Directed by John Sloboda
The Understanding Audiences programme has been investigating performer-audience relations and communication in diverse contexts, including the premiere of a new composition, an innovative staging of a Monteverdi Opera, a staged performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion designed to build new younger audiences for classical masterpieces, chamber music performances which reintroduce the lost art of classical improvisation, innovative music-theatrical productions where musicians and actors interact on stage, a series of gigs in a London jazz club, and an event where audience members were encouraged to get out of their seats and move expressively during a classical music performance. What unites these projects is a concern to deepen performers’ understanding of, and connection to, their audiences in a way which enhances effective artistic development and practice. The School’s Leadership in this area was recognised by the award of an AHRC grant.
The programme, launched in early 2010, aims to help performers, sponsors, and teachers obtain a better mutual understanding of audiences in ways which will be directly relevant to their future work. Led from the Guildhall School by Professor John Sloboda, FBA, Research Professor, it involves staff across the Link Partnership, and is guided by a steering group representing the LSO and the Barbican Centre as well as 10 members from both the drama and music departments of the Guildhall School. Strong external collaborations are also being forged.
Download research working papers from this project: