Headline: Selbstbestätigung und Selbstkritik durch Nachhaltigkeit im klassischen Musikbetrieb

Orchestras, ensembles and concert halls, both in Germany and internationally, have become increasingly active in the area of sustainability, whether on a programmatic level or by focusing on reducing their ecological impact. Can this interest be understood as having transformative potential or is it an attempt to appropriate sustainability as a topic in order to ensure greater societal relevance for classical music? In this article, we understand the ability to practise self-criticism as an indicator of transformativity and, through drawing on three different data sources, analyse the ways in which self-criticism (or self-affirmation) is associated with the reception and articulation of ‘sustainability’ among both individual classical musicians and institutions. The results of this first investigation in this topic area suggest that sustainability efforts in classical music are predominantly selective and self-affirming in their use of the concept of sustainability. We posit that the core values of preserving tradition and valuing excellence and achievement in this musical form stand in the way of potential transformative action.

Publication Year
Publication Type
Academic Articles

Emerson, G., & Rivera, M. (2023). Selbstbestätigung und Selbstkritik durch Nachhaltigkeit im klassischen Musikbetrieb. Soziologie und Nachhaltigkeit: SuN, 9(2), 100-122. doi:10.17879/sun-2023-5255.

Staff involved
Projects involved
Art-Science Cooperations for Sustainability A Sustainable Cultural Mission for Music - a New Aspect of Orchestral Excellence