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Adapting live classical music performance for different venues

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Name: Gregor Dešman Main Subject: Classical Piano Research Supervisor: Anna Scott Title of Research: Adapting Live Classical Music Performance for Different Venues Research Question: In what ways can a musician adjust his or her performance approach by taking into account the characteristics of a specific type of venue? Summary of Results: Each performance is unique, and depends on many factors including a performer’s physical and psychological condition, their connection to the repertoire, and most importantly, the conditions presented by a given venue. In this research project I have concentrated primarily on the latter, and have sought to determine the particular challenges and possibilities presented by varying types of venues, and how such knowledge can be used to guide the conscious decisions performers make in order to adapt their performances accordingly. My methodology first involved carrying out background research, using relevant academic literature as well as my own experiences as a pianist. By focusing on three types of venues (concert halls, music clubs, and private homes), I was then able to compile a list of the advantages and challenges presented by each type of performance space. From this list I then prepared three different interpretations of Ferruccio Busoni's transcription of the Chaconne from J. S. Bach's Partita in D Minor, with each interpretation being specially adapted to the limitatons and possibilities presented by each of the three venue types. I then tested each interpretation by performing it in its respective venue, the results of which I documented via audio and video recordings. I was then able to analyse the effectiveness of my venue-specific interpretative decisions in these recordings, after which I compiled a table that can function as a guide for adjusting one's performances to specific venues. By carrying out this research project, I have found that in order to better communicate with their audiences, musicians can and should adjust their performances to specific types of venues. While musicians make many smaller adjustments instinctively, as related to voicing or phrasing for example, learning the logic and mechanics behind such modifications emboldens one to make larger changes as related to tempo and even character – an interpretive flexibility towards which all musicians should strive. Biography: Pianist Gregor Dešman studies with Prof. Naum Grubert at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. He completed postgraduate studies with Prof. Ruben Dalibaltayan in Zagreb and graduate studies in Ljubljana with Prof. Hinko Haas. Gregor has successfully competed in many international competitions and as a soloist has performed with the Ljubljana Opera and Ballet Orchestra and with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. Gregor performs across Europe with internationally successful musicians such as Tibor Molnar and Joachim Eijlander, and with the GUD Piano Trio, who have an international career and have studied with Prof. Tomaž Lorenz and Trio di Parma in Duino, Italy.

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