On-Site PhD conferral Veerle G.A.J. Spronck
Supervisor: Prof. dr. P.F. Peters
Co-supervisor: Dr. R. Benschop, Zuyd University
Key words: audience participation, innovation, symphony orchestra, artistic value
"LISTEN CLOSELY: Innovating Audience Participation in Symphonic Music"
Traditionally, the visitor to a concert by a symphony orchestra is above all a quiet, attentive listener. Over the past twenty years, the relationships between symphony orchestras and their audiences have been increasingly critically questioned in the cultural-political discourse in the Netherlands. The cultural policy, which largely subsidizes professional symphony orchestras, problematizes the one-sided composition of the audience that symphonic concerts draw. Dutch cultural policy encourages orchestras to experiment with new forms of audience participation.
This dissertation investigates what kind of work symphony orchestras have to do in order to innovate the role of their audience. It turns out to be a complex task for orchestras, because when the role of the audience changes, it leads to unknown situations throughout the entire organizational process that rattle the existing aesthetic framework. The orchestras have to reflect again on their routines, norms, ways of working and of evaluating and appreciating. The innovation of participation thus challenges orchestras to ask themselves again what a 'good' concert actually is.