Canon in Context - The musical canon and the prospect of sustainability in symphony orchestras

May 03.2018

Initiator: Arne Herman

There is a nagging sensibility that we are living well beyond that authentic age of the orchestra and its repertoire.” – Leon Botstein

The established musical canon has served as an implicit framework for aesthetic orientation and social identification throughout history. As the dominance of this regulative force influences (top-down) policy discourses and (bottom-up) public opinion alike, programmers, composers and performers feel increasingly obliged to adhere to the canon’s fixed boundary conditions in order to sustain themselves. The present-day symphonic landscape thus presents itself as a scattered and imbalanced pluriverse, dominated by government-funded orchestras that mostly play canonised repertoire, complemented by small-scale alternatives that promote new music to a niche audience, and tinted by some variations in between. This seminar takes on the question of how the current symphonic landscape in the broadest sense can be (re-)organised in a sustainable way. That is, without having to compromise its artistic integrity and without losing sight of its practical performance climate.

Contributions by:

  • Jerry Aerts
  • Marlies De Munck
  • Joost Maegerman
  • Luc Joosten
  • Arne Herman
  • Pieter Theuns
  • Ben Haemhouts
  • Rebecca Diependaele
  • Wim Henderickx

Venue: ARIA, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp - Graduation hall - 9:30-17:00


The seminar will be held in Dutch.

Morning: 'De muzikale canon en zijn esthetische implicaties'

  • 9.30 – 10.00: Arne Herman (muziekfilosoof en muzikant; moderator)
  • 10.00 – 10.30: Marlies De Munck (muziekfilosofe Universiteit Antwerpen)
  • 10.30 – 11.00: Koffiepauze
  • 11.00 – 11.30: Luc Joosten (hoofddramaturg Opera Vlaanderen)
  • 11.30 – 12.00: Wim Henderickx (componist)
  • 12.00 – 13.00: Lunch

Afternoon: 'Organisatorische strategieën'

  • 13.00 - 13.30: Jerry Aerts (algemeen directeur deSingel)
  • 13.30 – 14.00: Rebecca Diependaele (musicologe, o.a. Nadar Ensemble en Matrix New Music)
  • 14.00 – 14.30: Ben Haemhouts (algemeen directeur en dirigent Casco Phil)
  • 14.30 – 15.00: Koffiepauze
  • 15.00 – 15.30: Joost Maegerman (intendant Antwerp Symphony Orchestra)
  • 15.30 – 16.30: debat