Skip to main content
Toggle menu

Connect: The Audience as Artist

CONNECT: The Audience as Artist dissolves hierarchies between audience and performers, breaking down the barrier between on-and-off stage and creating new interactive formats in which the audience becomes a co-creator and participant. 

This pan-European initiative, enabled by the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, began in 2016 as a cooperation between four leading contemporary music ensembles and first took place that year. The goal of the project is to explore the relationship between composer, musician and audience anew, enabling the audience to play a participatory role; to inspire composers to experiment with the idea of shared curation, encouraging new ways for musicians to interact with audiences; and empower audiences to play their own role in great art. 

Following three successful editions between 20216 and 2021, the fourth commissioning cycle launches in 2024 with a new fifth partner, as Ensemble intercontemporain (Paris) joins London Sinfonietta (London), Asko | Schönberg, (Amsterdam), Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt) and Remix Ensemble Casa da Música (Porto), with all five ensembles committed to a performance of the new work. 

The fourth edition is focused on developing a radical and new approach to the concept of "Audience as Artist". Composer Brigitta Muntendorf has been commissioned to compose a new work with performances to take place in the 2025-2026 and the 2026-2027 seasons.

I would like to compose a piece that is inspired by a social sculpture and at the same time follows fictional and fantastic paths. Just as statistical parameters (number of people in the audience, composition of the audience, size of the hall, the ensemble, etc.) combine with music and reception in a concert, I would like to create a hybrid of artistic experience and audience survey. The audience should be transferred from its anonymous, purely receptive role into an (apparent) relevance that can be de facto as real as it is seemingly relevant. Brigitta Muntendorf

Past Projects

Night Shift by Cathy Miliken
On 10 March 2022, we gave the extended version world premiere of Night Shift by Cathy Milliken. Inspired by themes and parts from A Midsummer Night's Dream, the piece begins with a relaxed rehearsal led by the conductor. The audience has sound-making objects and together with the musicians, soloists and choirs, finetunes the piece before the actual performance. Check out some photos and reactions from the night.

ORANGO by Oscar Bianchi
In March 2019, we performed the UK premiere of a new work, ORANGO, for ensemble and audience, by Italian/Swiss composer Oscar Bianchi. The work invited a trained group of audience members to create and explore unusual sound worlds and encourage involvement in the fun piece by the audience at large.

The Gender Agenda by Philip Venables
In April 2018 The Gender Agenda, a concert piece like no other, turned Queen Elizabeth Hall into a gameshow and the audience into contestants. Complete with challenges and commercials, The Gender Agenda had all the features of a gameshow, but turned on its head - think The Generation Game meets Southpark. Hosted by the brilliantly charismatic David Hoyle, audiences could choose to play the game onstage in this irreverent and funny exploration of gender (in)equality.

Capturing the spirit of change that accompanied the London Sinfonietta’s first-ever concert in 1968, this event marked the ensemble’s return to Queen Elizabeth Hall in its re-opening festival.

In the Midst of the Sonorous Islands by Christian Mason
The Sonic Great Wall by Huang Ruo

Two ground-breaking commissions by Christian Mason and Huang Ruo gave audiences at our CONNECT concert in Autumn 2016 the chance to perform world premieres alongside the London Sinfonietta, with no musical experience needed: glass bottles, baoding balls, tin foil, harmonicas and whispers were their instruments.

Supported by ART MENTOR FOUNDATION LUCERNE in collaboration with London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Asko|Schönberg and Remix Ensemble Casa da Música