Cover art for podcast Be Your Own Manager

Be Your Own Manager

120 EpisodesProduced by Bernhard KerresWebsite

Be Your Own Manager is a career podcast for classical musicians from the former CEO and Artistic Director of the Vienna Concert House, Bernhard Kerres. Learn how to win your next engagement, how to build up a fan base, and how to market yourself. The podcast is an extension to the career handbook fo… read more

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Hunters and Farmers

May 17th, 2023


Hunters and Farmers is not a podcast on anthropology. Hunters and Farmers describe two different sales approaches. Most musicians try there best to …

On Practicing

May 10th, 2023


More often than not, we focus on our mistakes when practicing and rehearsing. But nobody is interested in us performing without mistakes! Everyone wants to be touched by our music. We, therefore, need to change the way …

Forget Social Media!

May 3rd, 2023


Social media is a waste of your time. It does not help you build meaningful connections unless you have over 10.000 followers. Focus on personal …

Apple Music Classical is the Wrong Move

April 13th, 2023


Apple just launched the long-awaited Apple Music Classical app. Since Apple acquired Primephonic in August 2021, we have waited for that. But is a new music app dedicated to classical music the right move? Bernhard …

From Student to Master

April 1st, 2023


In the first episode of 2023, Bernhard Kerres talks about the path from student to master. He compares a musician's career with a second adolescence. …

Music is Political.

March 16th, 2022


With the war in Ukraine, some musicians say they do not understand politics. They use that as an excuse for not standing up for their values. In many …

01/22 Guitarist Heike Matthiesen on Female Composers

March 1st, 2022


Have you ever wondered why there are just so few female guitarists? You will find even fewer female composers whose works are performed. Heike Matthiesen changes both. She is a leading female guitarist who played all …

20/21 Money! 💰💰💰

November 24th, 2021


Negotiating fees is one of the toughest topics for any musician. Putting a number to us as person does not feel right. And then there is always someone who offers a concert for a lower fee. Bernhard Kerres introduces a …

19/21 Smile! 😊

September 20th, 2021


With more and more live concerts happening, Bernhard Kerres is astonished about how "office like" many musicians behave at concerts. He has a simple remedy: smile!

If you are interested in the Be Your Own Manager …

18/21 The Album is Dead. Long Live Streaming!

September 6th, 2021


One can wine about the decline in classical music audiences or look at the facts. Especially during the COVID19 pandemic, more and more people have turned to classical music. Streaming has long overtaken album sales. It …

17/21 I am a Musician - Flutist Veronika Vitazkova

August 16th, 2021


"I am a musician. I am free. I play what I want, when I want, with who I want." - Flutist Veronika Vitazkova in an interview with Bernhard Kerres. Veronika has over 50 different flutes and plays them all. She accepts …

16/21 Sit Still!

August 9th, 2021


We have been treating classical music performances stricter than any religious services. Isn't it time to to actually consider the audiences more? Why do people come to a concert? Can one only appreciate music by …

15/21 If You Want to Go Far, Go Together

June 6th, 2021


There is just so much we can achieve alone. Science has shown that peer groups are immensely powerful. We have not only implemented in the BYOM …

14/21 The Joy and the Anxiety of Performing Live Again

May 31st, 2021


Luckily the world is opening up again. Live concerts are popping up again. A great joy for musicians and audiences. But with all the joy one can not neglect the anxiety of performing in front of a live audience after …

13/21 Get in the Head of Audience Members

May 27th, 2021


Many presenters and musicians treat concerts and opera performances almost in a religious way. Only enlightened people are allowed to worship the high art of classical music. The end of the COVID19 pandemic allows us to …

12/21 Clarinet to Go - Meet Bettina Aust

April 11th, 2021


Bettina Aust is an outstanding young clarinetist from Germany. She won several prizes and has performed around the world. Bettina has just released her latest album Fin de Siècle with music from the beginning of the …

11/21 The nexTus Festival is coming!

April 6th, 2021


Meet three out of sixty artists behind the nexTus Festival. The singers Monika Kertesz, Sofia Livotov, and Benjamin Hewat-Craw are not only great musicians, members of the BYOM Community, but they are also part of the …

10/21 When Will the World Return to Normal?

March 22nd, 2021


In a recent Clubhouse discussion, Bernhard Kerres was asked, when the world would return to normal after the pandemic. The answer - probably never. …

09/21 Don't Be Shy to Be an Introvert

March 15th, 2021


Surprisingly to audience members, many musicians are introverts. They communicate through their instruments. Bernhard has some concrete tips in how to deal as a musician with being an introvert off stage.

Curious about …

08/21 Another 80:20 Rule

March 1st, 2021


Driving for excellence is key to your artistic profile. But if you apply that drive for excellence to all your activities, you will be slowed down and frustrated. Bernhard Kerres offers a little exercise on where to …

07/21 Breaking the Recording Chains

February 22nd, 2021


Recordings have been technically limited by time. There were only so many minutes you could press on an LP or a CD. But with streaming taking over, …

06/21 Does Form Follow Function?

February 15th, 2021


With opera houses and concert houses closed in so many parts of the world due to the pandemic, on can question the almost cultist tradition of …

05/21 Your Secret Pet Projects

February 2nd, 2021


Many musicians have amazing creative projects but keep them secret from the world. There are pianists writing pop songs. There are cellists finding …

04/21 Groundhogs, Ostriches, and Penguins

January 25th, 2021


The COVID19 pandemic has been a massive challenge to classical music and performing arts. Musicians have, in our experience, reacted in three ways:

03/21 Be Adventurous in the Digital World!

January 18th, 2021


The various lockdowns and closures of cultural institutions is challenging. Many musicians have taken to the internet to share their music. But is it …

02/21 What Promoters Will Look At

January 11th, 2021


We are often asked, how promoters find talent. Recommendations and the personal network is definitely still the best and most successful way to get …

01/21 Happy New Year! 🍀

January 4th, 2021


Welcome to the 2021! We all hope that it will be better than the last one. Bernhard Kerres has a few tips for you how to best start the New Year.

If you are interested in the Be Your Own Manager Webinars on career …

19/20 You are Qualified! 🏁

December 21st, 2020


Musicians should neither worry about being part of the ocean of greatness, nor should they worry about competition. Horse compete. Musicians don't. …

18/20 Am I Good Enough? (AGAIN...) 🛑

December 14th, 2020


Self-doubt and perceived competition stop many musicians in their growth. They forget that they actually have already mastered greatness with all the hours and hard work they put in. Before even entering university, …

17/20 How Much Do You Practice?

December 4th, 2020


You can practice at least three hours a day or not more than three hours a day. The little difference in phrasing between "at least" and "not more" seems insignificant but changes the quality of our practicing …

16/20 Thinking Beyond Concert Halls

November 2nd, 2020


Is the future of music making in opera houses and concert halls? Yes, but probably not only. Bernhard Kerres argues that especially with the crisis of COVID19 it is time to think of delivering music to people in other …

15/20 Music Matters

October 19th, 2020


It is time to change the narrative. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK, suggested in an itv interview, that artists should …

14/20 Four Steps to Networking and Small Talk

October 12th, 2020


Networking and small talk can kill people - especially introverts. Musicians have trained their whole live to express themselves through their …

13/20 Am I Good Enough? 😳

October 2nd, 2020


For so many musicians, young as well established, the question, if they are good enough, is always in their mind. Bernhard Kerres argues, that this is the wrong question. After having worked so hard, you are good …

12/20 House Concerts in the Middle of Nowhere

September 10th, 2020


Meet Leona Rajakowitsch and Clemente Prudencio, two young musicians, who did not want to wait until the COVID19 crisis is over to share their music. They started a series of house concerts in a small town in the South …

11/20 The Corona Scenarios 3

August 25th, 2020


Following the last episode, Bernhard Kerres discusses potential scenarios of the COVID19 crisis and its impact on classical music. In this episode, …

10/20 The Corona Scenarios 2

August 13th, 2020


The COVID19 crisis will be part of our lives and careers for some time. We cannot predict the future and what will happen. But we can prepare for all possible outcomes. In this second episode on the Corona Scenarios, …

9/20 The Corona Scenarios

July 27th, 2020


The COVID19 crisis will not go away. The only thing that is certain is uncertainty. Bernhard Kerres speaks about how to deal with this kind of uncertainty. And he invites listeners to the Corona Scenarios webinar on …

8/20 African Classical Music

May 27th, 2020


Meet Rosalyn Aninyei, the courageous founder of the Vesta Orchestra in Lagos, Nigeria. While studying and living in Vienna, violinist Rosalyn Aninyei …

7/20 Music for Free

May 18th, 2020


With the COVID 19 crisis many musicians turned to social media and the internet to spread their music. They brought joy to many people. Some people in the music world are now concerned if audiences will ever make the …

6/20 Meet Bernhard Kerres

May 3rd, 2020


Many musicians asked Bernhard Kerres about his career path, leaving the stage, running tech companies, and returning to head one of the greatest concert halls in the world. So, he decided to share his musical career …

5/20 Meet flutist Hélène Boulègue

April 20th, 2020


In this episode, Bernhard Kerres, talks to Luxembourg based flutist Hélène Boulègue about COVID 19, her discovery of André Jolivet and more. Hélène …

4/20 Krishna Thiagarajan on the COVID 19 Crisis

April 9th, 2020


Krishna Thiagarajan, CEO and President of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, talks with Bernhard Kerres on the impact the COVID 19 crisis has on classical music. He gives insides on how the Seattle Symphony stands united …

3/20 Corona

March 30th, 2020


The COVID-19 crisis brought the world close to a complete standstill. Musicians are facing significant economic challenges. The world as we knew it will change. Bernhard Kerres talks about trends which will impact the …

02/20 Time Travel

January 23rd, 2020


When thinking about ones career, one gets easily stuck between huge dreams and the harsh reality. Bernhard Kerres takes you on a time journey to develop a more concrete career strategy.


January 9th, 2020


A happy New Year from Bernhard Kerres and some thoughts on resolutions and goals.

32/19 No More Boring Concerts

November 7th, 2019


Today's concert format comes from the late 19th century. It has something which is almost religious. And it is probably completely outdated. Bernhard Kerres talks about how musicians can think about new and different …

31/19 Get Stuff Done (Kind of...)

October 24th, 2019


Following a question about apps for time and project management, Bernhard Kerres delves into more project management considerations. The right …

30/19 Walk on Water!

October 10th, 2019


In preparation for his lecture at the University of Music and Dance Cologne in Wuppertal, Bernhard Kerres looks at Christo and Jeanne-Claudes'

29/19 Start with Your Community!

October 3rd, 2019


So many musicians, singers, composers, entrepreneurs, and freelancers think that having lots of "friends" on social media makes a strong community …

28/19 Routines and Habits

September 25th, 2019


While practicing is a strong established habit for musicians, looking after one's career isn't. Bernhard Kerres shares his ideas on starting with a …

27/19 Together We Are Stronger

September 12th, 2019


Working on selling and marketing yourself alone can be tedious. Bernhard Kerres talks about a new system he recently came across - Working Out Loud. Based on the book by John Stepper, it is the idea of four to five …

26/19 Play on High Streets

September 5th, 2019


The high streets of our villages, quarters, and towns, are the main artery of life in our community. Due to e-commerce, the economic cycle, and other developments, many high streets are dying out because the shops are …

25/19 The 3Cs in Marketing Yourself as a Musician

August 7th, 2019


A few months ago, Bernhard Kerres, was talking at the Nordic Orchestra Conference in Stockholm. He introduced a new marketing concept for the arts …

24/19 You Are Special!

July 25th, 2019


Being outstanding on one's instrument, being a great singer, a motivating conductor, a creative composer, is only a start. To be successful you need …

23/19 The Power of a Good Story

July 10th, 2019


What makes a good story and why should you think about stories? Your bio, your website, even your concert program is a story. Bernhard Kerres shares …

22/19 Summer! - You're To Do List

July 4th, 2019


Summer is coming! Time for holidays. But also for reflection. Bernhard Kerres has your summer to-do list for you.

More about the podcast and the book …

21/19 Social Media versus E-Mail Newsletters

June 13th, 2019


When marketing in the digital age we all flock to social media. It is so easy. But if you look at the numbers it is a big waste of time. In our latest episode, Bernhard Kerres, compares the effectiveness of social media …

20/19 Videos!

June 5th, 2019


Videos are today an almost must for musicians. Videos give promoters, artistic director, agents, etc. the opportunity to get to know an artist better before actually having them audition or engaging them. Most …

19/19 Write Better Applications for Concerts and Performances

May 29th, 2019


In our latest career podcast for classical musicians, Bernhard Kerres talks about how to write a good application for a concert or performance. He …

18/19 Get Paid!

May 15th, 2019


Again and again musicians tell us that they play for free. An article in the Dutch newspaper NOS says that even the world famous Concertgebouw in Amsterdam does not pay artists for lunchtime concert. Simon Reinink …

Special Edition: Podiumsdiskussion Karriere heute

May 8th, 2019


This weeks Be Your Own Manager podcast is in German!

Dies ist die Aufzeichnung einer Podiumsdiskussion zum Thema Karriere heute. Die Diskussion wurde …

17/19 Selling, selling, selling

May 1st, 2019


Selling leads to engagements. That's why we need to learn about it. In today's episode, Bernhard Kerres talks about the differences of direct and indirect sales and what that means for musicians. His recommendations is …

16/19 Even Oral Agreements Can Be Contracts (RR)

April 25th, 2019


In our latest Be Your Own Manager podcast, Bernhard Kerres talks about contracts. Even an oral agreement can be a contract. Documenting it might be …

15/19 Your Friends Make You Famous

April 17th, 2019


A recent article on cited a study that not your creativity but friends make you famous - at least that seemed to have been the case at the beginning of the 20th century when abstract art emerged. Bernhard …

14/19 Playlists will be the New Social Media

April 12th, 2019


Social Media becomes crowded and overrated. Although we all spend - too - much time on it, its value for communicating with fans is diminishing. Bernhard Kerres points out that Playlists on Spotify and other platforms …

13/19 Stay Motivated

April 3rd, 2019


Staying motivated for the non-musical work can be challenging. Asking someone for something might even be daunting. Still, it is part of a musician's life. Bernhard Kerres talks about why asking is always better than …

12/19 How to Start as a Conductor

March 28th, 2019


Today Bernhard Kerres is answering a question we got via Instagram. How do you start your career as a conductor? It isn't an easy question but …

11/19 Music & Management

March 21st, 2019


Performing outside of concert halls might be shocking for some. But Bernhard Kerres takes you through the example of a leadership course for business …

10/19 Dealing with Setbacks

March 14th, 2019


Setbacks are inevitable. So it is good to find our own way to deal with it. Bernhard Kerres talks about his five steps to work through setbacks.

If you like that podcast, do support it:

9/19 Women's Day!

March 8th, 2019


Celebrating women is one thing. Changing the inequalities in classical music is a second one. Bernhard Kerres talks about what all musicians and presenters can do to increase the equality in classical music.

If you like …

8/19 Ghosting

February 28th, 2019


Have you ever been ghosted? Ghosting is a term in dating when people you were in contact with suddenly stop all communication without an explanation. But ghosting also happens in business. And you might have ghosted a …

7/19 Re-Selling is Easier than Cold Calling

February 21st, 2019


We often focus on performing at a new concert hall, singing in yet another opera house, or approaching a festival which is new to us. And we entirely forget that there are people who have already hired us for concerts …

6/19 Meet Flutist Daniela Mars

February 14th, 2019


The Brazilian-Scottish flutist Daniela Mars is not only a rising star on her instrument but also an influencer on Instagram. She shares her passion for music, contemporary music and the bass flute with her over 33,000 …

5/19 I Don't Understand Music

February 7th, 2019


How often do patrons come up to you and say that they don't understand music? One of the - difficult - tasks of musicians is to communicate about …

4/19 Concert Experiences and Competitions

January 29th, 2019


In the latest career podcast for classical musicians, Bernhard Kerres speaks about how to enhance the concert experience for audiences with a few simple tricks. He also addresses how to prepare for competitions, …

3/19 Envisioning the Future, US Shutdown, the Second Woman since 1974

January 21st, 2019


When thinking about the future it is better to envision it and then looking back than staring at it and not knowing how to reach one's goals. The Self Coaching process is taken from the book, Be Your Own Manager, and …

2/19 - Elevator Pitch and the BREXIT Fanfare

January 17th, 2019


Having an elevator pitch is crucial for young musicians to learn how to differentiate themselves and communicate successfully about who they are and …

1/19 - Focus on Social in Social Media

January 7th, 2019


Be more social in social media, start sharing and share a bit more about yourself. Vienna will see massive leadership changes in its leading cultural …

Plans and Pay

December 18th, 2018


Have you made your plans for 2019 yet? Bernhard Kerres has a few tips for you. Furthermore Bernhard talks about the equal pay case at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For links go to www,hellostage,com

Finns in and out of America

December 10th, 2018


Enjoy the #classicalbuzz news roundup of classical music news from around the world. Esa-Pekka Salonen is heading back to California. Osmo Vänskä leaves Minnesota. Daniele Gatti got a quick contract in Rome. The …

Your First Recording - Interview with John Anderson of Odradek Records.

November 30th, 2018


Bernhard Kerres speaks to John Anderson what it takes to do the first album as a young musician. John, a former pianist himself, is the founder of Odradek Records, a non-profit label and the only one which selects new …

Connect with Your Audiences

November 24th, 2018


Building a close relationship with your audience will make their music experience but also your music making much richer. This requires talking and relating to them.

The 3Cs in Marketing

November 12th, 2018


Marketing for classical music needs content, community and conversation - the 3Cs.

Pirates for Classical Music

October 23rd, 2018


This episode comes from Stockholm where I give a keynote with this title. The keynote starts with the customer journey of an audience member going to …

The Bread and Butter Job

October 19th, 2018


A career as musicians can be a challenge for your private life. The constant travel, sometimes splitting your life between two or more places require a lot of understanding from partners and family. Having a bread and …


October 14th, 2018


Five years after creating HELLO STAGE we have decided to completely revamp our online classical music community. focuses even stronger on sharing the passion for classical music and creating a …

The Golden Age is Coming!

October 1st, 2018


An optimistic episode on the future of classical music with special guest Christian Ehlers. He believes that the future of classical music will be outside traditional concert halls and that it will be exciting and …

The Future of Classical Music is Great

September 26th, 2018


The dinosaurs are lamenting their extinction. But classical music has more people listening to it than ever before. It is up to us to believe in the future of classical music and to drive it.

Get out Pen and Paper

September 20th, 2018


In an increasingly digital world, writing a note by hand can be a game changer.

Cold Calling Violinist Marie-Luise Dingler

September 12th, 2018


Having coffee with violinist Marie-Luise Dingler of the The Twiolins we talk about cold calling and selling. Marie also announced an award for …

The 3:1 Time Management Rule

September 2nd, 2018


Some more thoughts on how to structure your day to be more efficient and effective.

Violinist on a Bike - Meet Justina Auskelyte

August 29th, 2018


An Interview with Lithuanian Violinist Justina Auskelyte ( who is going around on a bike in her new hometown of Malmö playing the …

Happy Birthday, Lenny!

August 25th, 2018


It is Leonard Bernstein’s 100th Birthday today. He is an inspiration for so many of us as a musician, a conductor, a composer, but above all as a true humanist. How does he inspire you?

Make House Concerts!

August 22nd, 2018


Classical music can do we some innovation. Bernhard Kerres introduces Groupmuse which organizes house concerts in the US. He recommends looking at it and perhaps bringing it to other cities around the world.


August 10th, 2018


When on stage you not only represent you and your fellow musicians but are an ambassador of music. Dressing and behaving accordingly seems obvious. Bernhard was shocked that some musicians seem to think differently.

About Competitions

August 3rd, 2018


Should a musician do a competition? Competitions are not only about winning but about seeing where you are in your career compared to your peers.

Learn from House Concerts

July 28th, 2018


Being at the Inaugural Deans & Arts Leaders‘ Summit in Harbin, China, Bernhard talks about the importance of house concerts and outreach projects.

Get a Second E-Mail Adress

July 20th, 2018


Split business and personal emails in two different accounts. This will increase your creative space but also make you more professional.

Doing Recordings Today

April 21st, 2018


The time when a big label signs artists with a big check and a lot of artistic freedom are gone. But today’s world offers good ways for financing and distributing your recording.

My Daily Schedule

April 13th, 2018


The demand on your time is enormous. Practice, rehearsals, learning new repertoire, business issues and more can easily stress you out. My little secret is to divide my day in active and re-active slots.

Get Business Cards

April 8th, 2018


Even in a digital world these small pieces of paper with your contact details on there are really helpful. Get them and make sure that they represent …

Don’t Just Send E-Mails

March 31st, 2018


We have more and more communication tools available. Picking the right one at the right moment when in contact with festivals and concert halls is …

Portfolio Careers

March 26th, 2018


A career in classical music will comprise several activities. You will play a bit solo, you might play in an ensemble, you might teach. Start to …

Working with agents

March 26th, 2018


Working with agents requires close cooperation. Define together what you want to achieve and what everyone has to do. Be aware of “rouge agents” who just take money but are not really artist managers. If in doubt check …

Your Route to Creativity

March 18th, 2018


Finding creativity for classical musicians can be hard. The pressure on their schedule is immense with practice, rehearsals, business issues and much …

A Deal with you on Sales

March 6th, 2018


Selling can be hard. As artists we would love just to be called up for a performance. Unfortunately life is different. Therefore I suggest a deal: do …

Filling Your Calendar

March 5th, 2018


Unfortunately your calendar will not fill up by itself. So you need to go out and sell. But build up a relationship first!

A Podcast on Accidents

March 3rd, 2018


Hopefully you will never need this podcast. Nevertheless accidents and illnesses happen. Therefore it’s important that you think about them …

Social Media for Musicians

February 11th, 2018


There are musicians who are not on social media at all. Others seem to spend all their time on it. Do you need to be on social media as a classical musician? Some thoughts on channels and strategy.

Making Ends Meet

February 8th, 2018


When starting out as a musician you might take on a job to pay your rent. This is a harsh reality. But be proud of following your dream and sharing …

Don’t focus on your Plan B!

February 5th, 2018


If thinking about a music career don’t focus on your Plan B but fully commit to it. Music requires your full attention and is a lot of work. You …

Artist Manager of the Year!

January 27th, 2018


We are honored to receive the Association of British Orchestras’ Award Artist Manager of the Year! An incredible joy and great honor which we …

Dealing with Being Famous

January 23rd, 2018


Even if you have just started out as a musician you are famous to your family and closest friends. You are doing something different than they are. You are performing in front of others. Dealing with this sudden “fame” …

Cold Calling!

January 21st, 2018


Cold Calling takes a lot of courage but can be one of the best sales techniques available to you. Forget email. Forget letters. Start cold calling!

Please call! Selling projects

January 18th, 2018


In today’s world we strongly rely on non-personal communication - email, texts etc. But calling someone up or visiting someone can do wonders to your sales process. Don’t be afraid to call. Yes, make your research …

Networking for Composers

January 16th, 2018


Composers mostly need and want others to reform their works. A few thoughts on how to get your works out there.

Involve your Fans

January 13th, 2018


Your fans are the backbone of your career. Not only broadcast about your upcoming concerts but start a two way communication with them. Use your media channels to provide them with relevant content.

About making a recording

January 10th, 2018


Recordings are a calling card for young musicians. But doing a recording is even more complex than going to the studio. Some thoughts on what to consider.

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