Lieven Bertels is the director of the Sydney Festival. Originally from Belgium he read musicology at the University of Leuven and received an MA in Composition at the University of Durham (UK). He returned to Brussels to become lecturer and head of Audio at the National Film Academy RITS, and producer for Belgian national broadcaster VRT. From 2001 until 2004 he was the first artistic director of the new Concertgebouw arts centre in Bruges and from 2004 to 2011 the artistic coordinator of the famous Holland Festival in Amsterdam. He served as guest curator for the 2008 Gaida festival and ISCM World Music Days in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Lieven is board member of the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) in New York and was made Knight in the Belgian Order of the Crown in April 2013.
In December 2014, Lieven was appointed as the Artistic Director of Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018 Cultural Capital of Europe.