Julian is Head of Open Academy, the Royal Academy of Music’s community and participation department

Julian has designed and led projects for many organisations, including Glyndebourne, English National Opera, Royal Opera House, Philharmonia Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, London Symphony Orchestra, Spitalfields Music and English Touring Opera. Internationally, he has supported organisations and musicians to develop their socially engaged and participatory practice in Norway, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.

Julian’s main area of interest is in the field of music, health and wellbeing, and within this he has developed a particular specialism in researching the role that music making can have for people living with dementia. In 2016, he was invited to become a co-director of Created out of Mind, an interdisciplinary group of researchers who were the recipients of Wellcome’s prestigious Hub Award.

As a performer, Julian’s commitment to new music has led to him taking part in premieres by composers including Julian Grant, Errollyn Wallen, Kenneth Hesketh, David Knotts, Alasdair Nicolson and Judith Weir. Julian‘s performing career has been eclectic; he has premiered new works for solo oboe at the Purcell Room, recorded Stockhausen for BBC Radio 3, performed as a soloist on BBC Radio 2 and appeared with the band Paris Motel at Glastonbury.

Principal Investigator: UKRI ESRC SSH UK / Japan Connections, The Arts and Dementia: how might the arts contribute to the creation of more inclusive ageing societies?

Co-Investigator: UKRI AHRC, COVID-19: Using multisensory culture boxes to promote public health guidance and to support the wellbeing of people with dementia in care homes.

A. Clare, P. Camic, S. Crutch, J. West, E. Harding, E. Brotherhood, Using music to develop a multi-sensory environment for people with late-stage dementia, The Gerontologist, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnz169

H. Zeilig, J. West, V. Tischler, M. van der Byl Williams, S. Strohmaier, Co-creativity, well-being and agency: A case study analysis of a co-creative arts group for people with dementia, Journal of Aging Studies, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2019.03.002

H. Zeilig, J. West, M. van der Byl Williams, Co-creativity: Possibilities for using the arts with people with a dementia, Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-02-2018-0008