Research Group

The research projects of the lectorate are organised in three complementary research clusters that embody the societal, artistic and educational mission of the lectorate: Curating Music, Making in Music and Musical Learning and Performance. Each of these clusters brings its own research approaches.

Research cluster 'Musical Learning and Performance'
Music education, especially instrumental education, often builds on traditions and the experience of many generations of musicians. At the same time, new insights into the biological, cognitive and cultural fundaments of musical perception, motoric and imagination demand the innovation of musical training, preparation and performance. The research cluster ‘Musical Learning and Performance’ builds a bridge between music education and didactics on the one side, and insights from other knowledge fields that may lead to a better understanding of processes of musical learning, imagination and performance on the other.

Research cluster 'Making in Music'
The research cluster ‘Making in Music’ investigates how music and sounding art come about and what drives music makers and sound artists today. Special attention goes to research that crosses the traditional barriers between composition, improvisation and performance. In addition to supporting individual research projects, the research group will look for new insights and common grounds that can be implemented in the curricula of various departments within the conservatoire.

Research cluster 'Curating Music'
The research group ‘Curating Music’ investigates how musicians can interact with today’s audiences and how they can engage with the world from their own artistic identity. The concert hall is by far not the only place where educated musicians can share their music with an audience anymore. Musicians work in neighbourhood projects, schools, hospitals; in the public and virtual space. This calls for a reconsideration of the skills that contemporary musicians need and a critical examination of the discourse that grounds our musical and artistic values. Even in traditional music venues, the public is becoming increasingly diverse and often no longer shares a common cultural repertoire. This poses a challenge to the way early, classical and contemporary repertoire is contextualised, presented and performed.


Richard Barrett is internationally active as a composer and performer, and also teaches at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague and at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University. His work encompasses a range from free improvisation to intricately-notated scores, and from acoustic chamber music to innovative uses of digital technology. His book Music of Possibility was published by Vision Edition in 2019. After completing his recent research project ‘A Year in the Life of the Sonology Electroacoustic Ensemble’, he is currently interested in comparing improvisation in various artistic disciplines.

Inés Costales (1990) is a Spanish pianist and music theorist settled in the Netherlands. She studied Piano and Music Theory at the Conservatory of Amsterdam (Master degree in 2019) and Violoncello (Bachelor degree in 2013) at the Conservatory of Zaragoza (Spain). Since 2019 she has been teaching Chamber Music and theoretical subjects at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague and since 2020 at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Furthermore, she teaches ‘Musicianship’ at the Sweelinck Academy for Young Talent (CvA) in Amsterdam. Besides being active as a performer and composer, her focus point is the integration between Music Theory and Performance. She is regularly invited to give lectures and workshops at different Conservatories in the Netherlands and in Spain.

Inês d’Avena (Inês de Avena Braga – Rio de Janeiro, 1983) is a recorder player, teacher and researcher. Inês records for Passacaille, Challenge Classics, ORF Edition Alte Musik, Channel Classics, Ramée/Outhere and Sony Classical, and performs as a soloist, and in chamber and orchestral formations throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America, with ensembles such as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Köln, New Collegium, her duo with Claudio Ribeiro, and La Cicala, of which she is artistic director. Inês holds a PhD in Music from Leiden University and bachelor’s, master’s and teaching diplomas from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, where, since 2012, she is a Teacher and Research Supervisor for the Master Program. Her research focuses on the rediscovery of Italian Baroque music and its performance practice, and she has had scholarly articles, essays and reviews published at Recercare, the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, Tibia, Music+Practice and Blokfluitist. In 2015, Inês was a postdoctoral resident academic researcher at the Cini Foundation / Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi in Venice.

Claudio Ribeiro (São Paulo, 1976), based in the Netherlands since 2000, is a sought-after harpsichordist and conductor in a variety of orchestras and ensembles, and a regular guest at the major concert venues and festivals in Europe, performing also in his native Brazil and in South Korea. Claudio records for labels as Ramée, Ricercar, Ambronay Éditions, ORF, Brilliant and Passacaille, is the co-founder and artistic director of baroque ensemble New Collegium, a member of La Cicala, Radio Antiqua and the duo with Inês d'Avena, and combines music making with an intense research activity focused on performance practice and the discovery of unknown baroque repertoire. Claudio holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, as well as a bachelor’s degree in conducting from the State University of Campinas. Claudio works as a harpsichord teacher and coach at the School for Young Talent and harpsichord accompanist for several departments of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague since 2006, and receives regular invitations to teach in festivals in Brazil and Europe.

Felix Schlarmann teaches jazz drums at the Royal Conservatoire. The originally German drummer studied in Amsterdam and New York and is active as a performer at home and abroad in many bands and ensembles. His musical interests range from playing in big bands to artistic improvisation projects. Besides a busy concert schedule and teaching at the Conservatory, he is director and artistic director of Jazzfest Amsterdam, curates a monthly jazz series and is part of Splendor, a collective of musicians, composers and artists. His research focuses on the collective as a multifunctional process, format and artistic tool. Can the collective idea as it works in a musical context be translated into an entrepreneurial situation? And what conditions are necessary if this idea is to be taught within a conservatoire training?

Ilona Sie Dhian Ho is professor of Violin at the Royal Conservatoire and chamber music player. She is a jury member of several violin competitions and since 2018 member of the artistic board of Dutch Violin Competitions. In 2013 she started an outreach project, Music Around the Corner, in which she developed ways to perform classical music in the Morgenstond district, The Hague. With students she formed a ‘district orchestra’, Orkest Morgenstond, which works together with local partners to create tailored performances. She has recently extended these practice-based studies to a scientific research project by starting the Classic Expression Research group, in which musicians and scientists collaborate. By designing controlled experiments in the Classic Express, a mobile concert truck, she will analyze the impact of presentation techniques that were developed in Morgenstond. The aim is to provide insights in how to reach specific groups within the population, as well as to reflect on the artistic consequences of such presentation techniques. The first study on story telling in musical performances for children will take place in 2021.

Aart Strootman is an internationally acclaimed guitarist and composer. In a short time he won the Gaudeamus Award, the Prix Annelie de Man and the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize. His practice is a convergence of performing guitarist, composer and instrument builder in which the writing of new works often goes hand in hand with the building of the instruments on which they are to be played. This provides interesting insights and dialogues that also form the heart of his current research. An important subject is the digital modelling of the developed instrument in order to make it usable worldwide.

Susan Williams is one of the world’s most well-known specialists in baroque trumpet and over the last 30 years has performed and recorded with many of Europe’s finest early music ensembles as soloist, chamber musician and in orchestral projects. She has also initiated and realised many of her own artistic projects involving natural trumpets. She teaches at The Royal Conservatorium of The Hague and at the University of the Arts in Bremen. In addition to teaching natural trumpet and leading ensemble projects and workshops Susan has been giving regular courses in practicing and performance preparation for over ten years. Susan is actively involved in curriculum development in the area of training practicing. She teaches in staff development programs in The Netherlands, Belgium and Austria and for the Netzwerk Musikhochschulen of Germany. She has carried out research on the topics of attentional focus and musical imagery, as well as self-regulated learning for musicians. Susan’s book Quality Practice has enjoyed wide popularity amongst musicians and teachers. In 2020 she developed NOTES: a Musician’s Reflective Journal.

Ji Youn Kang is a composer, performer and sound artist and teaches at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague. Most of her music pieces have been composed for both traditional and non-traditional instruments ranging from a solo instrument to a large orchestra. One of her main interests lies in searching for the relationship between musical and physical spaces that she has been exploring with a variety of multichannel systems such as Acousmonium (FR) and Wave Field Synthesis System (192 loudspeakers). Her current research focuses on the sound spatializations in music and performance for live electronics.