30 August – 1 September 2023

Royal Academy of Music, London

The purpose of the conference is to bring together doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers working in the field of artistic research in music performance.

‘Doctors in Performance’ places the emphasis on performance itself and we particularly encourage recital and lecture recital submissions, although paper presentations on relevant fields of artistic research are also welcome.

The conference will be in-person only, in keeping with the performance focus of the event.

How to find the Academy

See Travelling to the Academy.

London Airports and Rail Connections

See Transport for London's Getting to London pages.

Conference Dinner

The Conference Dinner will be held at International Students House, which is a short walk from the Academy:

229 Great Portland St
London W1B 1PF
See Map and Directions


See Access to the Academy.

There are a number of good locations with lunch options within a 10 minute walk of the Academy. View lunch venues on Google Maps.

Keynote 1: Mieko Kanno

How to Care for the Recent Past

Wednesday 30 August, 4.30pm

We live in a never-ending series of crises. Today’s ills are frequently blamed on the recent past, and we strive frantically to find radical departures from it. In this presentation I focus on the concept of relationality in the temporal domain, meaning how we might understand various relations between the recent past, the present, and the future in art music. History’s recent turn towards ethics has highlighted challenges in our relation to the past. In this connection, I have studied Nel Noddings’ ethics of care, which draws attention to the importance of relationality when considering care as a human action. Her identification of reciprocity as a key concept in caring raises critical questions regarding what kind of reciprocity could ever take place on the temporal domain. From the viewpoints of sociality, materiality, and method, I consider the ways in which we can connect seemingly unconnected agents from different times in art music, drawing references from philosophy, education, and technology to align the inquiry to contemporary thought. The presentation is interspersed with a performance of Intermedio alla ciaccona for solo violin (1986) by Brian Ferneyhough.

Mieko Kanno is a violinist, specialist in the performance of contemporary music, and an academic. She first came to international attention in the 1980s when she won prizes in international competitions including the Carl Flesch, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, and Hannover. Later she developed an interest in performing contemporary music and won the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis from the Darmstadt New Music Institute in 1994. Her work concerns musical practice as a field and vocation in contemporary settings, with topics ranging from notation and technologies to education. Since her doctorate in 2001 she has held positions at the University of Durham (UK), the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and since 2016 she is Professor of Artistic Research in Music Performance at the Sibelius Academy, the University of the Arts Helsinki.

Keynote 2: Daniel-Ben Pienaar

Early Music on the Piano: An Adventure

Thursday 31 August, 5.15pm

Playing keyboard music written before Bach’s early Toccatas on the piano is increasingly common, but still largely part of ‘interesting programming’ strategies. Committing to these repertoires from the 16th and 17th centuries with sustained focus requires a type of immersion and a confrontation with uncomfortable questions of ownership, even authorship, that most ‘mainstream’ pianists tend to avoid. Daniel-Ben Pienaar talks here about his experience of making four double-disc recording projects of early music over the last 17 years, with a fifth in the pipeline; including complete traversals of the keyboard music of Orlando Gibbons and Gaspard Le Roux, as well as the most extensive Byrd-only piano collection on record. He shares some of his curation strategies as well as ‘problematising’ aspects of pianism in order to raise the stakes beyond ‘Historically-Informed Performance on Modern Instruments’.

Daniel-Ben Pienaar has garnered an international reputation for his unusual musicianship, in particular for his highly individual readings of the German piano classics and playing an extensive repertoire of works pre-Bach on the piano.

He is noted for a substantial discography which includes much-praised complete traversals of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Goldberg Variations and Six Partitas as well as the Sonata cycles of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. He has made first complete recordings of the keyboard works of Jacobean composer Orlando Gibbons as well as the mature piano music of South African composer Arnold van Wyk.

Pienaar is an elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and a Professor of the University of London.


‘Doctors in Performance’ steering committee

  • Anu Lampela, Chair (Sibelius Academy)
  • Markus Kuikka (Sibelius Academy)
  • Lina Navickaitė-Martinelli (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre)
  • Denise Neary (Royal Irish Academy of Music)
  • Sarah Callis (Royal Academy of Music, London)
  • Theodore Parker (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre)

Royal Academy of Music organising committee

  • Sarah Callis (Chair)
  • Neil Heyde
  • David Gorton
  • Briony Cox-Williams
  • Victoria Hodgkinson

The Registration fee is payable by all delegates and includes refreshments (tea and coffee) and a reception.


  • Students - £75
  • Non-students - £150
  • Conference dinner (optional) - £42

Please find the payment portal here.

Presentations may be proposed in one of three formats:

  • a short recital with research introduction
  • a lecture recital
  • a research paper (including captured performance footage if appropriate)

Timings for presentations are as follows, each followed by 10-minute discussion:

  • Recital + introduction: 30 minutes (including 5-10 mins of research introduction and set-up)
  • Lecture recital: 30 minutes (including set-up)
  • Paper presentation: 20 minutes

Performance spaces will contain a grand piano, music stands and an A/V system with screen and PA. We may be able to provide limited additional equipment on request, such as a mixing desk, stereo speakers and microphones.

We also have a range of historical keyboard instruments available. For more details, please email Victoria Hodgkinson at dip@ram.ac.uk

The conference language is English and all presentations should be in English.

Proposals should be in Word format on the provided template below and should include the following:

  • name and title of the presenter/s
  • institutional affiliation
  • type of presentation (recital, lecture recital or paper)
  • title and abstract for the presentation (300 words maximum), including details of any works to be performed
  • For recital and lecture-recital proposals, please include a link to recent video footage of you performing live (at least 5 mins); the repertoire does not need to be relevant to the proposal
  • equipment needed for the presentation (instruments, technical requirements etc)
  • biography (100 words maximum) and contact information
  • photo

Download the proposal submission template