Anthem Chair Announced

Arnout van der Veer will be the inaugural Chair of Anthem, Cronfa Gerdd Cymru. Music Fund Wales.

This new music endowment fund for Wales will help open up opportunities for children and young people and will help musical learners from as young as three years old up to twenty-five develop their skills and talent, and access to musical opportunities. The endowment will not be fully distributing funds until 2021 and so the focus at the moment is on building the fund so that it has long term impact and a lasting legacy.

Welsh Government has supported the inauguration of the Fund and over the past year the Arts Council has been working on the feasibility and set up of Anthem as a charitable company acting to make a difference to young people’s musical opportunities in Wales in the mid to long term.

Commenting today, Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams AM, said:

“Congratulations to Arnout on his appointment as the first chair for Anthem – his skillset and extensive experience within the arts sector will make him a fantastic chair for the Anthem fund.

“Music is at the heart of our nation’s rich heritage, and I want all our young people to have access to music education and the opportunity to develop their talents and skills, regardless of background or ability.

“Anthem truly is a ground-breaking initiative that not only increases access to musical experiences, but also enhances our existing music services by providing our learners with new and exciting opportunities outside of school.”

The Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, warmly welcomed the appointment saying:

“The Welsh Government and Arts Council of Wales have worked together in order to make Anthem a reality.  I’d like to congratulate Arnout on his appointment and I’m sure that his experience will enable him to meet the challenge of building the fund and taking this ground-breaking project forward, working in partnership with the music industry across the UK – ensuring that many more young people  can discover and share in the joy of music.”

Arts Council of Wales Arts Director, David Alston, also said:

“We are very pleased that Arnout van der Veer has agreed to take up the crucial role of inaugural Chair of Anthem. He brings with him vast experience of both business and the arts having held senior posts in a number of International businesses, and as CEO of a Foundation. We look forward to working with Arnout to continue Anthem’s development for the benefit of young musicians the length and breadth of Wales. There are some important milestones ahead but in Arnout we are convinced we have the right person to take this on and build the organisation and its sphere of action.”

Anthem is inaugurating a small testbed project with GŵylGrai RAWFfest and  in their next Festival, they plan to explore the benefits of some bespoke music mentors as part of the Festival’s programme with young people.

Arnout van der Veer, linked up with members of RawFfest, at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff recently, and said:

“I am delighted to have been invited to take up this exciting opportunity at this crucial early stage in Anthem’s development, having had a long personal association with Wales. I look forward now to working with colleagues to appoint Anthem’s full Board, and to building the funds in this musical endowment fund. Partnering will be key for Anthem.

“It is a great encouragement that the Welsh Government has made a £1m Investment. However, our ambitions for this fund and its ability to boost the musical talents of Wales’ Young people means that we want to make it a much larger fund, and make it a truly ground-breaking initiative.”

END 3 December 2018

Notes to editors:

  • Anthem. Gronfa Gerdd Cymru. Music Fund Wales was established and formally launched in February 2018 following an announcement by the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, during the National Assembly Plenary Session in February 2018.

  • The objectives of the fund are: a) to make musical opportunities more accessible to all young people aged 3-25; b) to develop musical opportunity in all genres and in all communities; c) to identify and nurture talent and ability; and d) to support career pathways in music and the music industry.

  • Arnout van der Veer holds a number of non-executive roles at charitable organisations. He is also an independent consultant providing business transformation advice to a number of young companies. He is passionate about music and supports Young musical talent in his role as CEO of the Henri Moerel foundation.

  • He has more than 30 years experience of International business and consultancy. Previous roles have included Chief Risk Officer at Reed Elsevier in London, partner at KPMG in New York and Amsterdam and Chief Financial Officer of a private equity firm in London.

  • He has had a long personal association with Wales. This role will be unremunerated.

  • RawFfest supports and promotes creativity of young people aged 14 - 25 years. It is a youth-led festival: young people plan it, programme it, perform at it. The next festival will come to Cardiff for the first time, with young people taking over Wales Millennium Centre 25th - 28th April 2019.

For further information please contact David Alston, Arts Director, Arts Council of Wales,