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Orpheus Institute

DocARTES doctoral programme in creative and performing arts

Ghent (Belgium)

Orpheus Institute since 1996
Doctoral programme since 2004



2 Laureate students
39 Doctoral students

Orpheus Institute has been providing postgraduate education for musicians since 1996 and a doctoral programme DocARTES since 2004. Acting as an umbrella institution for Flanders the Orpheus Institute is co-governed by the music and dramatic arts departments of all four Flemish colleges: the Royal Conservatoires of Antwerp, Brussels, and Ghent, and the Lemmens Institute Leuven.

The DocARTES programme results from an alliance between Orpheus, Leiden University, the Amsterdam Conservatoire, the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, Antwerp University Association, and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Association.

Orpheus Institute hosts the Orpheus Research Centre in Music, where individual (senior) researchers and research groups conduct research projects. During the period 2010-2013 the ORCiM researchers will focus on one theme: Artistic Experimentation in Music.

Entry Requirements
Candidates for admission are highly accomplished and reflective practicing musicians with original, clear and well-articulated ideas for practice-based research, holding an MA or equivalent level of qualification.
Although advanced research experience is not explicitly required. The artistic component may outweigh the theoretical one or vice versa; high standards are set for the written reporting.

Programme Requirements
The docARTES programme starts with a two-year doctoral curriculum (monthly gatherings in Ghent – 8 sessions per year.) After that, they continue their research both through performances and through systematic theoretical reflection. The written thesis may be either a monograph or a collection of interrelated articles accompanied by an explanatory introduction. Doctoral candidates may supplement their theses with CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs and/or a website
The completion of the doctorate involves one or more artistic presentations, such as concerts, performances and demonstrations, as well as a public defense.

The supervising panel usually consists of a directing supervisor, an academic and an artistic specialist. Supervision involves a binding cooperation between the student, directing supervisor and specialists at all stages of the research project. This cooperation is formalised via a written study contract.

Publications and conferences
Nine conference proceedings, volumes of essays, and monographs have appeared so far in the series Collected Writings of the Orpheus Institute, published by Leuven University Press. A subseries, devoted specifically to issues of artistic practice was presented in September 2009. Papers from several seminars and study days are available online at
Apart from regular seminars, workshops, master classes and lectures, Orpheus organizes the yearly (largely musicological) International Orpheus Academy for Music & Theory. Since 2009 a yearly ORCiM Research Festival is held.