© connect, 2023 © Wonge Bergmann


The audience as artist

›CONNECT – The Audience as Artist‹ was initiated in 2015 by Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne as a challenge and provocation to the historic hierarchy between audiences and artists. The project dissolves the barriers between composers, artists and audiences by commissioning and promoting new work that requires public participants to be an inextricable part of the performance. Composers are inspired to experiment with the idea of shared curation, encouraging new ways for musicians to interact with audiences, and empowering audiences to pay their own role in art.

The four founder ensembles in the project – London Sinfonietta, Asko|Schönberg (Amsterdam), Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt) and Remix Ensemble Casa da Música (Porto), will be joined for this new (fourth) edition for the first time by Ensemble intercontemporain (Paris), with performances of the new work by all five ensembles taking place across Europe in the 2025-26 and 2026-27 seasons.

The new 4th edition is focused on developing a radical and new approach to the concept of “Audience as Artist”. Composer Brigitta Muntendorf describes her piece as a “social sculpture” in which “the audience should be transferred from its anonymous, purely receptive role” into active commentators and performers: “The question is, who is the audience with us, who is sharing the space, and what might be the social experience that we share in a concert. To create this kind of social experiment, I imagine a kind of show – a kind of TV or fictional show in which the audience can ask questions or answer them using real-time voting tools. And we have a band on stage, but they are also shifting… perhaps turning into something different… I’m really looking forward to this adventure.”

Brigitta Muntendorf’s new work will have its world premiere in London in summer 2026, performed by London Sinfonietta, with further performances by all partner ensembles in 2026 and 2027.

During the concert after the interval, these dry runs are combined with music. Like the underlying text, William Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and one of his sonnets, Cathy Milliken’s composition involves the participation of laypeople. […] All this in a moderately modern tonal idiom, including sprechgesang and onomatopoeia, clearly structured and gauged by Stockhammer, breath-takingly articulated by Aszodi and Schiefel.Offenbach-Post, Markus Terharn
[…] overflowing in form and colour, imaginative, witty and rich in associations. Most of all, it is a homage to Ensemble Modern, the instrumental abilities of these enthusiastic musicians, who also act, in costumes and long-haired wigs, speaking and singing as well.Schwäbische Zeitung Sigmaringen, Katharina von Glasenapp
The average age at Cologne’s Philharmonie (March 5) seems like an estimated 12 years, the atmosphere is boisterous, but the children remain attentive even during almost 45 minutes of New Music.neue musikzeitung, Christoph Becher
The impressive effect derived solely from the humming chorus of the audience in the sold-out hall was remarkable.Offenbach-Post, Sebastian Krämer
In the multi-media show ‘Melencolia’ by Brigitta Muntendorf and Moritz Lobeck, the Ensemble Modern’s soloists shine.Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Reinhard Kager
// Videos

CONNECT - The audience as artist, 2021 (Trailer)