New audiences for new music – A foundation for the future
Festivals, charities and performers who deal with new music are keen to find fresh forms of presentation and collaboration; nowadays more than ever, it seems. All speakers on this panel have found more than just one way to new audiences, from young to old.
Musica (situated in Neerpelt, in the north of Belgium) is all about developing talent and, by doing so, building bridges to education, the welfare sector and the wider socio-cultural field. While preparing for this panel, Musica director Esther Ursem mentioned their Sounds Now curatorship specifically, and its aim at inclusiveness. There is much more on Musica’s roster, though, like sound art projects in public spaces and their popular ‘new music & children’ projects.
As the national charity for new music in the UK, Sound and Music is leading on a number of national initiatives, including shared audience data and insight. The organisation champions artist-first, audience-focused touring via their programme Composer-Curator. Victoria Johnson, Head of Digital and Audience Engagement at Sound and Music, will bring both collaboration and presentation to the discussion.
SPOR is the annual festival for contemporary music and sound art in Aarhus, Denmark. Speaking on the panel is Anne Marqvardsen, who has been sharing festival director duties with Anna Berit Asp Christensen since 2007. To make sure the festival keeps away from auto-pilot mode, a guest curator or curator team is invited to the programming (Belgian/Dutch composer and sound artist Cathy van Eck in 2019). SPOR is the only festival in Europe with this concept.
The festival Oranjewoud takes place in the estate of the same name, part of the wooded area in the Dutch province of Friesland. Education and participation have been part of the festival since day one; besides an extensive children’s programme, Oranjewoud offers activities for mentally challenged people. Yoram Ish-Hurwitz, the festival’s founder and director, will explain the reasoning behind its inception and the development of its musical programme, in which both the familiar and the unfamiliar is offered in unexpected ways.
Geert van Boxtel will be the moderator of this panel discussion. As an Arranger for the Province of Noord-Brabant, he is responsible for initiating, stimulating and coordinating the broadening and the renewal of structures within the musical network of Noord-Brabant. Besides this, Geert is a (music) dramaturge, consultant and concept developer.
Photo: © Oranjewoud