About us

We are the German federal government’s central funding institution for popular music and jazz. Artists and their music are at the core of our work in the cultural sector. Through targeted programmes and activities, we offer support for artistic development and economic growth. 

We are committed to supporting a diverse musical landscape with sustainable economic structures and a clear commitment to ecological sustainability and social justice. We support artists, the live music scene and music businesses throughout Germany in realising their projects and foster networks and infrastructures. 

With three music awards – POLYTON, the German Jazz Prize and the APPLAUS Award – we promote outstanding talents and venues and increase their visibility. Our German Music Export supports musicians in their internationalisation and positions Germany as a music market at home and abroad. 


Without the support of sponsors and partners, our work for rock, pop and jazz music would not be possible. They facilitate our funding programs, original projects and our main office.

The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)

It is a duty of the state to protect the freedom of artistic expression and to create the conditions required for cultural life to flourish. Germany’s Federal Government supports cultural institutions and projects that are of national importance and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), Minister of State Claudia Roth, is responsible for promoting culture for the government. The BKM has been promoting institutions and projects within the framework of cultural federalism since 1999 and has been the main sponsor of Initiative Musik since 2007. The BKM has also assumed a portion of the costs for Initiative Musik’s administrative offices, which are co-financed by the GVL and GEMA.

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)

Initiative Musik has been coordinating the German joint presentation at the South by Southwest (SXSW) creative conference in Austin, Texas, for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs since 2010. The joint presentation at GERMAN HAUS – with participation of numerous German federal states and private-sector partners – and the trade show stand is the largest presentation of the German cultural and creative industries abroad.

German Federal Foreign Office

Since 2011, Initiative Musik has been regularly putting together musically-themed tours for the Federal Republic of Germany’s Visitors Programme with the financial support of the Federal Foreign Office. International music journalists and other experts are invited to Germany to experience a wide variety of pop-cultural events on these tours. These programmes convey an authentic, up-to-date and differentiated picture of Germany and thereby contribute to improving the image of the German music industry abroad.

German Society for the Administration of Neighbouring Rights (GVL)

Anyone who performs something artistic or creates the economic basis for this must receive money for the exploitation of their performances. GVL, the society for the administration of neighbouring rights, captures and manages such exploitations of music and film productions. GVL records this use and forwards the money collected in trust for example from radio and television stations and public reproduction (e.g. in restaurants or cafés) as remuneration to its rights holders. More than 170,000 performers, producers of sound recordings and audiovisual recordings, music and music video clip producers as well as event organisers place their trust in GVL – and thus make GVL one of the biggest collective management organisations and music licensing companies for neighbouring rights in the world.

GVL has been an Initiative Musik partner since 2007 and has been helping finance Initiative Musik’s administrative offices from the very start

German Music Authors’ Society (GEMA)

Composers and lyricists, the authors of musical works and music publishers are all united under GEMA’s umbrella. GEMA, a collective management organisation, manages remuneration claims and entitlements for its members globally wherever their copyright-protected musical works are used. It also campaigns on behalf of its members in the political arena to ensure copyright is appreciated in future. The organisation is also active in numerous funding projects for a diverse musical culture. GEMA has been helping finance the Initiative Musik administrative offices since 2007.

German Music Council

We believe that Germany must become a knowledge-based and creative society and that education and culture play a decisive role in this development. That is why the German Music Council and its partners are involved in all areas of social life related to music and are committed to making Germany a vibrant country for it. With its member associations and the State Music Councils, the German Music Council sees itself as an advisor and centre of excellence for politics and civil society. Along with the GVL, the German Music Council has been an Initiative Musik partner since 2008.

Supervisory Board

Our Supervisory Board consists of 14 people. They are appointed by our shareholders (GVL and Deutscher Musikrat) and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The members cover the broad spectrum of the music industry in Germany. With the new members appointed in 2022, emphasis was placed on increasing the number of creative professionals, thus once again focusing on the needs of artists.

© Christoph Petras

Birgit Böcher

Managing Director Deutscher Musikverleger-Verband e.V.

© Christoph Petras

Martin Eifler

Music Department K22 for the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media

Frank Fischer

Department VIB5 – Culture and Creative Industries, Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection

© Christoph Petras

Prof. Dieter Gorny

Member of the Executive Board of the German Music Council Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Initiative Musik

© BVMI/Markus Nass

Sigrid Herrenbrueck

Head of Press and Public Relations, Bundesverband Musikindustrie

@ Bella Lieberberg

Balbina Jagielska

Singer, Composer and Songwriter

© Christoph Petras

Dr. Nathalie Schierloh

Music Department K22 for the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Deputy Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Initiative Musik

© Paola Vertemati

Pamela Schobess

Political Spokeswoman LiveMusikKommission e.V., operator Gretchen Berlin

Karo Schrader


© Michael Reinhardt

Detlev Tiemann

Singer, Chairman of the GuDV

© Christoph Petras

Sara Torchani

Artist Management, Creative Director, Consultant

© Janine Kuehn

Lisa Tuyala

Cultural Manager (Kulturkabinett e.V.), Musician, Co-Initiator Women* of Music

© Stefan Wieland

Dr. Ralf Weigand

Composer and producer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GEMA, Managing Director of PLAN 1 MEDIA GmbH & Co. KG

© Christoph Petras

Dr. Birte Wiemann

Chairwoman of the Board, VUT – Verband unabhängiger Musikunternehmer*innen e.V., Project Manager at Cargo Records GmbH

Initiative Musik News

Get the latest information on funding programs, events and more
Logo der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien Logo GVL Logo GEMA Logo Deutscher Musikrat