Ilona Schmiel studied music education, classical philology and arts management in Berlin and Oslo. Her professional career took her to Donaueschingen Music Festival via the Lillehammer and Oslo culture festivals to a post at an international concert agency. From 1998 to 2002, Ilona Schmiel was artistic and administrative director of the Bremen Concert Hall "Die Glocke". Since 1996 she has been visiting lecturer at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin. In 2004 Ilona Schmiel was appointed director and manager of Beethoven Festival Bonn.