Startup Competition

The Eliette & Herbert von Karajan Institute and Silicon Castles announce the Karajan Music Tech Startup Competition. The prize will be awarded during the annual Karajan Music Tech Conference in Salzburg on March 23, 2018.

Music and Media Tech Startups are invited to participate in the Karajan Music Tech Startup Competition. All startups that participate in the Innovation Lab of the conference are eligible to join the competition.


First Prize: Ticket to Silicon Castles Startup Executive Academy in June 29 – July 4 with faculty from Stanford University Business School, Kauffman Fellows and international top managers. (Value: 5,000 EUR)

Second Prize: Participation at Sonophilia Retreat 2018; the private meeting point of leaders from arts, sciences, business and tech. (Value: 690 EUR)

Third Prize: Space in the Innovation Lab for next year’s Karajan Music Tech Conference. (Value: 500 EUR)



Eva Wimmers (President Huawei/HONOR Europe)

Andreas Spechtler (Founder Silicon Castles, formerly President Dolby International)

Seda Röder (Founder of Sonophilia)

Matthias Röder (Eliette & Herbert von Karajan Institute)


Apply now



Startups need to submit the following documentation until March 16th online:

  • Pitch Deck
  • Founders’ Bios
  • Stage of Funding
  • Further supporting documentation and links to videos as necessary

See you soon!


Alumni News #3 | New speakers | Trend Update

Only three more weeks to go until the 2nd edition of our #KarajanMusicTech Conference! I’m greatly looking forward to welcoming many of you on March 23rd in Salzburg and discussing trends in Music & Tech. Now, it is the best time to announce a substantial number of our speakers. We are delighted to be joined by these outstanding people. Plus, I also share two of our Alumni Stories and some interesting news from the world of #MusicTech with you.

Wihin the next two weeks, we will announce our complete list of panels and speeches and also give you an introduction to our new speakers. In the meantime, you may have a look at our Blockchain Panel we’ve already announced.

12 new speakers announced

Richard Gooch: CTO, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

Ole Baekhoe: Director, Pierre Boulez Saal

Christopher Widauer: Head of Digital Development, Vienna State Opera

Jana Posth: Senior Project Manager, phase 7 performing.arts

Aurélia Azoulay: Head of Marketing & Business Development, Newzik

Christian Lorenz: Managing Artistic Director, Beethoven Anniversary Society

Seda Röder: Founder, Sonophilia

Sasha Borovik: Head of the Blockchain Advisory Group, Cryptology AG

Sven Sören Beyer: Artistic Director & Founder, phase 7 performing.arts

Paul Fournier: Senior Internal Audit Manager, RTL Group

Nicolas Mosimann: Partner, Kellerhals Carrard

Thomas Reiche: Public Relations, Dresdner Kreuzchor

David Bahanovich: cellist, music director and academic

Alumni News #3

The Silk Road Cultural Belt and the Conference of the Birds have been visited by so far 870.000 people from all over the world. 19.7% of them are visiting the platform on a regular base. The Silk Road Symphony Orchestra and the Silk Road Cultural Belt have won the ‘Land der Ideen 2017‘ Award by a number of performances in Berlin including the Berlin Global Forum in November 2017.

Just enjoy the music! Social Media Thomas has visited Sennheiser’s Berlin Store and listened to Herbert von Karajan’s 1963 version of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and other masterpieces via Sennheiser’s Orpheus. This headphone including amplifier is considered the world’s most elaborate headphone system and costs around 50.000 Euros. In 2017, Sennheiser has exhibited this headphone type at our very first #KarjanMusicTech conference in Salzburg. If you enjoy HiFi music, get inspired in Sennheiser’s Berlin flagship store!

Register for 2018

Did you know?

Music for programping
At our first edition of #KarajanMusicTech last spring, we already learnt that music can be beneficial for your health by helping the treatment of depression. But for many of us, music is also a way to get the flow while working at the PC. I just found a dedicated list of music for those who want to stay focused while programming the next winning app or writing a blog post, called musicForProgramming. Of course, you may also listen to it when you clean your house. They claim to ‘aid concentration and increase productivity’. Let’s give it a try!

Anti-noice-canelling headphones
On tuesday, I visited the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There, I recognised a very interesting piece of technology: the Sony Xperia Ear Duo. This device truly is relevant to the field of #MusicTech because it helps you to stay connected to the physical world while being drawn into music. In contrast to noice-cancelling headphones, it is adding sounds that are surrounding you to the music you are listening to. So it could be seen as a layer of reality that is added to your musical experience. It helps you not to miss important updates from the real world. Have a look at this impressive video showcasing how it works.

Register for 2018

To join our conference, please click here. Or get in touch with me if you are a startup and would like to apply for the innovation lab. Please also sign up for our Blockchain Hackathon (March 21st/22nd) – either as participant or partner. If you wish to contribute with data, APIs or brain power, please be in touch with me. I would be delighted to take you on board.

Thank you!

Matthias Röder
Founder Karajan Music Tech Conference
+43 676 46 77 111 | matthias.roeder[at]



Alumni News #2 +++ Karajan on tour +++ New speakers

One month ahead of our #KarajanMusicTech Conference, I share further Alumni News and recently confirmed speakers with you. Also, I give you a short impression of my speech at EDF (European Film Market) during Film Festival Berlin last Friday. Do you want to be featured in one of our upcoming Alumni News? Please contact me via matthias.roder[at]!

Alumni News #2

After a successful launch at the Konzerthaus in Vienna last October, featuring chief ambassador John Malkovich and great feedback from the music community, Music Traveler is expanding to the rest of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Simple but effective: the app connects musicians with rehearsal spaces.

Skoove, the piano teaching software provider, has published an iPhone app. Now, learners have access to a mobile teacher that fits into their pockets. The software is also available for Desktop PCs and the Apple iPad and targeted towards both beginners and advanced learners.


Register for 2018

New speakers announced

Julia Kaiser is a freelance radio journalist and media trainer. Her main topics include culture and culture education. She coaches artists and scientists on how to give good interviews and simplify their expert topics into easily comprehensible texts. Her project YoungReporters focuses on passing on her experience and fascination in journalism to children, adolescents and young professionals. Julia studied German, English and History in Aachen and Berlin and was awarded a scholarship in journalism from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Eva Wimmers is the president of Huawei/HONOR Europe and Vice President of HONOR Global . She oversees sales, operations & marketing and marketing in Europe. It’s Eva’s mission to establish the young Honor brand in the European market and drive partnerships across Europe. Previously, she was Senior Vice President Group Procurement at Deutsche Telekom. Eva is friend of the Karajan Institute and spoke at our first #KarajanMusicTech Conference in April 2017.

Annina Zwettler is a program-manager at the French-German broadcaster ARTE. There, she works on the broadcaster’s content and digital properties strategy, and latest tech developments such as VR and AR. Before, she served as curator and project manager at ZKM Karlsruhe – Center of Art and Media and Technisches Museum Wien. I.a., she realised contemporary art and historical exhibitions and developed digital content for the Technisches Museum Wien.

Angela Alvarez Rilla cofounded Sintonia Media in Madrid and is Executive & Creative Producer of multi-platform content for corporations, as well as cultural and music programs for TV and cinema. Experienced with live and taped productions, she manages the financing, tech development, creative process and distribution of all her formats. Previously, she worked for Teatro Real in Madrid (head of AV Program), Opus Arte and Telefónica Media. She received a Master’s Degree in Contemporary History from Universidad Complutense and also studied at University of Oviedo and Open University.

Karajan on tour

Last Friday, I was honoured to speak at efm (European Film Market) during Film Festival Berlin. I gave a speech on the topic ‘AI and Music: when algorithms are composing‘. I liked the vivid discussion on how Artificial Intelligence can be applied in the field of music. I’m looking forward to continuing this discussion during our #KarajanMusicTech conference on March 23rd in Salzburg!

Register for 2018

Please register for the conference now or get in touch with me if you are interested in featuring your company at our upcoming conference or in our ‘Alumni News’ secion. I would be delighted to take you on board.

Thank you!

Matthias Röder
Founder Karajan Music Tech Conference
+43 676 46 77 111 | matthias.roeder[at]



Karajan Music Tech Alumni News

With the Karajan Music Tech Conference around the corner, I thought it might be interesting to reach out to our alumni and seewhat they have been up to in the past year. Here are some exciting news, more to come in the following days.

The founders of HELLO STAGE, Bernhard Kerres and Bettina Mehne, have won the prestigious Association of British Orchestra’s Artist Manager of the Year Award for their book and online courses “Be Your Own Manager” as well as their work at HELLO STAGE.

2017 was a powerful year for HealthTunes. They released their new 2.0 engine in October 2017 and were validated and endorsed by two UCLA Medical departments (here and here). HealthTunes is also starting a Sensory Deprivation Study with AKH, Vienna.

2017 Karajan Music Tech moderator Jessica Lustig, Managing Director of 21C Media Group in New York, pictured with Afghan Women’s Orchestra “Zohra” at their debut during the closing ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 2017: see here. Jessica is a consultant to the orchestra.

Alexander Rehding’s book Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Oxford University Press) discusses the various roles the symphony plays in the digital age. Check it out here! Dr. Rehding is a professor of musicology at Harvard University and scientific adviser to the Karajan Institute’s research project.

The Holland Festival recently announced the programme for its 2018 edition, including several productions worth the attention of music & tech enthusiasts, such as Sight Machine by Trevor Paglen and the Kronos Quartet, the videogame-turned-live performance Oikospiel II: Heat Cantata by David Kanaga, and a preview of Colin Benders’s new Electro Symphonic Orchestra.

Music:Eyes has partnered with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Music-Conservatory Zurich in an education project that culminates in two performances on March 18 in Zurich of Beethoven’s 4th Symphony with visualizations created by students on the Music:Eyes software.

Register for 2018

Please register for the conference now or get in touch with me if you are interested in featuring your company at our upcoming conference. I would be delighted to take you on board.

Thank you!

Matthias Röder
Founder Karajan Music Tech Conference
+43 676 46 77 111 | matthias.roeder[at]



Blockchain & Music Hackathon | First speakers announced

Great news! Blockchain Hackathon and first #KarajanMusicTech speakers announced

From doing the very first CD production ever to having the most modern recording studio in the world: Herbert von Karajan had always been a trailblazer when it comes to adapting new technologies.

Since it’s our mission to discover, develop and share future-enabling ideas at the intersection of music, society and tech, we should not miss the discussion about Blockchain technology and how it could potentially improve our lives.

The Eliette and Herbert von Karajan Institute, Open Music Initiative (MIT/Berklee College of Music) and Red Bull Media House are joining forces in a Blockchain Hackathon at the Karajan Music Tech Conference in Salzburg March 21-22. The hackathon will be hosted at Schloss Urstein (University of Applied Sciences Salzburg). Red Bull Media House is inviting hackers to take on their “Music Portfolio Challenge” to build a blockchain-based music micro-licensing platform.


More information about the hackathon can be found here. Tickets can be found here.

We are very excited that Martin Brem (Red Bull Media House), Panos Panay (Berklee College of Music) and George Howard (Open Music Initiative) will join us for the Blockhain panel discussion at #KarajanMusicTech on March 23rd.

Martin Brem started his musical career at a classical boys choir. Later, he was working as musician and singer. His most notable career steps include founding the content agency BIT (Bild & Text), being the Artist & Repertoire manager at IDE (Philip Morris) and taking on the Managing Director position for Columbia Records and Sony Classical. Joining Red Bull Media House in 2012, he now takes responsibility for the company’s global music rights.

Panos Panay founded the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship. There, he is using the concepts of music thinking to teach and innovate. He also founded Sonicbids, a platform where bands can sell gigs and market themselves online. Panos is one of the founders of the Open Music Intitiative.

At GHStrategig, George Howard advises companies on how to integrate technology with strategy. He also cofounded Music Audience Exchange bringing brands and musical artists together. Prior, he worked in the field of independent music. At Berklee College of Music and Brown University, he is giving lessons in marketing, leadership, copyright law and entrepreneurship. By cofounding the Open Music Initiative, he helps creating a blockchain-based open protocol to identify musical rights owners and creators uniformly. Besides contributing frequently to the New York Times, he is also a columnist for Forbes.

I am very excited that we will be contributing to a more efficient and transparent music industry with this initiative. Our goal is to break down data silos in our industry and thereby help artists to get their royalties directly and with maximum transparency.

Please register for the conference now or get in touch with me if you are a startup and would like to apply for the innovation lab.

If you are interested in joining our hackathon as a partner or if you wish to contribute with data, APIs or brain power, please be in touch with me. I would be delighted to take you on board.

With kind wishes,

Matthias Röder
Founder Karajan Music Tech Conference


A Hack Day for Classical Music

Classical Music + Technology = Future

What happens when musicians and software developers try to move the boundaries of what is doable and create breakthrough technologies? At the Karajan-Institute, we believe that such a goal can only be reached when lots of brilliant minds work together. This is why we have started the Classical Music Hack Day series four years ago: to build a network of researchers, data scientists and musicologists, who are all interested in linking technology and creativity.

Today we are proud to partner with the Salzburg Univerity of Applied Sciences and the Mozarteum University to bring the 4th Classical Music Hack Day to Salzburg. The Hack Day is a separate event that will take place April 8 – 9 at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. For more information, please visit the event website at:

Classical Music Hack Day Website


Q: What is hacking?

A: Here is what the “Internet User’s Glossary” (RFC 1392) from 1993 has to say:

      A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the
      internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in
      particular.  The term is often misused in a pejorative context,
      where "cracker" would be the correct term.  See also: cracker.


Q: Can I attend the Classical Music Hackathon?

A: Of course! Visitors can register for the presentation of hacks. If you are a musician, developer or scientist and would like to hack, register here.

Fretello: Practicing Guitar in the Digital Age

We are very proud to welcome a new Austrian startup to Karajan Music Tech! Fretello launched September 2016 and has since been featured both by Apple and Google.

With Fretello, students can learn guitar faster and more effectively. Based on musicological evidence and a well-proven didactic concept, Fretello creates practice routines that are tailored to students’ individual needs. The app listens to their practise sessions and adapts to students’ progress.

Come find out more about this amazing app in our Innovation Lab!


Welcome HelloStage!

We just confirmed yet another startup for our Innovation Lab: the New York and Vienna based Hello Stage. Welcome!

Founded by Bernhard Kerres in 2014, Hello Stage quickly became one of the major platforms for young classical artists. Today they have a few thousand members and provide audiences and musicians alike with fresh classical music.

To find out more about the companies that are featured in our Innovation Lab click here.

Join us for the Karajan Music Tech Conference


Music and Healthcare: The Sync Project from Boston

It is widely known that Herbert von Karajan was involved in various music technology innovations, most notably in the development of the Compact Disc (CD). But few people know that he also had a deep interest in the effects of music on the human psyche and body.

To better understand how musical performances move human beings is perhaps the most fundamental question that any professional musician could ask. Herbert von Karajan, as was so often the case with him, went one step further and established a research institute for experimental music psychology at the University of Salzburg in 1968 to investigate this topic from a scientific perspective. In doing so, he helped propel a new kind of research, one that is focused on the intersection of neurology, medicine and music.

Today, there are quite a few start-ups who are applying this knowledge to innovative products and services.

One of these  young companies is “The Sync Project” from Boston. Co-founded by MIT Director’s Fellow Marko Ahtisaari, the company is building a system for music as a precision medicine.

We are very excited that Marko will join us for a panel discussion. You will also be able to experience The Sync Project in our Innovation Lab.