Board of Directors

The board of the MuziCan Foundation consists of enthusiastic and dedicated members from diverse sectors.

Konstantin Koukias – Chair
Joke Schulkes van de Pol – Secretary
Shariva Koops – Treasurer
Saf Benaskar – Board Member
Board Advisers
Wijnand Honig
Emmy Schouten
Diane Elshout
Anton Molenaar

Konstantin Koukias


Konstantin Koukias was the Artistic Director and CEO of IHOS Music Theatre & Opera for 23 years in Australia. His avant-garde approach to the presentation of opera has resulted in hybrid productions such as Days and Nights with Christ, To Traverse Water, MIKROVION, The Divine Kiss, and Tesla – Lightning in His Hand. His most recent large-scale work, The Barbarians, was inspired by Constantine Cavafy’s famous poem “Waiting for the Barbarians” and commissioned by the Museum of Old and New Art. Since 2018, Koukias has produced two short films: A Day in June (2018; dir. Peter Sieben). He is currently in the planning and pre-production stages for ‘The Pain of Others’ (2024; dir. Drobnjaković) and ‘Shaped by Trees’. From 2024–2027, he will be producing a series of documentaries and performances for the new work ‘Primordial’.

Joke Schulkes-van de Pol


Joke Schulkes-van de Pol is a retired doctor who resides in Amsterdam. She completed her medical studies in Nijmegen. She established herself as a general practitioner in Amsterdam and managed a practice with her associate for 36 years. She combined her practice with the position of Pain Management Coordinator at the Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Hospital. Schulkes-van de Pol was a member of the board of the Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG) and later of the National Association of General Practitioners (LHV). She was also a member of the Supervisory Board of the NHG. Additionally, she was part of the Advisory Board of Medisch Contact, the weekly magazine of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG). In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing the piano, walking, gardening, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Shariva Koops


I am a dedicated bookkeeper and tax consultant with a Business degree from Amsterdam, specializing in serving the creative industry. Alongside my consultancy, I engage in sales for a local boat company. Beside my professional roles, I participate in diverse ventures, which include the areas of marketing, women's empowerment, and spirituality. In my free time, Beyond the business realm, I find solace in crafting, displaying her knitting and crocheting skills. My passion extends to nurturing my garden and balancing my professional life with a serene personal retreat. Striving for financial freedom, I guide clients toward success with a holistic approach. My journey is a blend of resilience and creativity, navigating the complexities of both professional and personal life with a balanced perspective.

Saf Benaskar

Board Member

Saf Benaskar is a highly accomplished lawyer with a diverse range of expertise.
She was called to the bar of England and Wales and has additional knowledge of Scottish and Dutch law. At the age of 20, Saf graduated from the U.K. in 2018 with a Master of Laws (LL.M) and a specialization in International Law. She subsequently obtained an accelerated LL.B degree in English and Scottish law to broaden her knowledge of different jurisdictions. Before her LL.M., Saf had obtained her BA in International Business Management in one year instead of four, after successfully completing a Dutch undergraduate degree in International Business Studies. Saf has worked as part of a defense team in the International Criminal Court, as an investigative counsel for a security firm, and as a legal analyst for a London-based lawyer. In addition to her legal career, Saf is a multi-medalist in the World Championships of Performing Arts with the title of "Best Debater 2015". In her free time, Saf enjoys playing the violin, singing, chess, reading, and traveling.

Marion von Tilzer

Artistic director

Award-winning composer/pianist Marion von Tilzer is an intriguing musician, in particular, due to her talent for merging completely different styles and art genres in a surprising and original way. Her synthesis of Indian classical music with contemporary Western music has led to collaborations with musicians, choreographers, and filmmakers worldwide, as a composer and performer with her own groups. Her projects have been labeled stunning, fascinating, and accessible at the same time.

Her current project is a series of cross-cultural interdisciplinary art projects called ‘Meetings with Remarkable Women – music inspired by women’s lives’. The second project of the series ‘Into Eternity’ was presented as a concert and album in Amsterdam in the spring of 2023. It is a tribute to Vilma Grunwald and is based on Vilma’s letter written moments before her death in Auschwitz. Her album with cellist/vocalist Maya Fridman ‘Ten Songs of Change’ with Marion’s music and poetry from the Tang Dynasty was inspired by the I Ching, the book of Changes. With this project, they have an ongoing tour ‘Ten Songs of Change in Sacred Spaces” which started off in July 2021 in The Netherlands.

In 2012 she won the first prize of the Donemus Composition Competition. Her piece “Die Verlassene Stadt” an orchestral work was commissioned by the VU Kamerorkest and is dedicated to the victims of the Chernobyl disaster. In 2015 the album Secret Keymasters was released on Challenge Records together with fellow pianists Michael Gees & Frans Ehlhart with original compositions of all three musicians. Marion’s CD with her music written to the fairy tale ‘Das Verschenkte Weinen’ by W. Heiduczek was released by Buchfunk, as an Audiobook during the Leipzig Bookfare in March 2018.

Marion was commissioned to write two pieces for the Radio Symphony Orchestra of the Westdeutsche Rundfunk in Cologne, Germany. One of the pieces was nominated for the Theodore Front Prize. Other commissions include a composition for the city of Amsterdam, which was premiered in the renowned Concertgebouw Hall. Marion von Tilzer studied piano at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where she lives with her daughter and their cat Snowy.

Text by Sander Hoving

Advisers of the board

Wijnand Honig

Wijnand has worked in public broadcasting for more than 25 years as an editor, editor-in-chief, and editor-in-chief. His field of work is art & culture and he has a great love for music, from pop music to jazz and from world music to classical music.
He was involved in programs such as the North Sea Jazz Festival, Pinkpop, the Amsterdam Uitmarkt, documentary series, and countless concert registrations. In addition to TV, he has always been committed to radio and worked with all radio stations of the public broadcaster, including 'NPO Klassiek'.
Since 2023, he has opted for an independent life as editor-in-chief within the media and as a creative project leader within the cultural world.

Emmy Schouten

After working in the medical field, I studied fashion at the Vrije Academie and became Head of the Atelier for various designers. In 1984, I established my own company, collaborating with entities in the art sector, including the musical Cats, Dance Company Krisztina de Châtel, Leine en Roebana, and Theater Company Art & Pro. Concurrently, I taught courses in costume design, pattern drawing, and sewing in my studio. In my leisure time, I organized cultural events in unique heritage locations, which in the end grew into the Westergasfabriek. Together with colleagues, we transformed it into what it is today. In 2002, I joined Stadsherstel Amsterdam, where I established the Exploitation of Special Locations department and served as its Head until my retirement. Over the years, the department has grown significantly, now encompassing 8 permanent employees, 25 freelance employees, and 16 special monuments, which are programmed both culturally and commercially. Thanks my cultural background, I facilitated the connection of cultural programs to Stadsherstel through the Stadsherstel Cultural Foundation. Additionally, I am a board member of the Foundation For Women By Women.

Diane Elshout

Diane Elshout (born 1963) is a dance theater producer and theater scholar. She also studied business administration. In her international dance career she was associated with several companies as a freelance dancer. As a choreographer, she led her own dance company together with Frank Händeler for several years. They performed in The Netherlands and abroad. For her, the work with Moving Arts Project revolves around the question, "What can art tell us about society and how can art itself help shape and give meaning to that coexistence? She strives to use local knowledge to build democracy on the square inch. She does this by questioning the everyday reality of the neighborhood with diverse people and all those visions and voices, by rubbing against it and by dabbling together. In doing so, she prefers to be in public space, the place where you can meet anyone. She feeds on the knowledge and expertise of others. This expertise inspires her to co-create the city together.

Anton Molenaar

Anton Molenaar studied musicology – western and non-western music – at the University of Amsterdam. Specialization: Jewish music and history. Graduation project: ‘The Music of the Amsterdam Sephardim’ (publication in ‘Shofar’, Purdue University / University of Nebraska Press, USA). Anton did research and published articles on Jewish music.

Post-university courses: Project consultancy, management, organization, fundraising and result-oriented networking.

Experience: Guidance and advice to musicians and composers with their music projects.

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