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Music Equipment

Music Business

Sonja Stojak

Sonja Stojak

Sonja Stojak studied composition and music theory at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, where she acquired high artistic-scientific competence and her academic title Mag. art. She has developed her research and pedagogical approach through several relevant publications, lectures and workshops and has gained profound knowledge of knowledge transfer. She promotes interactive knowledge transfer in music analysis, music theory and music-related business topics and cultivates cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer.


Through her many years of work as a promotion and marketing manager in music publishing company Universal Edition, she gained thorough insights into the music business, publishing, international and local cultural scene, and processes that can lead to the confiscation of compositions. She currently works as a research coordinator at the Institute for Musical Acoustics at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, where she is intensively involved in the topic of the scientific business. Her involvement as a member of the board of the Vienna Singverein also speaks for her competencies in arts management. Her artistic activities are characterized on the one hand by her active choral singing, and on the other hand by active activities she has pursued since her youth in the areas of piano, folk dance and singing.

Sonja Stojak
David W
David Wiedemann_edited.jpg

David Wiedemann

David Wiedemann studied at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) in London and graduated in 2018 with a master's degree in concert guitar. During his stay in the UK for several years, he worked as a session & studio musician, organized weekly open-mic events and took on various roles in the event team & student support of the ICMP. Meanwhile, the native Upper Austrian looks back on many years of experience as a live performer with concerts in many parts of Europe. During his education, the guitarist learned from musical greats like Audrey Riley (string arrangements for Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse) and Gianluca Corona (former tour and live guitarist of Al Di Meola). 

The joy of event management and the exchange with international artists* moved David Wiedemann to deepen his knowledge in the music business. In addition to his work as a lecturer, he has been working together with Martina Beer in the VMI's International Office since 2022 and is in charge of the institute's diverse Erasmus and business partnerships. The lecturer sometimes incorporates his practical experience into the design and coordination of VMI events and ensures the continuous development of the institute's events by implementing innovative ideas. Independently of his musical career, David Wiedemann completed a Master's degree in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Vienna, during which he published scientific papers, worked as a specialist tutor and was regularly in contact with international scientists. Fluent in three languages and proficient in academic writing, he provides students with an analytical yet spirited approach to communication, planning & execution in the music business.

Mel Verez

Mel Verez

Mel Verez is known to many people primarily as a charismatic and multifaceted singer with a breathtaking voice and outstanding stage shows. The fact that the trained vocalist not only graduated with honors in jazz and pop singing, but also completed a professional music management degree, could almost be overlooked in view of her numerous stage successes. But Mel Verez is active in many areas, captivating as a songwriter, singer and performer just as much as she knows how to be successful as a co-producer and music manager - different tasks that need not be separated but can enrich each other. Thus, it can be considered a stroke of luck when students are taught by teachers who are at home in different fields and know how to act professionally and successfully both behind the scenes and on stage.

Mel Verez's collaborations with a wide variety of artists and musicians are extremely diverse. To be emphasized would be in particular: The Teddy Blackwood Imperials (original gospel singers of Elvis Presley), Dennis Jale, Gary Lux, Jao Caetano (Incognito percussionist), Hubert Tubbs (ex-Tower of Power), Wickerl Adam (Hallucination Company), Conrad Schrenk, Goran Mikulec, Willi Langer, Silvio Berger, Shelia Michellé, Thomas Palme, Rue Kostron (Christina Stürmer Band), Werner Feldgrill, Christian Ziegelwanger, Engel Mayr (Russkaja), Random Trip (Budapest), Claus Spechtl or Andy Baum.

The prerequisite is talent, the key to success is discipline and discipline we achieve by loving what we do! (Mel Verez)

Mel Verez
Ernst Ritsch Vienna Music Institute

Ernst Ritsch

Ernst Ritsch studied in Munich and Graz, completed study visits in Boston and New York, taught at various educational institutions in Germany and Austria, led summer academies as well as numerous seminars and workshops, served as a jury member at national and international music competitions, and performed as an active musician with outstanding musicians and bands in many European countries as well as overseas. As artistic-pedagogical director and managing director, he has presided over the VMI-Vienna Music Institute for around two decades and, due to these functions, is also very familiar with the areas of management and music business.

In the Music Business degree program, special emphasis is placed on a practice-oriented combination of theoretical expertise and practical applications. This is favored by the integration into an internationally oriented community of active musicians of the most diverse character as well as by the cooperation with music producers and creative artists of different genres. Within this environment, students of the Music Business program work on the practical implementation of various music projects, event organizations and management tasks from the beginning of their studies. The program fosters enthusiasm for a creative and practice-oriented approach to the diverse range of tasks and activities of modern and contemporary music management, establishes important contacts with music creators and the creative industries, and lays the foundation for a successful professional career in these promising fields.

The music business has changed at a breathtaking pace in recent years - and there seems to be no end in sight to this process at present. While virtuosity is receding more and more into the background, even in so-called popular music, and the great guiding principles are increasingly disappearing, other areas are at the same time (once again) gaining greater importance. These include, in particular, music production and music business, but also songwriting and other creative fields of activity. While not so long ago it was almost unthinkable to achieve significant success in the music business without a major label or management, in the meantime practically anyone with the right know-how and the appropriate contacts to the music scene - not least due to the rapid developments in the electronic field as well as the worldwide distribution possibilities via the most diverse channels and media - can build up their own and successful music business in the shortest possible time. (Ernst Ritsch)

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