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Interview with Matthias Röder

Matthias Röder

© Hubert Auer, Salzburg

Matthias Röder, is heading the Karajan Institute. Furthermore, he is board member of the Karajan Foundation and founder of the Karajan Music Tech Conference as well as IMZ Innovation Ambassador. In the Digital Cross Over interview led by IMZ, Matthias Röder discusses the effects of the pandemic on music and technology.  He also takes into account the digitalisation in music production and the challenges and opportunities of music and VR/AR/AI/XR.


Just recently you hosted the Karajan Music Tech. What’s that?

It is the annual conference of the Karajan Music Tech Brain Trust. The brain trust is a group of visionaries + decision makers in music. We all work on moving music forward! 

For the 4th time in a row, we invited our partners from the IMZ International Music + Media Centre to contribute with an IMZ Academy Session to the programme. This year's session explored radical new ways to reach audiences in the performing arts.

What changes will the pandemic bring in the short and long term regarding music and technology? 

The pandemic has catalysed the digitalisation of music institutions. This means that all those who have been able to adjust to the new situation, will certainly be in a stronger position for the future.

And one thing has become very clear: Running a cultural institution without a digital strategy no longer seems to be an option, it is a must.

We see the emergence of "Big Data" and artificial intelligence systems that enable entirely new creation and use scenarios, such as score and recording linking. What is your outlook for the next 10 years in the field of digitalisation and music production?   

Music production already is a highly digital process. The integration of AI into the production process will be a reality within the next five years. AI’s will take over specialised tasks such as:

  • Giving inspirational input for human composers
  • Mixing audio
  • Composing accompaniments
  • Completing melodies
  • Providing alternative versions
  • Choosing and fine-tuning sounds

Where do you see the biggest challenges and opportunities of music and VR/AR/AI/XR?   

I think that the biggest challenge in XR is adoption. How many people will buy goggles and put them on a regular basis? But the biggest opportunity is generating completely new markets for music! 

How do you see the future of streaming services? 

Those, who innovate and transform into media houses will thrive. But those who remain a play button on a music catalogue will go away.

As an expert in the field - what would you recommend to young music and technology enthusiasts? 

Follow your passion and instincts. Don’t wait for the big players, just build your own world! 


Matthias Röder is an expert on intellectual property + innovation management. Apart from heading the Karajan Institute, he is also a board member of the Karajan Foundation and founder of the Karajan Music Tech Conference and IMZ Innovation Ambassador.

Digital Cross Over Team

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