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.
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.