Tuesday 20 – Friday 23 February 2018

The Guildhall School’s Reflective Conservatoire Conference is held every three years and is an established feature of the international events calendar. The Conference brings together leading performers, professionals, teachers and researchers from all over the world to address the key issues in Higher Education within music and drama.

The themes of the 2018 conference are:
Concepts and significance of artistic citizenship
Promising new practices
Enabling artist as citizens – from cradle to grave
Organisational development and leadership
Impact and advocacy
On Wednesday 21 February, Jodie Ginsberg (Index on Censorship) chairs a panel discussion with contributions from sector experts, asking the question: how free are our performing arts?

26 September 1968 saw the Theatres Act abolished, a censorship that had controlled plays in Great Britain since 1737: the next day the musical Hair opened in London with rock anthems and nude hippies signalling the new freedom of expression.

Fifty years on from this event, what are the forces at work that may be challenging this? This discussion launches Shakespeare’s Globe series on Shakespeare and Censorship and delegates to the Reflective Conservatoire Conference will be able to register for complimentary tickets to this event.

Keynote speakers:
Professor Geoffrey Crossick: Distinguished Professor of Humanities, SAS, University of London. His keynote session will focus on what it means to think about artists as citizens and about how the arts can influence citizenship and civil society.
Vikki Heywood CBE: Chairman, RSA. Drawing on her experience as Chairman of the RSA, 14-18 Now, Mountview Drama School and running the RSC, Vikki Heywood CBE will consider the opportunities and the challenges in training for the creative industries today. Artistic Director of Young Vic, David Lan, follows Heywood’s keynote, presenting a response.
Helen Marriage MBE: Director, Artichoke. Her keynote session will discuss her approach to a lifetime of working outside mainstream arts institutions: eschewing the comfort of the four walls of the gallery, concert hall, theatre or dance studio. These issues will be explored through a series of performances, practical workshops, keynote speeches, curated sessions, seminars and round-table discussions, including:
Inclusive approaches to opera and music theatre - a session with three papers looking at Schubert in South Africa (Shirley Apthorp, Umculo); examples of contemporary Finnish opera occupying the public space (Dr Liisamaija Hautsalo, University of the Arts Helsinki, Sibelius Academy); and an exploration of the concepts and methodologies supporting the establishment in March this year of the Academy for Early Opera Dance at Moscow State Theatre ‘Natalya Sats,’ with participatory demonstrations (Katerina Antonenko, Opera Omina, Academy for Early Opera & Dance).

Music and Health – a session with three papers looking at how bicultural and intercultural experiences might develop one’s understanding of music for health (Professor Sarah Hoskyns, New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington); if a music therapy musicianship exists separately from musicianship developed in other kinds of musical training (Donald Wetherick, Guildhall School of Music & Drama); and a discussion around if the concert series ‘Jamie’s Concerts’ for parents and carers of autistic people, are therapeutic in some way, even though they do not claim to be a form of therapy (Dr Mirjam James, Noriko Ogawa & Dr Karen Wise, Guildhall School of Music & Drama).

Climb! - an interactive work composed in 2016-17 by Dr Maria Kallionpää for Disklavier Grand Piano, combining a classical virtuoso piece with the mechanics of a computer game. The performance is in two parts, with Dr Kallionpää playing two different routes through the work. The audience will be able to follow her progress and compare the two journeys using an interactive programme guide on their phones (Dr Maria Kallionpää & Hans Peter Gasselseder, University of Aalborg; Professor Chris Greenhalgh, University of Nottingham).

Whose story are we telling? The role of the librettist in the future of opera – a session exploring the often ignored role of the writer within opera making and argues that unless they start telling new stories, we won’t be able to tackle its diversity problem and the disconnection between the art form and ‘everyday’ citizens (Ruth Mariner, Gestalt Arts; Laura Attridge, Glyndebourne; Omar Sharyar, York University; and Lucy Bradley (ROH/Glydebourne).

Global & (inter)cultural perspectives on artistic citizenship – a session with three papers looking at the impact of music education on social development and urban renewal in Medellín, Colombia (Professor Geoffrey Baker, Royal Holloway, University of London); the development of the Barenboim-Said Akademie in a post-colonial world (Dr Charles Wiffen, Bath Spa University); and a reflection on bringing socially aware residencies to other countries with examples from Yunnan, China and rural Portugal (Kathryn Smith, Guildhall School of Music & Drama).

Promising practices in arts-in-healthcare – a session with two papers looking at how music impacts people staying and/or working in hospital (Professor Rineke Smilde, Prince Claus Conservatoire/University of Music & Performing Arts Vienna; Krista Pyykönen, Prince Claus Conservatoire Groningen; and René van Munster); and a case study of musicians facilitating creative interventions for mothers with symptoms of postnatal depression (Dr Rosie Perkins, Sarah Yorke, and Daisy Fancourt, Royal College of Music).

Theatre Censorship: Still alive and kicking? – a panel discussion, chaired by Jodie Ginsberg (Index on Censorship) with contributions from sector experts, asking the question: how free are our performing arts? It launches Shakespeare’s Globe series on Shakespeare and Censorship. Delegates to the Conference will be able to register for complimentary tickets to this event.

Social responsibility the artist and the student – a session with three papers looking at how requests for regional arts council grants and the criteria for funding encourage cross-cultural exchange (Roque Diaz, University of Minnesota); a case study of how LAMDA have empowered their students to have ownership over themselves as artists and the social responsibility of actors (Caroline Leslie & Luke Beattie LAMDA); and an exploration of Trinity Laban’s week-long composition project run by the charity Finding Rhythms in Thameside Prison (Tim Palmer, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Drama; Robin Harris, Finding Rhythms).

Embracing multicultural perspectives –a session with two papers looking at encouraging exchange and diversity in conservatoire pedagogies through the lens of international student education (Biranda Ford, Guildhall School of Music and Drama); and a presentation looking at the lack of diversity in acting training with proposals of how to address the issue, looking particularly at the teaching of voice, text and accents (Daron Oram, The Central School of Speech and Drama).

Participatory pedagogies – a session with three papers analysing the Floora project in Finland, addressing socioeconomic inequality through music (Hanna Kamensky (Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki); a presentation reporting on initial Finding a Voice research, an AHRC-funded project investigating the teaching and learning of singing in adulthood (Dr Karen Wise, Guildhall School of Music & Drama); and an exploration of two case studies from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music on the emergence of creative leadership development for young people (Bethany Nette, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore).

Approaches to socially engaged practice – a session with two papers focusing on the social, pedagogical, and psychological dimensions of the Meet4Music community project (Dr Andrea Schiavio, Centre for Systematic Musicology, University of Graz/Department of Music, The University of Sheffield; Andrea Gande & Silke Kruse-Weber, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz); and an exploration of how arts education can assist people to pursue lifelong fulfilment and flourishing through artistic citizenship (Dr Marissa Silverman, Montclair State University).

Emerging professional paradigms – a session with two papers looking at how we can collectively generate more entrepreneurial and sustainable models of working in the industry (Dr Susanne Burns, Susanne Burns Associates Ltd); and a presentation on the principal artistic and societal drivers of six of the top arts leaders active in South East Asia (Professor Bernard Lansky, Young Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore).

A full programme of the conference is available at gsmd.ac.uk/rcc


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