Over the years, Schippers has taken the lead on a number of large-scale transformative projects to assist organisations to adapt to new realities and thrive in new areas. In addition, he has been the driver of numerous smaller scale projects – including a number of festivals- to aid the agendas of specific organisations across three continents:


Over the years, Schippers has taken the lead on a number of large-scale transformative projects to assist organisations to adapt to new realities and thrive in new areas. In addition, he has been the driver of numerous smaller scale projects -including a number of festivals- to aid the agendas of specific organisations across three continents:

Major Projects Completed


2016 – 2020

Transforming the 70-year old iconic non-profit record label of the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. Rebranding the label by attracting new artists and projects, creating high-profile releases focusing on diversity and social justice; gaining extensive coverage in press and numerous awards (including 7 Grammy nominations/2 wins); expanding reach to over 300 million people per year; improving business and communication processes; securing over USD12 million from the market, partnerships, donors and grants over four years.


2003 – 2015

Founding and developing an innovative centre for music research in a practice-based environment, growing annual turnover from AUD38,000 to over AUD1 million per annum (excluding academic salaries). Research was structured in five focus areas, most with a strong diversity and social justice focus: artistic practice as research; music education and training; music and communities; music, health and wellbeing; music and technology. Developed strong research culture and doctoral program. Secured five consecutive competitive ARC Grants totaling over $1.4m. In addition, music was granted $5m as Griffith University Area of Strategic Investment 2009-2014.


2009 – 2014

Five-year ARC Linkage project with nine partners in six countries exploring the ecosystems that govern the sustainability of musical styles and genres across the globe. Investigation of nine case studies ranging from Vietnamese ca tru to Western opera, seeking to identify models that can empower communities around the world to forge musical futures on their own terms. Outcomes delivered both in online formats and academic outputs, including a major Oxford University Press volume. Total turnover AU$5 million; ARC contribution AU$621,000.


2009 – 2012

Three-year term as Director of one of the most prestigious elements within Griffith University. Carried through major change agenda: curriculum review to align student experience more with industry expectations; major refurbishment of the building to turn it into a significant concert venue and diverse community space; and overhauled the interface between the Conservatorium, music industry, and diverse communities with activities including major festivals and conferences. Expanded turnover 2009 – 2012 from AU$16 – $20 million per annum.


1996 – 2006

Ten-year, 12-million euro project, based on extensive research into current practice and future models of diverse music education. Two dozen articles, reports and grant proposals leading to an international performing arts center for students from community music to tertiary level. Grants gained from several ministries and other public and private bodies in the Netherlands and Portugal. 6-million euro European funding secured June 2004 for project development in Rotterdam. Remaining 8 million euro from Ministry, municipality and partners. Opened by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands in December 2006.


1996 – 2000

Four-year action research project on HFL360,000 grant gained from the Ministry of Sciences, Education and Culture. Restructuring a teacher-training curriculum at tertiary level to meet the demands of changing societies: included developing new courses in music history, pedagogy, and ‘total immersion’ programs in The Gambia. Turnover HFL500,000 euro; 65% in grants.


1992 – 2000

Ongoing research, development and exchange of good practice between institutes and individuals involved in teaching world music leading to the development of concept, curriculum and actual realization of 14 world music schools in The Netherlands. Generated numerous performances, conference presentations, publications, consultancies, and evaluations. Funded by LOKV, Ministries, private foundations. Annual turnover rising from HFL 100,000 to 1.5 million; latter over 75% in grants.


1990 -1997

Establishing an educational environment conducive to learning mostly oral traditions from twelve different cultures within a European style formal learning environment. Hiring and managing 23 teachers from 11 different cultures to develop pedagogical approaches fit for purpose and sensitive to context for 400 students, mostly children. Organizing two dozen concerts and presentations per year to ensure the initiative remained high profile in public awareness as a national example. Raising funds for instruments, in-service training, and performances. Turnover about HFL300,000 per annum.

Grants / Funding Highlights


USD 400,000 from the Smithsonian Institution for programming the Smithsonian Year of Music, leading to 2,180 music events and daily highlights of music related digital object across cultures


USD 290,000 from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation for a book/five CDs celebrating black musicianship over the first 50 years of JazzFest, produced by Smithsonian Folkways.


AUD 180,000 from the Australian Research Council for research project “Captive Audiences: Performing arts in Australian prisons” (part of a series of ARC grants totaling AUD1,400.000).


AU 200,000 from various agencies for the realization of the festival “Encounters: India” and the 4th “World Forum on Music” of the International Music Council.


AUD 621,000 from the Australian Research Council for the global research collaboration: “Sustainable futures for music cultures: Toward an ecological approach.”


AUD 5,000,000 from the Vice Chancellor of Griffith University for Music as a Strategic Area of Development.


EUR 6,100,000 from the European Development Fund for the realization of the World Music & Dance Centre at Codarts, Rotterdam.


HFL 200,000 from the EU/Socrates for research into cultural diversity in conservatoires across Europe, carried out in collaboration with the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC)


HFL 360,000 from the Dutch Ministry of OCW for transforming the teacher training degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam over four years.


HFL 200,000 from Dutch Ministry of OCW for developing the Amsterdam World Music School

Minor Projects & Festivals


In addition to a substantial number of major projects (see above), Schippers has initiated and realised numerous smaller projects, often with budgets of USD10,000 to 50,000, but frequently with considerable strategic impact. These include the quarterly magazine “Wereldmuziek” (“World Music” in the 1980s); the “Flying Gamelan” (an Indonesian gamelan that could easily be moved from school to school) in the 1990s; a series of newspaper articles and meetings that helped transform the Australian research landscape for the arts in the 2000s; and the album “Songs of Our Native Daughters” featuring Rhiannon Giddens, as a profound and honest testimony of the experience of black women in the US over 400 years.


Schippers, H., Reece, D., and Dowdy, E. (2019). Smithsonian Year of Music.

Pan-institutional project “365 Days of Music at the Smithsonian,” showcasing the breadth and depth of the largely invisible musical treasures, research and events at the largest museum, education and research complex in the world. Highlights included daily digital objects of the day, symposiums, guided tours, residencies, and 2,180 musical events realized with a skeleton staff on a skeleton budget of USD 400,000.

Schippers, H. Ruiter, F. de, Bentley, D. & Fischer, S. (2013). 5th IMC World Forum on Music.  

Large event bringing together nine national and international music organisations, experimenting with innovative research and performance-based conference formats to present ideas and concepts, leading to the ‘Brisbane Declaration’, a global vision for music towards 2020.

Plush, V., Tomlinson, V. & Schippers, H. (2013). Encounters: India.

Major festival exploring the cultural relationship between Australia and India past, present, and future, bringing together research, education and community engagement, featuring over 100 scholars and performers in classical, fusion, pop, jazz and art music, drawing an audience in excess of 35,000.

Bentley, D, Jennings, G., Tomlinson, V. & Schippers, H. (2011). Crossbows: A festival of small ensembles.

Seven-day festival with 70 performances over 7 stages celebrating the quality and diversity of small ensemble music in Australia and beyond, including western art, jazz, pop and world music.

Plush, V., Ng, N & Schippers, H. (2010). Encounters: China.

Major festival bringing together research, education and community engagement with performances and collaborations involving 60 performers in traditional Chinese music, western art music, and cross-overs. Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Arts Council, Arts Queensland and Chinese partners.

Duckworth, W., Farrell, N., Schippers, H., Tomlinson, V., and Draper, P. (2007).

iOrpheus, an ‘iPod opera’. Exploration of new, digitized, open-air performance formats for opera in the twenty-first century across five locations in Brisbane’s South bank Parklands, 400 years after the premiere of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.

Plush, V., Turner, A. & Schippers, H. (2005). Encounters: Meetings in Australian music

Exploring sensitive area of Australian art music and its use of Aboriginal music and concepts over two centuries. Two dozen rarely heard works retrieved, performed and critiqued. Strong Indigenous representation. Won prestigious APRA/AMCOS Award for most significant contribution to Australian music by an organization (QCRC) in 2006.

Romijn, O., Bor, J., Schippers, H. (1990). Spiegels van het Oosten (Mirrors of the Orient).

Festival highlighting the achievements of Westerners who immersed themselves in performing arts from Asia. Performances in three multicultural theatres in the Netherlands (Rasa, Soeterijn, de Evenaar). Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Culture and Amsterdam City Council.

Commercial Recordings (Executive Producer – Selection)

Over 100 releases (2016-2021) instigated and/or supervised as Director/Curator of the non-profit label of the Smithsonian Institution, including;

Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn

Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn. Banjo and Ghuzang with vocals.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2020)

Songs from the Bardo

Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW 40583. (2019)

Sound Portraits from Bulgaria

A Journey to a Vanished World – Various Artists.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW 40587. (2019)

Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

Box set of 9 CDs. Grammy Award.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW 40225. (2019)

Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Box set of 5 CDs.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW 40250. (2019)

Songs of Our Native Daughters

Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell. Grammy nominee.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2019)

The Social Power of Music

Various Artists. Box set of 4 CDs.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW 40321. (2019)

Tú eres mi flor: Songs for Children en Español

Elizabeth Mitchell and Suni Paz.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2018)

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2018)

Cruzando Borders

Los Texmaniacs. Grammy Nominee.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2018)

The Invisible Comes to Us

Anna & Elizabeth.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2018)

Hot Jazz, Cool Blues & Hard-Hitting Songs

Barbara Dane.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2018)

Black Cowboys

Dom Flemons. Grammy Nominee.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2018)

Classic Delta and Deep South Blues from Smithsonian Folkways

Various Artists.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2018)

Lead Belly, Baby!

Dan Zanes and Friends.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2017)

Letters from Iraq: Oud and String Quintet

Rahim Alhaj.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2017)

Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie’s 26 Northwest Songs

Various Artists.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2017)