Sophia Welz

Chief operations officer: South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation

Sophia Welz has two main passions: music and people; more specifically, the ability of music to empower people. For Welz, music, through its ability to communicate nuances of emotion, helps us not only to understand each other better but also to listen more carefully. She witnessed this first hand in Iraq where, as manager of the National Youth Orchestra, she saw children from opposing sides speaking through music, overcoming many imposed cultural, language and religious barriers. Today, Welz is chief operations officer of the South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation where, through high-quality "booster shot� courses, she helps historically disadvantaged music students to become top musicians in classical orchestras. Believing that well-rounded musicians become well- rounded people, her ambition is to create a South Africa that offers equal access to high-quality music education. In this way she hopes we will learn to understand and listen to each other by using this universal, unifying language. � Lu Larche

Twitter: @sophiawelz