Orpheus Institute secures private funding to initiate a new research cluster, led by fortepianist-researcher Tom Beghin.

The Orpheus Institute (Ghent, Belgium) and the Fund InBev-Baillet Latour have recently announced a substantial research funding for the Orpheus Institute.

The funding will allow the Orpheus Institute and Tom Beghin to build a research group of high-potential researchers, industrial partners and well-established musicians and interpreters of 18th- and early 19th-century music. This grant reinforces the institute's position as a centre of excellence and as a frontrunner in Artistic Research in Music.

The research cluster, Declassifying the Classics, led by Principal Investigator Tom Beghin, explores the ramifications of rhetoric for the historically informed performance of late 18th- and early 19th-century music, both solo and in small ensemble, with a focus on the keyboard in its various technological guises. Engaging technology, yet resisting teleology, this artistic research project revisits familiar scores and explores unfamiliar ones to tell “real” stories of men, women and their instruments in a period that we so reverently—but stiflingly—call “classical.”

Absolute premise is the performance on historical instruments—newly built. The new construction of some specific types of keyboards—to fill crucial gaps in our knowledge of the past—happens in partnership with the Early Keyboard Instruments Workshop of Chris Maene (Pianos Maene, Belgium).  

Tom Beghin has been at the forefront of a new generation of interpreters of 18th- and early 19th-century music. A widely published author and performer (his recording of Haydn’s complete keyboard music was hailed as “one of the most audacious recording projects in recent memory”), he has held subsequent professorships at UCLA (Los Angeles, 1997-2003) and McGill University (Montreal, 2003-present).

For more than 30 years, Chris Maene has been in the business of keyboard manufacturing. Under his leadership, the Maene Early Keyboard Instruments Workshop in Ruiselede (Belgium) has grown into one of the most prolific and successful in modern times, building harpsichords, fortepianos, and pianos for professional keyboardists, private collections, conservatoires, and universities all over the world.

The Orpheus Institute is an international centre of excellence with its primary focus on artistic research in music: "research embedded in musical practice and primarily guided by artistic objectives."

More info: http://www.orpheusinstituut.be/en/news