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PSN Conference 1 – July 2011

CMPCP’s Performance Studies Network hosted its first International Conference at the University of Cambridge from 14 to 17 July 2011. Approximately 140 delegates from around the world attended the four-day event, which included the presentations of c.100 speakers in the form of individual papers, research reports, and special sessions. Professor Keith Sawyer gave a Keynote Paper entitled ‘Creativity in performance: improvisation, ritual and collaboration’ and an invited panel featuring the ensemble Metropolis explored ‘the margins of idiomatic jazz: creativity in improvisation, performance and composition’. Delegates attended a concert by the renowned Endellion Quartet on Friday 15 July and a six-hour ‘Total Performance Event’ on Saturday 16 July; further details about the latter can be found here. Other performances were scattered through the conference programme, given by delegates themselves as well as by invited musicians. The main conference events were held at the Faculty of Music, 11 West Road; delegates were accommodated at nearby Robinson College, where other activities also took place.

Thanks to the generous support of the Music & Letters Trust, CMPCP was able to offer twelve bursaries of £125 each to doctoral research students to assist with the expenses incurred in attending the Performance Studies Network International Conference. CMPCP and the Performance Studies Network gratefully acknowledge the support that the Music & Letters Trust has provided.


The programme featured 21 parallel sessions on the following topics, in addition to the two plenary sessions referred to above:

  • Improvisation
  • Composer-performer collaborations
  • Instruments and contexts
  • Recording
  • Contemporary music performance
  • Performing recitative
  • Shaping sound
  • Optimising performance potential
  • Shape, gesture, enactment
  • Jazz
  • Jazz in history
  • Performers and (or) composers
  • From score(s) to performance(s)
  • Historical performance/recordings/Bach
  • Experimentation in/and/or performance
  • Learning/pedagogy
  • Cross-cultural/multimedia performance
  • The performer in performance
  • Performance in/and history
  • Ensemble performance

The full conference programme can be seen here.

PSN 2011 online resource

Select conference presentations are available by clicking on the following links: