Creative Leadership

There’s a saying; if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got

Never before has the classical music industry been under such scrutiny in terms of its culture:

  • The Incorporated Society of Musicians’ (ISM) 2022 report, Dignity at Work 2, exposes the breath-taking levels of discrimination (including sexual harassment and racism) across the entire music sector.  78% of recorded discrimination was committed against women and 58% of discrimination was identified as sexual harassment.
  • A new, 2024 report by BAPAM (The British Association of Performing Arts), the largest provider of clinical services to the UK’s performing arts sector, has shown a 396% surge in mental health consultations with the organisation since 2019.
  • The controversial 2022 psychological drama film, “Tár”, starring Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár, a conductor at the top of her craft, chose to focus on the power, politics, charisma and abuse within the classical music sector.
  • And, with real life reflecting art, last year there was a high-profile case of a well-known conductor physically abusing a singer post-performance.

After 30 years working at the very heart of the classical music business, I’m only too aware of some of the deeply uncomfortable truths that exist across the sector.  I brushed things off or even reluctantly accepted, at times, that this is the way it is……. But one of my compelling reasons for re-training as a coach was an instinctive sense that a coaching approach could reap huge rewards across a sector that remains both hierarchical and patriarchal and offers little or no professional/personal development opportunities.

My work around creative leadership invites all leaders across the classical music sector (and wider performing arts) to take a step back and make an active choice to change the status quo and move towards a more positive, healthy and inclusive culture.

This doesn’t mean compromising on excellence as is sometimes suggested.  The cost of excellence doesn’t have to be about damaging or breaking people.  It’s about striving for excellence in an informed way, using the benefits of the knowledge, neuroscience and performance psychology which we now have access to in the 21st century.  We need inspiring, motivational, creative leaders who know how to build rather than break, challenge rather than collude, enable rather than disable.

I’m proud to be collaborating with Guildhall Ignite to deliver our co-created courses on organisational and creative leadership

Inspired by research we undertook across the UK orchestral sector, Jane Booth (musician, coach and Head of Guildhall Ignite) and I created Leaders On and Off Stage, a unique leadership programme for principal and orchestral musicians. We’ve now delivered this programme in-person and online to 5 cohorts and have worked with musicians from the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras as well as the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, English Concert and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.  Our aim is to support musicians to be at their best when it matters most.


Our Programmes:

Leaders On and Off Stage:

Conducting Creative Conversations:




Trudy Wright Coaching and Consultancy
Connection - Conviction  - Courage -
Collaboration - Communication - Compassion