Call for Projects, Workshops and Papers: Fail Better: Sharing Challenges and Learning in Classical Music Innovation.

Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music  Dates: 27–28 March 2020

Main venue: Conservatory Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Innovation in classical music is happening everywhere, driven by musicians and orchestras around the globe. Although we tend to share our successes, there are few spaces to reflect on the challenges, obstacles and potential risks that we encounter in innovative practices. Through sharing these we believe  that valuable learning opportunities can be created. 

Following from the success of the first international symposium of the Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music in March 2019, which was attended by 103 delegates, we would again like  to invite practitioners; music educators and students; orchestral musicians, directors and administrators;  as well as academic and artistic researchers to present innovative projects. Presentation of work in progress, as well as completed projects, is encouraged. In particular we seek to reflect on how obstacles  and setbacks can trigger learning processes. The symposium aims to stimulate a supportive and fruitful  dialogue in order to better understand what ingredients lead to successful innovation in classical music. 

Participants are encouraged to present in a manner that best reflects or expresses their practice, rather than simply describing it. Therefore, nontraditional and interactive learning-appropriate modes of presentation are encouraged, such as lecture-recitals, workshops, performances, project presentations or  combinations of these, using, for example, video, audio, posters, or panel discussions. 

We invite submissions relating to the following themes, though this is not an exhaustive selection. All  presentations should be in English: 

- Learning how to collaborate 

- Engaging audiences, e.g. children, young people, or older people  

- Learning as an institution and institutionalizing innovation 

- Making music matter 

- Exploring new musical contexts and spaces. 

These themes can be explored with reference to any aspect of work in classical music, whether it be audience development, participatory projects, outreach and community work, new educational formats,  empowerment of musicians, spatial/venue innovation, digital mediations, institutional learning, or cultural policy. Again, this list is not exhaustive.  

Abstracts (max. 250 words) should be submitted to by 8 December 2019. Please include the name of presenter(s)/author(s), a short biography and organizational or institutional affiliation. Also add presentation requirements: spatial setup, stage, technical equipment, etc. The committee will review and select projects based on their relevance, clarity  of the project’s main learning opportunity, and originality. Moreover, the committee seeks to construct a  program bringing together learning opportunities from all levels of experience and expertise. Students thus are particularly encouraged to attend. 

For queries, please contact  

Programme Committee: 

Prof Peter Peters, Director Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music, Maastricht 

Dr Stefan Rosu, Intendant philharmonie zuidnederland. 

Dr Ruth Benschop, Professor at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Research Centre Autonomy of  the Arts and the Public Sphere. 

Dr Joachim Junghanss, Director Conservatorium Maastricht. 

Dr Neil T. Smith, Postdoctoral researcher, Maastricht University. 

Karoly Galindo Molina, MA, Research assistant, Maastricht University.  

The Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music (MCICM) aims to study the dynamics of changing classical music practices and their societal contexts, and to actively shape classical music futures. The centre is a collaboration between philharmonie zuidnederland, Zuyd University of Applied  Sciences, and Maastricht University. We combine academic research on innovation of performance practices with artistic research to renew classical music practices and music education in artistically 
relevant ways. 

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