Music in the Focus: Leadership, Curatorial Practices and Social Engagement

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Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Remote students
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Course Description: 

Music is the among the most accessible and universal intangible heritage and since it plays a crucial role in Vienna’s culture life, it has its relevance for the Cultural Heritage Studies Program of CEU.  The overall goal of this course is to provide an insight into leadership and curatorial practices in music with the help of local experts and practitioners in Vienna and exciting case studies from all over the world. Our focus areas will be cultural leadership, artistic planning, social inclusion, community engagement and their connections to music as intangible heritage.  

During the course participants will be able to meet key experts from the music field (from classical music to jazz, from electronic to world music) in Vienna. Therefore, the course offers an excellent opportunity to network with researchers and practitioners from the music scene. Guest speakers are coming from institutions like University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Wiener Staatsoper, Music Austria, Vienna KonzerthausHangvetőMuth-WienersängerknabenProgy and Bess, Salam Orient Festival, Brunnenpassage, Ilab-CEU, and from the colourful free-lance music scene.  

  1. Innovative cultural leadership in music  

  2. Development of leadership skills in the arts 

  3. Musicology in curation. Development patterns of music. Authenticity and hybridization. What is ‘traditional’? What is ‘contemporary’? What is ‘classical’? What is ‘popular’? 

  4. Heritage interpretation in music: relevance and community building 

  5. Music education and social outreach: participatory models and their research methodologies 

  6. Curatorial practices in various genres of music (classical-, world music and jazz)  with artists directors of festivals and music venues 

  7. Festival and concert management 

  8. Storytelling with music. How to tell stories through music? How to tell stories to find your audience? 

  9. Branding your event, branding your art - creating and developing audience engagement 

  10. Communication in the arts: focus on digital tools and approaches 

  11. Development and fundraising in the music world 


Who is it for: 

The course is offered for any CEU student interested in music, cultural leadership, social inclusion through music, concert and festival curation and management, strategical thinkingself-leadership, self-branding in the music scene. No previous management or performing arts knowledge is required. 

Learning Outcomes: 

Participants of the course will acquire a basic knowledge about cultural leadership and its current trends and challenges. They will gain first-hand experience from leaders of the field about new opportunities and challenges in Austria and globally. With the help of case studies from all over the world, students will learn what it means to become a curator and how social inclusion can play a significant role in these practicesStudents will get an insight how music practices can contribute to cultural democratization 


Regular class attendance is mandatory.  

An active participation in discussions is required from the students including individual and team work  (30%). 

Students will have to prepare small individual and group assignments specified at the previous session (30%). 
At the end of the term, students have to prepare a presentation on their chosen topic related to the course (40%)