Maastricht Centre for the Innovation for Classical Music (MCICM)
Research institutes

MCICM Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music

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:

  1. The role of classical music and its value for society;
  2. The ways in which the relationship between performers of classical music, such as symphony orchestras and their audience is mediated;
  3. The ways in which classical music contributes to the preservation of our cultural and social heritage.

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.


More news items
  • 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?

  • The Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music is currently working on the forthcoming publication ‘Futuring Classical Music’ based on the 2021 symposium theme.

  • On 20 October 2021, MCICM held a dissemination event where researchers from the Artful Participation project presented some of their research.

  • The MCICM received funding from the NWO/SIA for research into ways in which symphony orchestras can involve their audiences more actively in concerts. And then the corona crisis hit. Peter Peters, director of the MCICM explains what this means for the research and talks about the insights thus far.

  • During an ordinary classical music concert, the tasks are clearly divided. Musicians play under the direction of the conductor on the podium of the concert hall, the audience in the hall listens attentively, preferably without coughing and applauding at the wrong times.

  • The first symposium hosted by the Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music (MCICM) was held in Maastricht on March 29 and 30. Throughout the two-day event, international experts from different fields discussed possibilities for classical music innovation.

  • Stefan Rosu, director general and artistic director of philharmonie zuidnederland, recently published an article on Arts Management Network about the orchestra’s journey towards innovation. In the article, Rosu walks us through the changes the orchestra has been undergoing including the need for innovation with internal as well as external input. 

  • 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.

  • Prof. Peter Peters (Prof. on Innovation of Classical Music) was interviewed by Observant (independent university magazine of Maastricht University) on the launch and mission of the Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music (MCICM). 

  • On September 1st 2018, Peter Peters will be officially appointed as Professor of Innovation of Classical Music at Maastricht University and will stand at the helm of the newly-founded Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music (MCICM). Proposed and initiated by the director and intendant of the South Netherlands Philharmonic, Stefan Rosu, the MCICM is set to become an interdisciplinary research institute that will support revitalising developments in the classical music sector. 

  • Presentation Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music (MCICM) on April 19th 2017.

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