Founder & President
Paolo Petrocelli, PhD-EMBA-FRSA, is a senior cultural manager, university professor and journalist driven by the belief that culture, arts and education are a major force for growth, development and change globally.
A passionate, innovative and dynamic manager with an extensive experience in leadership positions in a variety of organizational settings, he is an international relations and global cultural affairs expert.
Petrocelli is the founding Director General of the Stauffer Center for Strings of Cremona, the first international music center dedicated entirely to stringed instruments, and Director General of the Accademia Stauffer, one of Italy’s most prestigious music institutions.
In order to serve as an active citizen and support non-profit activity, he has become a leading member of some of the most prestigious international organizations, including United Nations, UNESCO, World Economic Forum.
Petrocelli is the Co-Founder and Honorary President of the Italian Youth Association for UNESCO, the largest youth organization in the UNESCO system worldwide, which he chaired as President for five years (2015-2019).
As a music diplomacy ambassador, he serves in institutional roles to forge bonds through music in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the US. Petrocelli is the Founder and President of EMMA for Peace (Euro-Mediterranean Music Academy for Peace) and the Co-Founder and Director of Institutional Relations & International Affairs of Opera for Peace – Leading Young Voices of the World.
He serves as Expert of the Education and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission (EACEA), Member of the Advisory Council of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), Advisor and Chairperson of the Music Commission Education Committee of the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Cultural and Music Diplomacy Officer for the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Cultural Advisor to Coldplay, the multi Grammy award-winning British band and Advisory Board Member of INTERSOS, the largest Italian NGO on the frontline of global emergencies in 19 countries around the world.
He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Music Diplomacy – Stories from the World, the first blog community dedicated to collecting the most inspiring stories on music diplomacy from all over the world.
Top-level roles in the public and private sector have rounded out his cultural relations and senior arts administrator expertise, allowing collaboration with global leaders in performing arts management.
In 2014, he has been appointed as one of the youngest members ever elected to the Board of Directors of Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Rome Opera House). In 2015, he has been appointed as Member of the Board of Directors of Fondazione Accademia Musicale Chigiana di Siena and in 2016 as Member of the Board of Directors of Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia (Venice, Italy).
Today, he serves on numerous Board of Directors, including Opera Lebanon (Beirut, Lebanon), the Italian Association for Cultural Economics and Accademia Musicale Jacopo Napoli (Cava de’ Tirreni, Italy). He is Honorary Board Member of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.
Petrocelli is a Founding Board Member of the International Centre for Contemporary Music (ICCM), a nonprofit organization for the performance, production, promotion, and dissemination of contemporary music of our time.
Former Associate Director at IMG Artists, Advisor for International Development and Special Projects at Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman and Director of International Projects at Oregon Music Festival (USA), he currently serves as Assistant to the Superintendent for international development and external relations of Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
He is the Lead for Italy of Sound Diplomacy, the leading global consultancy advising cities, governments, tourism boards and large organisations on music and night time economy policy.
Petrocelli holds a PhD in Cultural Economics, Marketing and Creativity from the IULM University of Milan, an Executive MBA from SDA Bocconi School of Management of Milan, a Diploma in Violin Performance (MA) from the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia of Rome, a BA in Literature, Music and Entertainment from La Sapienza University of Rome, a BA (Hons) Music from Middlesex University of London and a Diploma of Expert in National and International Ceremonial and Protocol from SIOI, Italian Society for International Organizations and the Oxford Executive Leadership Programme Certificate from Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford.
He is a Research Affiliate at the metaLAB (at) Harvard, an experimental research unit dedicated to innovation in the arts, media and humanities at Harvard University.
He has been a Yale University Visiting Fellow (2011-2012) and a Visiting Researcher at MIT Media Lab (2016), the interdisciplinary research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts).
To help shape the next generation, Petrocelli lectures at leading universities (including Yale University, MIT, New York University, Université Paris-Sorbonne) about management and international cultural relations.
He serves as a Lecturer at LUISS Business School – School of Management, John Cabot University, Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Conservatorio di Musica di Adria, Sole 24 Ore Business School and European School of Economics in Rome and Visiting Professor at Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France.
He is the Program Coordinator for the Professional Certificate in Cultural Diplomacy and International Cooperation, promoted by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) and Scientific Director for the Master in Creative Direction for the Performing Arts at Accademia di Costume e Moda.
He served as Director of the Master of Cultural Management at the Rome Business School.