Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music officially begins its research

The Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music (MCICM) officially began work on September 1st, 2018. On the same date, Peter Peters, professor at Maastricht University, began his position as director of the centre with a team of two postdocs, two PhD students, one artistic researcher, one research assistant. Ruth Benschop, reader at Research Centre Autonomy and the Public Sphere in the Arts, will collaborate with the centre offering her expertise in artistic research and her affinity with the innovative methodological and exploratory opportunities of qualitative, participatory research.

In the coming months, MCICM will work closely with the South Netherlands Philharmonic and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences as well as the Conservatory, to further the research and discourse of audience participation and innovation within classical music.

MCICM’s work entails ethnographic observations of current innovation projects of the South Netherlands Philharmonic as well as the setup of new experiments based on the centre’s research and experience in artistic research and music innovation.

The centre also works within the Artful Participation project in the Research Centre Autonomy and the Public Sphere in the Arts at Zuyd. By offering workshops and working with students at the conservatory, the Artful Participation team within MCICM will research the ways in which music can be innovated with the input and participation of musicians. This research will enrich the work done with the orchestra thus creating a multidisciplinary and collaborative investigation.

Recently, Neil Smith, Denise Petzold and Imogen Eve joined the team.

Neil Smith trained as a musicologist and a composer.  After two degrees at the University of York, he studied composition at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart, before completing his doctorate at the University of Nottingham. At MCICM, Neil is commencing a new project looking at the development of performance spaces over the last decades.  This includes an examination of how modern concert halls reflect the changing role of the orchestra, as well as how ensembles are seeking to break free from traditional performance spaces.

Denise Petzold is an interdisciplinary researcher and PhD candidate within the MCICM. In the past, she has worked as an assistant curator at the contemporary art museum Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen, Germany, where she co-organised two large-scale exhibitions and assisted with editing the accompanying publications.

She obtained both her bachelor’s degree (BA Arts & Culture) and her master’s degree (MSc Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology) from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, and graduated cum laude in both programmes. In her PhD project at the MCICM, Denise aims to bring together her background in the arts with classical music. In her research, she critically examines what is considered the cultural heritage of classical music today, how this heritage is maintained through the canon and thus also through actual musical practices, and, ultimately, how innovation of this heritage can be initiated from ‘within’ the community of classical music itself by considering novel contexts and strategies inspired by contemporary and/or performing arts as well as museum studies.

Imogen Eve will be working for MCICM within the Artful Participation collaboration with Zuyd University of Applied Sciences as artistic researcher and teacher. Imogen Eve is a creative director/designer and artistic researcher in the performing arts - specialising in the innovation of classical music through curatorial practices. As a director/designer, Imogen blends her formative training as a musician and an actor to create immersive and interactive storytelling experiences through live music performance.

In collaboration with the centre’s team, Imogen will develop research experiments in the form of music performance platforms that aim innovate symphonic music through audience participation. In particular, her position is as a creative designer - engaging the tools from her background in classical music performance to craft the research trajectory of the project through artistic practice. Alongside this, Imogen gives workshop lectures (Participatory Practices in 21st Century Western Art Music) and artistic research guidance for Master students at the Conservatory of Music in Maastricht.

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