Ann Martin-Davis


The Oxford listening project

Ann Martin-Davis has been invited by the University of Oxford to be a visiting scholar at the faculty of Music for 2016/17.


Her research asks:

What is the nature of the empathic experience that occurs between pianist and audience that can make a performance extraordinary?

This research, which will focus on pianists performing notated music, is intended to help develop an aesthetic, educational and performative sense of what constitutes instrumental proficiency, especially during a period when learning, practicing and playing the piano is becoming an increasingly global phenomenon.

Beyond the score

A musical score contains a finite amount of explicit information; it can imply but it cannot always express everything that it wishes to communicate. There is therefore a supplementary quality required of the performer and by extension, from the audience. It is this quality, often considered to be rather ineffable that The Oxford Listening Project aims to explore in a cross-disciplinary way.


The starting point for this discussion will be a series of video interviews with renowned pianists and composers who are asked:

"What is and how can we best achieve those moments when we feel an audience concentrating and listening?"