Board of Trustees
Sonia Simmenauer was born in the USA and grew up in France. After studying languages (English-German) at the Sorbonne in Paris, she moved to Hamburg in 1982, where she founded her concert agency, Impresariat Simmenauer, in 1989. In 2008, she opened Café Leonar, along with the Jewish Salon at Grindel. In the same year, her book "Muss Es Sein" about life in a string quartet, was published by Berenberg. (Meanwhile translated into French and English). In 2009 she moved to Berlin with the agency, in 2022 she founded a Berlin Jewish salon.
Uta Gielke took over as head of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation's culture program department in 2005 and has been deputy head of the foundation's entire program department since 2020. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Carl Toepfer Foundation since 2016. She studied Applied Cultural Studies at the University of Lüneburg and is also trained as a speech therapist.
Annekatrin Hentschel has dedicated herself to presenting classical music in an emotional, accessible and humorous way. Not only as a presenter of concerts, events and festivals such as the ARD International Music Competition, Opera Für Alle or the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis. For the past 10 years, she has headed the young magazine SWEET SPOT at BR-Klassik - after radio, TV and events, the focus of her young team is now primarily on the development of digital formats. Podcasts and music video productions for the ARD Mediathek and Audiothek are among the current projects with a musical focus on film and game music and contemporary chamber music.
Julia Hülsmann is a unique voice in the European jazz scene. She has an exceptional output as a bandleader, pianist and composer. She has lived in Berlin since 1991, where she studied jazz piano at the HdK. She has been active nationally and internationally as a pianist and composer for many years, releasing numerous CDs, always with her trio and various vocal and instrumental guests. The range of her projects includes a solo program to octet and collaboration with big bands (e.g. NDR and HR big bands), of which her trio is the longest standing ensemble - she has been playing with Marc Muellbauer and Heinrich Köbberling for almost 20 years.
From 2011-13 she was president of the Union of German Jazz Musicians (Deutsche Jazzunion). In 2014 she was Improvisor in Residence at the Moers Festival, and in 2016 she received the SWR Jazz Prize as well as the WDR Honorary Prize for her political work to improve working conditions for jazz musicians*. In 2019 she was artist in residence at the Elbjazz Festival. In 2020, the Julia Hülsmann Trio was awarded the Trier Jazz Prize. 2021 the pianist and her quartet received the German Jazz Award for the best national instrumental album. In 2022 she received the GEMA Music Authors Award in the category Jazz/Cross Over. 2022 saw the release of the new Julia Hülsmann Quartet album The Next Door, the 8th release on ECM.
Julia Hülsmann is professor of piano jazz/pop and ensemble conducting at the Berlin University of the Arts. She is the subject coordinator of the jazz/pop section of the music teacher training programs.
Andreas Brandis is a German music manager. He is managing partner of the Munich / Berlin based Jazz & Beyond label ACT Music + Vision and founder and CEO of the Berlin based management, consulting and artist agency Tambour Music Management.
Andreas Brandis was born in Heidelberg in 1980 into a family with a strong connection to classical music. As a child and teenager, he took lessons in violin and percussion. Later he studied jazz percussion and music pedagogy at the conservatories in Leipzig and Lucerne and worked for more than 10 years as a musician and composer in various national and international ensembles as well as at several German theaters.
Dr. Krischan von Moeller
Krischan von Moeller is a founding partner of Paragon. Previously, he was responsible for the restructuring of a portfolio of medium-sized companies at BZV Partners. From 1999 to 2002, he was Head of Corporate Development at the Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, where he was responsible for strategic and operational projects of the group as well as M&A transactions. Prior to that, Krischan spent six years with the Boston Consulting Group in Munich, London and Australasia.
He holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Darmstadt and Harvard University. In his free time, Krischan enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.
Ansgar Wimmer has been a member of the Board of the Alfred Toepfer
Foundation F.V.S. since October 2004, and has been its Chairman since July 1, 2005.
From 2000 to 2004, he was a member of the City Council of Gütersloh (without party affiliation), responsible for culture, education, youth, social affairs and sports in the city of Gütersloh. Previous Wimmer gained work experience as a project manager at the nonprofit Bertelsmann Stiftung, at the United Nations (UNCTAD/ Geneva) and at the consulting firm consulting firm McKinsey & Co. He is a fully qualified lawyer and, as a John J. McCloy
Scholar, he holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University/USA).
Ansgar Wimmer is Honorary Vice Chairman of the Association of German Foundations. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kunststiftung NRW, the E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation, the non-profit initiative Common Purpose Deutschland GmbH, on the Board of Trustees of the Hamburger Öffentliche Bücherhallen and the Ernst H. Klett Stiftung Merkur, Stuttgart, and on the board of the Lieselotte Klein Foundation, Hamburg/Berlin, and member of the board of trustees of the Stiftung Historische Museen Hamburg.