Tunis, October 17-22, 2009


In a world overrun by celebrity and superficiality, is there an audience for the disciplines and profound thruths of art music? 

Convenor and chairperson of the session: Timo Cantell

The idea of the session is to map out – with the help of the presenters and their various orientations - what the state of affairs of the so-called art music is in various parts of the world with regards to their audiences. During the session the presenters provide factual data to discuss potential changes of the audience base while also addressing the expectations and needs of the current audiences. In addition, the question of non-attendees, i.e., those who do not show interest in art music, will be discussed.

One particular area of interest is the relationship between the so-called live music audience and those who listen to music via radio, records, the internet etc. How does the internet and media culture in general influence reception patterns and the state of the art music? And what is the role of the popular culture where the celebrity winners might take it all while less well-known artists and music forms might not prosper? Or this is the right analysis? In addition to understanding the present situation, the session explores challenges for the art music in the future.

While there are some arguments that people are “dumbing down” and therefore do not pay much attention to the art music, some counter arguments exist to show that people are indeed “wising up”. The reason for this is that on average young generations in various parts of the world have much higher education than previously and that education is a key determining factor why people become interested in the arts, evening the so called “high arts” and art music.

The overall aim of the session is to share experiences, to provide some explanations, to open up understanding of the art music situation and its reception in various parts of the world.

Timo Cantell


Discussions on visitors and non-visitors of classical and ethnic European music concerts
Timo Cantell (Finland) (paper and powerpoint)

From Classical to Ugandan church music: shifting the nature of art music and its audiences in Uganda
Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza (Uganda)

Indian art music and the changing audiences worldwide
Dr. Suvarnalata Rao (India) (paper)

Tunisian music and sound environment in the beginning of the 21st century

Mourad Sakli (Tunisia) (paper)

The Challenge of Popular Culture
Greg Sandow (USA) (paper)

Project presentations

‘Music takes care of me!’- Motivating children for music in the concert hall
Graça Boal Palheiros (Portugal)  (abstract / paper)

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