Why the performing arts still matter in a changing world

Professor Linda Merrick

young cellists playing in a concert
This is a past event
Date and time
20 September 2022
7.30 pm
£10.00 (non-members)


It is easy to view the performing arts as a luxury. But in today’s unsettled world, can we afford to ignore the wider benefits of performing arts education and training?

There is a widely-held assumption that the performing arts have little to contribute to the economy in terms of GDP. The focus on ‘STEM’ rather than ‘STEAM’ education continues in our schools. And the situation is exacerbated by the financial crisis that has impacted the cultural sector as a result of the pandemic.

The value of a degree today is often viewed through the narrow lens of the salary a graduate will attract. In the performing arts, it is difficult to quantify this over time. And this overlooks the real reasons why passionate, gifted and creative young people may wish to pursue this path.

Professor Linda Merrick will explore how the performing arts industry is changing and the challenges this is posing for the UK’s top conservatoires. Which battles should be fought? What lies ahead for the talented young artists with whom they work as they forge their careers in an uncertain world? And how can high-quality performing arts education and training be sustained and made accessible to all, at a time of severe financial constraint?

Linda Merrick will also be joined by an RNCM student, who will give a brief, personal perspective.

Good to know: Refreshments will be available on arrival and canapes and wine will be served after the talk.

professor linda merrick

Professor Linda Merrick

Professor Linda Merrick is Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music and Chair of Conservatoires UK. She is an internationally-renowned clarinet soloist and recording artist with a large back catalogue.

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