Announcing Our 2023 Student Trailblazer!

20 December 2023

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) is delighted to announce Matteo Tontodonati, a former student at the Royal Northern College of Music, as our 2023 Student Trailblazer.

  • Matteo Tontodonati wins the Music Managers Forum’s annual Student Trailblazer Award


  • To pick up his prize, Matteo attended the prestigious Artist & Manager Awards alongside the likes of Duran Duran, Tinie Tempah, Nia Archives and Central Cee


Matteo collected his prize at the prestigious Artist & Manager Awards, where the winners included Duran Duran and their manager Wendy Laister, Central Cee’s manager Bello, Nia Archives, Tinie Tempah, Jorja Smith, Forever Living Originals, The Cookie Crew and the band formerly known as easy life. 

Launched in 2021, the Student Trailblazer Award is a key component of the MMF’s Educational Associate programme and recognises students who have demonstrated a proven enterprise and enthusiasm for music management in the past twelve months. Trailblazer recipients receive a selection of exclusive opportunities and benefits, including free access to our highly regarded Essentials of Music Management and Mechanics of Music Management courses.

Selected from a shortlist of 8 nominees, the MMF judging team were particularly impressed with Matteo’s passion and enthusiasm – both in his work on the Royal Northern College of Music’s BMus Popular Music programme, and his entrepreneurial achievements as a burgeoning manager, musician, and live events promoter on the Manchester music scene. 

Paul Bonham, Professional Development Director at the MMF said:

“The MMF represents a huge diversity of managers, from those working with global superstars to those taking their first steps in the music business. We support the professional development of everyone in our community, which is why the Trailblazer is so important. The students we recognise today will be the executives of tomorrow. 

“We were particularly happy to invite Matteo to our Awards and to present him with his prize. The music scene in Manchester is particularly vibrant at the moment, and he is clearly starting to make a mark in the North West, both in his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and with his extracurricular activities as a manager and promoter.” 

After picking up his prize, Matteo added:

“When I started my studies, I initially focused solely on the creative aspects of the industry and was unaware of this essentially important side of music. However, over the past year, I have learnt the importance of innovation in both marketing and release campaigns, and many of the creative ways in which managers help artists shine through the highly competitive industry. 

“Attending the Artists and Managers Awards was really inspirational. Too many great acts never find their light and, as a manager, my duty is to the artist and their positive growth. I believe in a creative and relaxed but focused approach to management, allowing you and the artist to constantly collaborate on content ideas, songs, albums, and assets, therefore creating a completely new and unique experience for the audience.”  

Jenn Clempner, Curriculum Lead – Artist Development, Royal Northern College of Music added:

“At the RNCM we have developed a curriculum that endeavours to be in line with current popular music industry practices and demands. The mentorship students receive through the degree programme strives to produce not just exceptional musicians but innovators, entrepreneurs and professionals with a broad skill set that will serve the industry to the fullest. 

“Matteo is a wonderful example of just such an innovator and entrepreneur, who transferred his knowledge and understanding as a musician to leadership and management in the wider sense. He has the dynamic and tenacity of character required for the modern music industry, as well as just being a joy to be around. Any artist would be lucky to have him.”

The other individuals nominated for the 2023 Student Trailblazer were: 

Point Blank Music School

Michal Sobkiewicz

Tendayi Mutongerwa 

University of West London

Marlene Ritzinger 

Noah Lateu-Robinson

Nancy Mickler

University of Gloucestershire

Chay Thompson 

City University

Siya Madayya


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