The Team

Prof. Dr. Jutta Toelle

Gustav-Mahler-Privatuniversität for Music, Klagenfurt am Wörthersee

University Professorship for Applied Musicology

ECR Role: Investigator

Mießtaler Straße 8

9020 Klagenfurt



Trained as a musicologist and historian, Jutta Toelle works on concert and opera audiences in the 21st century but also on applause, the “mission through music” narrative and Giacomo Puccini. Her PhD thesis at HU Berlin was about the Italian opera industry in the 19th century (the book is called “Opera as Business”), and from 2007 to 2012 Jutta was assistant professor of musicology at her alma mater in Berlin. She spent the academic year 2012/13 as a visiting scholar at the music department of the University of Chicago, until she became a researcher at the Max Planck institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt.

Her projects ask fundamental, topical questions about making music and listening to music; she also explores the interstices between music and economical thinking through historical examples and within contemporary discourses of cultural policy. In the centre of her research is the question how people experience music and how a society values this experience of (live) music.

Research Statement

As a musicologist and humanities scholar, the ECR project gives me the chance to investigate a number of fundamental questions of the concert experience via qualitative data. In the focus of my research will be the question how participatory sense-making works for people in the audience during the concert, via the concert: why do they attend the concert, mostly with others, what do they look for and what do they get (dimension „interactivity“)? In the course of the concert experiments I am investigating what is specific to the live-context: why do people flock to live performances, in times of the ubiquitous availability of many kinds of music (dimension “liveness”)? What happens if concert conventions and rituals become challenged and contested?

And is there a reciprocity between the collective and individual concert experiences of the people in the audience and that of the musicians? (dimension „reciprocity“)?

In the course of the ECR project I’m especially interested in the interventions which address concert conventions and rituals, challenge and contest them – or, finally, suspend some or all of them: how do these interventions affect the sense-making which the audience undertakes during and via the concert, individually or collectively?