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Seminar: Music & Leadership - The Search of Excellence

Go Canada, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2007/2008

Bibi Pelić, classical violinist and lecturer, gave a unique and truly inspirational presentation on how music can influence the sphere of business. 'Out of all the arts and human activities music has the most impact on human emotions,' she said. The theme for the seminar was how business leaders can learn from the management skills of top-class conductors and how knowledge of the rules of music can be used in business.


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Ms. Pelić enforced the idea that a good manager needs to know the traits and abilities of their staff in order for each member to successfully find their place in the company. As a way of illustrating this concept, she compares people to instruments by describing the purpose and identity of the instruments which make up the orchestra. For instance, the first violin is a leader that carries the melody and presents the ideas of the music. The second violin and viola have a more supportive role, whereas the cello is the rhythm and the double bass provides the home base. In other words, there is a structure and purpose for each individual member. Conductors have to know every segment of the orchestra and know what sound they can produce. Being aware of every instrument and player, they have a special vision of how the final product should sound before it is even played - thus, they need the foresight of a successful manager. Herbert von Karajan, for thirty-five years the leader of the Berlin Philharmonics, was one of the great conductors who possessed these qualities, said Ms. Pelić; almost two decades after his passing, his leadership still influences the orchestra's performance.

The seminar was held with the kind support of CEELI Institute who allowed us to use the beautiful library room at Villa Gröbovka for the purpose.


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