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Performers’ Present International Artistic Research Symposium – Telling Stories

Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

23-26 Oct 2019 (W-Sa)

Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music will be hosting Performers’ Present International Artistic Research Symposium (formerly Performers’ Voice), with the theme Telling Stories!

Here is the symposium description:

Narratives – whether historical, political, or musical; whether fact or fiction – are inextricably bound to the ways we experience the world, and the art that translates these experiences.

In the decade since we began hosting the triennial Performers(‘) Present symposium, artistic research has been undergoing rapid and ground-shifting transformations, with the performer’s voice becoming ever more present. As with our previous symposia, Telling Stories seeks to address and evolve the kaleidoscopic issues facing 21st-century performers, as they reflect on their practice in the context of significant shifts in politics, communications and technology, and performance practice.

Come join us and the artistic research community at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music from 23 – 26 October 2019, as we reflect on the power of music narratives and celebrate their narrators in Performers(‘) Present 2019: Telling Stories.


As musicians and performer-scholars, we tell stories. Whether in communicating through a musical narrative, through a performative act, or researching and reflecting upon the process of practising and concertising, the story is the central medium. Oxford tells us that the definitions of ‘story’ include: an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment; a false statement or lie; an account of past events in someone’s life or in the development of something; a particular person’s representation of the facts of a matter; the facts about the present situation.

Since the previous Performers(‘) Present festival-symposium in 2016, social and political upheavals worldwide have so impacted daily discourse that it has become difficult to distinguish objective truths from alternative facts. In an age where social media and its trends have had profound impacts on how we process the world as performing artists and artistic researchers, it seems all the more vital to probe the idea of telling stories – as a possible means of distorting discourse, but also as a beautiful conceit of great art that is vital for the well-being of our musical and cultural orbits.

The 2019 Performers(‘) Present symposium will offer space to explore the art of presenting music in performance in relation to our contemporary world, from the perspectives of performer, producer, audience, and within the broader cultural context.

What story will you tell?

The symposium is free and open to the public. Click below to view the programme.


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