On 6 June 2022, Veerle Spronck successfully defended her PhD at the Aula of Maastricht University. Spronck’s research was part of the 2017-2021 NWO/SIA funded project ‘Artful Participation’ which was a collaboration between Maastricht University, the Research Centre for the Arts, Autonomy and the Public Sphere of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, and philharmonie zuidnederland.
Veerle Spronck’s thesis titled ‘Listen Closely: Innovating Audience Participation in Symphonic Music’, is a result of ethnographic research where she closely examined how four Dutch symphony orchestras are innovating participation in their everyday practices.
In Spronck’s own words:
“Rather than taking the problems for granted and join orchestras in their search for solutions, I conduct ethnographic research in order to closely examine how four Dutch symphony orchestras are innovating participation in their everyday practices. In researching the ways of working of these orchestras, I unravelled how participation is problematised, done, and (e)valuated in practice. I examined how existing (aesthetic) norms and values such as aesthetic quality are challenged in projects that attempt to innovatie audience participation, but new values also emerge in the process.” (Spronck, 2022, https://veerlespronck.nl/Listen-Closely-EN)
‘Artful Participation’ is one of the projects of the Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music. Veerle Sprock’s research was supervised by Prof Peter Peters, chair of MCICM, and Ruth Benschop, lector at Zuyd University.
Veerle Spronck (1993) is an interdisciplinary researcher, educator, and podcaster who works on the societal value of the arts, and is particularly interested in the intersections of art, science and technology. She works as associate lector (senior researcher) Valuable Entrepreneurship in and through the Arts at the University of the Arts Utrecht, and is one of the makers of the independent podcast Kunstmatig about art and technology.
‘Listen Closely: Innovating Audience Participation in Symphonic Music’ is available for download.