Classical music institutions are faced with challenges. The quality of the performed repertoire tends to be high, but concert attendance is stagnating, audiences are aging, the musical landscape is increasingly hybrid and government subsidies are decreasing. Because of this, the need for innovating the practices of classical music culture has been generally acknowledged. Maastricht University (UM), philharmonie zuidnederland and Zuyd University for Applied Sciences (Zuyd) aspire to support this innovation through the establishment of the Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music (MCICM). The centre aims to study the dynamics behind changing classical music practices and their societal contexts and to actively shape classical music futures. To do so, the MCICM will combine academic research on innovation of performance practices with artistic research to renew classical music practices and music education in artistically relevant ways.
The research effort of the MCICM takes place at the intersection of science, music practices, classical music education and society. Research projects are aimed at the innovation of:
The structural collaboration between academics, artistic researchers, art students and professional and amateur orchestra musicians around these questions is entirely unique. The centre also hosts an international advisory board and a sounding board that brings together academic and applied researchers, musicians and interested regional stakeholders.
MCICM is an initiative of Stefan Rosu, intendant and director of the philharmonie zuidnederland. He sought the cooperation of Maastricht University and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences with the aim of establishing a centre for academic and applied artistic research, to be incorporated into the three participating organisations.
Sitting still in a hall? A classical concert can be different
On 6 June 2022, Veerle Spronck successfully defended her PhD at the Aula of Maastricht University. Spronck’s research was part of the 2017-2021 NWO/SIA funded project ‘Artful Participation’ which was a collaboration between Maastricht University, the Research Centre for the Arts, Autonomy and the Public Sphere of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, and philharmonie zuidnederland.
Next week, Veerle Spronck will deliver her PhD conferral on new forms of participation in classical music. Veerle researched experimental concerts by philharmonie zuidnederland and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. She found that fundamental questions are asked in such projects: how can we give the audience a different, or perhaps even better, aesthetic experience?