Ian Ritchie

Artistic Director

Drawing on more than forty years of experience in the creative leadership, management and transformation of a number of arts organisations, including orchestras and festivals, Ian Ritchie presents theoretical and practical models for the programming, strategic planning and successful execution of arts projects and businesses - models that are transferable from the arts into any field of endeavour - with creative and inclusive imagination as their essential starting point.  He is currently Artistic Director of the Setúbal Music Festival (Portugal) and of The Musical Brain (Arts, Science and the Mind).


The 10th edition of the Setúbal Music Festival takes will take place from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th May 2020 and our theme for this year is ‘Listening’. We shall mark the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven, who proved that ‘listening’ and ‘hearing’ are essentially different human capabilities.

Our 3rd annual Symposium on Music, Health & Wellbeing will again be curated and integrated within the Festival programme and its main topics in 2020 are ‘Deafness’ (21st May) and ‘Dementia’ (22nd May).

The Festival programme will be announced in early 2020: http://www.festivalmusicadesetubal.com.pt/en/.


To find out more about this cultural and social phenomenon, please read this report of the 2019 Setúbal Music Festival in Classical Music: https://www.rhinegold.co.uk/classical_music/music-as-medicine/.


In June 2019 I attended two national conferences which were happening simultaneously in Ottawa – (1) Orchestras Canada, where I spoke about the artistic as well as social benefits of inclusion and diversity in making music, as illustrated by the Setúbal Youth Ensemble, and (2) Community Health Connections (Alliance for Healthier Communities). Immediately afterwards, I wrote the following blog post: https://oc.ca/en/open-youth-orchestras-inclusive-music-making/.