A very warm welcome to the website of the Performance Studies Network International Conference 2022 hosted by the Department of Music and Media at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. This is the sixth iteration of the conference that began with the establishment of the AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice (CMPCP) and a five-year research programme focussing on live musical performance and creative music-making running from 2009-2014. Since then the conference has occurred biennially, hosted by Bath Spa University and the Norwegian Academy of Music. The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated the postponement of the 2020 conference that was to have been held at the University of Huddersfield so this year’s event finally raises the curtain on a programme two years in the making.
As anyone who has ever organised a conference will attest, reviewing and grouping together dozens of papers, lecture-recitals and panels to create a compelling programme is no straightforward task. The conference committee are immensely grateful to our colleagues at Huddersfield, and in particular Philip Thomas, who had already undertaken much of this work in preparation for the 2020 conference. We are delighted to be able to present the original programme more or less intact and we are hugely appreciative of the efforts presenters have made to update or even rewrite their papers as needed. The resulting programme is an exciting one, sweeping across a broad swathe of performance practices and repertories. We have been able to add some new sessions to the mix including two panels, one by Surrey’s Institute of Austrian and German Music Research and the other on post-pandemic performance; we welcome Moss Freed and his band Union Division as our keynote performers and, at the time of writing, are finalising what promises to be an intriguing and inspiring opening keyboard recital for the conference.
Summer 2022 looks set to mark, in Western Europe at least and notwithstanding the terrible events unfolding in Ukraine, a continuation towards some form of normality after the pandemic disruptions of the past two years. We hope that this year’s Performance Studies Network International Conference can play a small role in re-starting the dissemination and networking opportunities amongst scholars and scholar-practitioners that have been in abeyance for too long. We look forward to welcoming delegates to Guildford and the University of Surrey’s attractive Stag Hill campus for four days of debate, discussion, reflection and performance.
Tom Armstrong, Georgia Volioti and Chris Wiley (PSN 2022 conference committee)