music Competition in 2009.  Since 2018 she has been a board member of the World Federation of the International Music Competition, and since 2021 its vice-president.

Anja Krainz Projekt Management

Anja Krainz | Picture: Anja Krainz

Anja Krainz has joined the headquarter of the ARD International Music Competition as Project Manager in February 2014. She began classical vocal training with Roswitha Rieger in 1997, then went on to study Dramatics and Musicology as well as Modern German Literature at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. There she subsequently studied Psychology and Educational Sciences.

Thanks to twelve years of experience in the fields of organization, coordinating and executing artist support services during the implemental phases of the ARD Music Competition, she is superbly well prepared for her work at the head office.

Ruth Wischmann Press and PR

Founded in September 2000, RW Media Relations is a Munich-based public relations firm specializing in the arts, classical music and musical theater. RW Media Relations' director, Ruth Wischmann, is an experienced public relations executive from the classical music scene.