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Performing Classical Music in the 21st Century

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Name: Alistair Sung Main Subject: Classical Cello Research Coaches: Gerard Bouwhuis, Renee Jonker Title of Research: Performing Classical Music in the 21st Century Research Question: Can a reconsideration of presentation, programming and audience relationship influence the response to classical music? Summary of Results: The financial and cultural climate of the past 50 years has changed the way in which classical music is perceived. Where once it was valued as a crucial part of a healthy society, it has now grown isolated from mainstream culture and has been relegated to the periphery of modern cultural life. This paper will examine how these recent cultural and social developments occurred and focus on their effects on the performance of classical music in the 21st century. Through an analysis of new and existing approaches to performance, a framework will be established which will form the basis of a test concert. Data gained from this concert will then be analysed in order to explore the possibility of altering existing concert conventions to respond to the problems facing the performance of classical music. Research will be presented in the form of a research paper. Biography: Alistair began learning the cello in Sydney Australia with Marcus Hartstein and David Pereira. After attending Newtown High School of Performing Arts, Alistair completed his Bachelor Music (honours I)/Bachelor Arts (philosophy) at the University of New South Wales in 2010. On graduating, Alistair was awarded the university medal and his honours thesis, ‘Variety in Performance: A Comparative Analysis of Recorded Performances of Bach’s Sixth Suite for Solo Cello’ was co-published in the Empirical Musicology Review (Ohio State University). Alistair is currently completing a Masters degree at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague with Larissa Groeneveld.

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