Jankowska, Linda (2021) For the beauty of the act. Reflections on the concept of interdisciplinary virtuosity in new music performance. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This practice-based research project addresses the concept of interdisciplinary virtuosity within the field of new music performance. It is structured around two key questions:

- How can recent new music practices — diverse, plural, and fluid in nature — challenge existing understanding of virtuosity?
- How do practitioners develop a performance practice which engages with the uniquely interdisciplinary demands of recent experimental work?

To investigate these questions, the research employs a mixed methodology. At the heart of the project is my activity as a musician between 2013 and 2021; this is documented through an artistic portfolio organised around four ‘interdisciplinary’ themes. Autoethnographic and ethnographic analysis of this practice is guided by historical and theoretical research into the ideas of virtuosity and interdisciplinarity, especially as they relate to the growing epistemic complexity of the twenty-first century.

On the basis of this research process I propose a definition of interdisciplinary virtuosity as a personal methodology of inquiry into new skills drawn from other disciplines, based on knowledge exchange, collaboration and co-creation. Interdisciplinary virtuosity is offered as a productive lens for re-envisaging the forms of creativity characteristic of much new music practice, and as an approach to expert performance fitting for the present-day explosion in knowledge. Additionally, the findings of the research have implications for the rapidly changing professional landscape, suggesting the need to rethink elements of pedagogy and music training, and methods for undertaking project-based acquisition of multidimensional performance skills.

JANKOWSKA - THESIS.pdf - Accepted Version
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