Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: John Sloboda


Audiences for live classical music: why do they attend (or not), and how can composers, performers, and promoters better engage them?

Lecture Theatre 1, School of Music

The speaker is John Sloboda (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)


The last decades have seen a steady decline in attendance at live classical music, a decline which has not been experienced in other performance arts such as theatre or popular music.   The “Understanding Audiences” programme at Guildhall School of Music has been involved in a variety of projects, working with composers, performers, and promoters to better understand audience experience, what motivates attendance at live classical performances, and what might be done to increase their participation in –  and commitment to – classical concert attendance. Most of the projects involve gathering subjective empirical data from audience members, and working with the artists involved to draw implications for artistic practice.    

This presentation will select from current and recent projects (which include partnerships with English Touring Opera, Britten Sinfonia, and Vocal Futures, as well as with staff and students at Guildhall School) to illustrate the collaborative approach being taken, and outline some key findings of the programme to date.  

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