Music

Composer Jonathan Dawe

From commissioning new music to cutting edge research, from open rehearsals and informal pre-concert talks to magnificent live performances, there are musical experiences for everyone at The Arts Institute.

By supporting new talent and bringing world-class musicians to Plymouth, and through our programmes of participatory community music partnership and educational activities, The Arts Institute is pivotal to the music scene across the South West.

The Arts Institute is pleased to also support musical talents of the student population by playing an active role in the University’s Music Week and other university/community musical organisations, as well as leading workshops and informal lectures for Children’s University.

<p>Dr Robert Taub at Steinway piano. Image credit: John Allen<br></p>

Dr Robert Taub at Steinway piano. Image credit: John Allen

"Every work of music evokes a musical story – often self-referential and abstract – as well as a story about the composer and the context of the era of creation.

This Autumn, we invite you to participate in a wide spectrum of musical storytelling. From a 3-day festival celebrating Beethoven, a master musical storyteller – including a world premiere that creates a 21st century story from his own musical sketches – to a concert highlighting the centenary of Sir Malcolm Arnold who wove stories of a 20th century musical syntax, our programme highlights the essence of weaving tales, the wonders of fantasy, and the union of communication and perception through often cutting-edge artistic creation.

Please join us for this special season of exciting and genuinely communicative musical events!"

Dr Robert Taub, Director of Music, The Arts Institute

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The Musica Viva Concert Series brings internationally acclaimed performers to our Plymouth community to inspire, educate, challenge, and unite audiences by presenting world-class musicians in public concert performances, open rehearsals, and informal talks.

Musica Viva sets the highest standards of artistic excellence with compelling performances that enrich the lives of the widest possible audience – including students – and provide a contextual, comprehensive approach to programming that enables greater musical understanding and appreciation.

Highlights from the archive

Expressionism: Emotions Unchained 

Expressionism is one of the most intense and influential movements in art. Its defining characteristic is the artistic interpretation of the emotions that arise from experiencing daily realities, rather than a portrayal of the realities themselves.
Our festival Expressionism: Emotions Unchained offered a unique integration of pivotal music, visual art, and film of this energetic and vibrant artistic era of unbounded influence. We hosted four extraordinary evenings with world-leading artists.

<p>Expressionism: Emotions Unchained, Illustration by BA (Hons) Illustration student Milly Gowan<br></p>
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</p><div>Beethoven: Innovator - the podcast</div><p></p>

Beethoven: Innovator - the podcast

Join Dr Robert Taub and Professor James Daybell as they explore some of Beethoven's most innovative works, his influence and the evolution of listening to music.

This captivating five part podcast series investigates topics including how we hear music, how our perceptions of music have evolved over time, and an insight into Beethoven's sketches.

Discover more and listen

Beethoven: Innovator – a 250th celebration

30 September – 2 October 2021

The inspiring three-day festival was dedicated to some of Beethoven’s most innovative works, with Dr Robert Taub, acclaimed pianist and Music Director of The Arts Institute. Our celebration of Beethoven's 250th birthday featured a series of concerts, fascinating informal lectures, and the world premiere of a new commission from leading international composer, Jonathan Dawe, based on Beethoven's sketches and performed by the Ruisi String Quartet.

Find out more about the programme

<p>Ludwig van Beethoven</p>

Music Forums

"All of us love music, each in our own ways. But how? Why? What is it about music – even music that has no words – that affects us in the many ways that it does?" Dr Robert Taub, Music Director at The Arts Institute

Join us for a series of interesting live-streamed musical evenings featuring performances and informal conversations with Dr Robert Taub and guests. Upcoming dates for our summer Music Forums to be announced shortly.

Explore our previous Music Forums here on YouTube

Music notation

Some Call It Home (Trailer)

Some Call It Home

4 and 5 June 2021 | Theatre Royal Plymouth

A provocative multimedia music drama bringing to life conflicting perspectives of our uneasy relationship with the land – our home, our planet. A world premiere performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra ensemble with leading international soloists.

Tracing a narrative through-line from the colonisation of North America to the current climate change and geopolitics induced mass migration, Some Call It Home combined imagery, video, narration, song and a string orchestra over the course of its 75-minute runtime. Created, produced and directed by Robert Taub, Music Director at The Arts Institute, as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

Find out more about Some Call it Home

<p>Contemporary Music Festival Lampedusa</p>

Contemporary Music Festival 2019: MULTIVERSE

MULTIVERSE is the theme of University of Plymouth Contemporary Music Festival (CMF) 2019, which celebrates the internationally renowned research combining music, engineering and the life sciences developed at the University of Plymouth’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR).

MULTIVERSE proposes a weekend of musical interpretations of the quantum world. 

The London Mozart Players

The first event in Musica Viva, a new concert programme bringing internationally acclaimed performers to Plymouth, was performed by The London Mozart Players, the UK’s longest-established chamber orchestra.

“The London Mozart Players are in a class of the very best London ensembles. Although there are about 25 musicians for this concert, they play without a conductor. That’s very unusual, but because they are so coherent and so cohesive in their approach, they can do it.” 
Dr Robert Taub

Previously performed on Saturday 9 March 2019 at Minster Church of St Andrew.

Read a reviewListen to the London Mozart Players

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LMP54 - © Sim
Canetty-Clarke 2017



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London Mozart Players – © Sim Canetty-Clarke 2017

Dr Robert Taub, Music Director, The Arts Institute

An acclaimed pianist known for his interpretations of Beethoven and new music, Bob has performed as guest soloist with many of the world’s foremost orchestras and conductors.

Bob oversees our music strand and using his expertise to contribute to Plymouth’s ever-evolving vibrant music scene.

Hear more from Bob in this short film as he discusses his illustrious career as an acclaimed concert pianist and his role here at the University.

The Arts Institute Music Director – Dr Robert Taub

The House

Contact The Arts Institute

The Arts Institute, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA

The Levinsky Gallery, Tuesday – Friday 10:00-17:00 and Saturday – Sunday 12:00-17:00 (closed Mondays and Bank Holidays)