Dr. Gina Emerson is a researcher, project manager and curator in the fields of contemporary and classical music, based in Berlin. Her work explores and connects the topics of audience experience, sustainability, cultural participation and the use of new technologies in art music contexts.
She is currently a Research Associate on the collaborative research project ‘Ein nachhaltiger Kulturauftrag für Musik – ein neuer Aspekt orchestraler Exzellenz’, a joint initiative by the IASS Potsdam and the Kammerakademie Potsdam. She is supporting the orchestra in developing and implementing a socio-ecological sustainability strategy, whilst also exploring how classical music can build sustainable relationships with a range of communities and the role it can play in the wider sustainability discourse. She is a member of the Art-Science Cooperations for Sustainability research group at the IASS.
Her doctoral thesis, Between the ‘Experimental’ and the ‘Accessible’: Investigating the Audience Experience of Contemporary Classical Music, takes a multidimensional view of the audience experience of newly composed music and looks at how musical expertise and the frames of social context and concert format shape aesthetic responses to this often challenging art form (analysed as a ‘high art subculture’). Working in collaboration with the Ulysses Network from 2016 to 2020, she conducted audience surveys at twelve contemporary classical music concerts from a range of institutions across Europe, including IRCAM, the Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music, Snape Maltings and the Ultima Festival, producing the first large-scale study on this topic.
Prior to this, she was a Research Associate with the 3DMIN (Design, Development and Dissemination of New Musical Instruments) project at the Technical University of Berlin. She holds an MA in Musicology from the Humboldt University of Berlin and BA in Music from the University of Oxford.
From 2020 to 2021, she was a project manager with Ensemble Quillo, producing a range of contemporary music and education formats in rural Brandenburg. She has been active as a board member, organiser and curator within the Berliner Gesellschaft für Neue Musik collective since 2020. She also collaborates with the INM Berlin, consulting on audience engagement in contemporary music.