Artful Participation: Doing Artistic Research with Symphonic Music Audiences

In the 21st century, symphonic music institutions face challenges that endanger their traditional ways of working. Although symphonic music is widely accessible, it has lost its previous position as the leading source of musical culture. The numbers of visitors are declining. Audiences are ageing. Due to budget cuts, government funding is no longer guaranteed. The project questioned how symphonic music can be made artisically and societally valuable in new ways through innovating audience participation in practice. Artful Participation combined academic research (my PhD Listen Closely) with artistic research to innovate this practice in an artistically relevant way.

The project ran from 2017 to 2021 and was a collaboration between philharmonie zuidnederland, Maastricht University, and Zuyd University of Applied Science (the research centre for Arts, Autonomy & the Public Sphere, and Conservatorium Maastricht). In Artful Participation, researchers together with musicians and staff from philharmonie zuidnederland conducted seven experiments in audience participation. The reflection on these experiments afterwards resulted in a learning model for innovative orchestral practice in the shape of a collection of études.

More info?
• Go and make a journey through experiments in participation as programmer, musician, innovator, marketeer or audience member.
• Explore the collection of études
• Read the chapter Artful Innovation that my colleagues wrote

My PhD Listen Closely was part of this overarching project that was financed within the NWO/SIA SMART Culture programme. Read more about the project and the team here.