Managing Your Talents

Interdisciplinary Research on the Performing Arts

29Aug2013 30Aug2013


The conference in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam is for those who are involved with Performing Arts and seek to share their interest with researchers from a broad range of disciplines, such as neuropsychology, brain and cognition sciences, performing arts, pedagogy, medicine and human motion sciences.

The conference Managing your Talents will mark a new partnership between the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the Theatre School, the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam.


The programme is structured around four themes:


In the arts, talent has long been indefinable. Paradoxically, this was seen as one of its defining characteristics. We will raise the question what talent is, when and how to spot it and how to foster and develop it.


For performing complex tasks under great pressure, so as to offer critical audiences a unique experience, stage artists have no equals – except athletes. We will speak about the relevance of sports research for the performing arts; but we will also consider what the latter may contribute to the emerging science of ‘peak performance’.


Practice is the complement of talent. One yields nothing without the other. But what do we practice, and how? We will look for substantial information that may shed a light on training practices in different sectors of the performing arts.


The art of performing is at the same time the art of staying healthy. Do performing art schools have sufficient in-house expertise to provide a coherent and effective resilience programme? And can the health sciences offer adequate answers to questions emerging from artistic practice?


Keynote lectures will be given by

  • Daniel Levitin (professor of Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience, McGill University, Montréal),
  • and Henkjan Honing (professor of Cognitive and Computational Musicology, University of Amsterdam).

Other speakers at this conference include Eckart Altenmüller (music and medicine), Erik Scherder (neuropsychology), Susan Hallam (music psychology and education), and Jacques van Rossum (human motion sciences). The participants will also see examples of teaching and training practices at professional art schools. Programme updates will follow at intervals.


The partners in this conference are: the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the Theatre School, the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam. Also involved are: the UvA Academic Medical Center and the Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam.

Published by  University of Amsterdam