Fifth Annual Conference in Historical Performance and International Summit of HP Program Directors in Higher Education


The Historical Performance Institute of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music invites the submission of abstracts for its fifth-annual international conference—Historical Performance: Theory, Practice, and Interdisciplinarity—to be convened May 15-17, 2020, on the IU Bloomington campus. Now in its fifth year, this conference will overlap with the final events and performances of the 2020 Bloomington Early Music Festival (BLEMF) May 10-17, as well as a special International Summit of Directors in Historical Performance (ISDHP) in higher education. All such activities will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the IU Early Music Institute by Thomas Binkley in 1980. 

The three-day conference, running in parallel with this year’s ISDHP and BLEMF, will bring together scholar-performers (and performer-scholars) to present new research, engage in conversation, and consider emergent areas and new frontiers in the field of historical performance. Scholars and practitioners working within arts or humanities disciplines adjacent to the field of music are particularly encouraged to participate.

Focus: International Summit of Directors in Historical Performance
Uniquely, this year’s conference will host an international summit consisting of plenary talks, themed presentations and roundtable discussions, involving directors and leaders of historical performance programs from across North America and Europe. Confirmed guests thus far represent the following institutions:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, Switzerland), Royal Conservatory of The Hague (Netherlands), The Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), McGill University (Montreal), University of Toronto, Boston University, Case Western Reserve University, The Juilliard School, Oberlin College Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the University of Southern California, among others. Leaders of programs in historical performance from additional institutions are invited to participate.

Guidelines for the Submission of Conference Abstracts
Please send conference abstracts via email with the subject line—HPI Conference Abstract 2020—to Mr. Adam Dillon ( no later than 5:00PM (US east coast time) February 28, 2020. Receipt of all submissions will be acknowledged by email, with final notifications sent by March 13. Abstracts may focus on any subject of research relevant to historical performance, from the Middle Ages through to the twentieth century, including but not limited to:

  • Historical performance: issues of equity and diversity
  • Interdisciplinary strategies and methodology
  • Memory and improvisation
  • Rhetoric and gesture
  • Source studies
  • Early music theory and performance
  • Organology
  • Early recorded sound
  • Ethnography and critical theory in historical performance research
  • HIP: modern relevance, entrepreneurship, and cultural production, future trends

Abstracts (maximum 250 words) should reflect research at the doctoral level (or its equivalent), should be cogent and concise, intelligible to non-specialists, and

  • put forward an evidence-based argument with relevance to performance practice processes;
  • take fully into account previous research linked with the topic of focus; 
  • articulate the broader implications and significance of the argument for historical performance research and practice more generally.

Papers will run at a maximum of 30 minutes, allowing 10-15 minutes for questions and discussion. Submissions by email should provide your name, email address, postal address, most recent academic degree or degree in progress, and current institutional affiliation (or, enter “independent scholar” if not affiliated institutionally).

Submissions will be reviewed anonymously by the conference screening committee. By request of the submitting author, accepted papers may be considered for publication in the third or fourth- volumes of the annual journal, Historical Performance (IU Press, 2020 or 2021).

The conference and HP leaders’ summit are open to the public. Those who wish to attend should contact HPI administrator, Adam Dillon, by email ( for further details. Registration Fee: $150, 3 days | $100, 2 days | $50, 1 day.

Past Conference Programs
Since its inaugural gathering in 2016, this conference has drawn attendants from over a dozen countries. Typically, more than three-dozen papers are presented during the weekend proceedings. Please follow the links below to view past programs.

2019 Program            2018 Program            2017 Program            2016 Program

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the IU New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program for its support of the International Summit of Directors in HP.

The Conference and ISDHP are convened by HPI Director, Professor Dana Marsh.