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 Antwerpen - Promotiezaal - 9:30-17:00


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