Begin Hear

How to Make the Listener Feel Heard

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim. Photo by Luba Grosman Photography
  • event type:Classical:NEXT 21 Welcome Keynote
  • date:27 Sep 2021
  • time:12:00 - 12:30
  • city/area:Rotterdam
  • venue:De Doelen
  • country:Netherlands
  • event posted by:Piranha Arts


Led by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim (Belgium/Germany/USA), founder & artistic director, Beginner's Ear

What makes a good listener? The question rarely gets asked in the music business. Yet what is true in friendship is true in music: good listeners bring out the best in others.

For too long, the classical concert world has approached audience attention as a problem that needs policing. Prohibitions around noise and movement signal to listeners that their role is subservient to the music. Meanwhile, the recording industry has veered the other way, encouraging listeners to consume and accessorize music according to task and mood.

The pandemic has created an opportunity for a reset that centers the listener as a co-creative actor in the musical process. The result is a more inclusive concert experience and deeper engagement. Music becomes a way to hone listening skills that are ever more valuable in a divided and distracted world.

Drawing on her work presenting live music meditations in a range of settings –including a yoga studio, a prison, a high school and a billion-dollar corporation – Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim talks about ways to reframe the listening experience in a way that empowers audiences and invigorates creators.