Ingrid Bols



Research title: Programming choices and national culture. The case of French and British symphony orchestras.

Research Summary

Programming choices and national culture: the case of French and British symphony orchestras

My cross-border study aims to explore the differences and similarities in French and British symphony concerts. This allows to deeper understand the orchestra as a “national” institution. My research also highlights musical habits of the audience. On a wider scale, it ends in a deeper understanding of the building of a society and a national culture.

To measure national taste and its impact on programming, I choose to compare France and the UK. These two countries are European music neighbours but have a very different approach of symphony orchestras, their concerts and audience. They have distinct funding models, a different repertoire and their own philosophy about exploring the “non-classical” music. Concretely, I selected four major symphony orchestras to study in depth: the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Paris Orchestra and the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra.

Research interests

  • Symphony orchestras and concert societies
  • Russian music in the late 19th century


Bols, I. (2017) 'Anton Arensky and the Rise of Musical Nationalism in Late Nineteenth-Century Russia' in eSharp: Rise and Fall (September 2017, Issue 25, Vol. 2), pp.1-10). Available at <>

Bols, I. (2017) 'Programming Screen Music: the Case of British and French Symphony Orchestras' in Music on Screen: From Cinema Screens to Touchscreens. Musicology Research (online) (Spring 2017, Vol. 2, pp. 183-200). Available at <>



College of Arts Graduate School Research Support Award (2018)

College of Arts Graduate School Research Support Award (2017)


(forthcoming) 'Soviet émigrés and the introduction of twentieth-century Russian music in British symphony orchestras' programmes' in Russian-British Intercultural Dialogue: Russian Music in Britain - British Music in Russia, University of Central Lancashire, 6th-7th November 2019.

'Flying swans, frozen lakes and dark forests: the landscape-based discourse on Nordic music from Britain to France' in Rethinking (Self)Translation in (Trans)national Contexts, University of Manchester, 7th June 2019.

'Universality and orchestral canons: themes and variations on French and British concert programmes' in Music Postgraduate Symposium, University of Glasgow, 15th April 2019.

'Programming choices in French and British symphony orchestras: canonic practices, national culture and corporate innovation', in The Classical Music IndustryMiddlesex University London, 16th October 2018.

'Nielsen 4, Shostakovitch 5 or Schumann 2? An overview of programming choices in France and in Great Britain (1967-2018)', in Music Postgraduate Symposium, University of Glasgow, 25th April 2018.

'Debussy, Bernstein, Finland: musical celebrations of the year 2018 by symphony orchestras in France and in the United Kingdom', in Historical Perspectives Conference, University of Glasgow, 21st February 2018.

'Identities and symphony orchestras: programming choices in France and in the United Kingdom', in Royal Musical Association 2018 Student Conference, University of Huddersfield, 5th January 2018.

'Collections in music: symphony orchestras' concert programmes', in Collections Then and Now, University of Glasgow, 23rd October 2017.



Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Glasgow (2017-2019)

  • Listening through Analysis
  • Romantic Song

Additional Information


  • Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities
  • Royal Musical Association


  • MMus (University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne)
    Research subject: Anton Arensky (1861-1906): integration and stylisation of Russian music tradition
  • MSc in Management, speciality in Arts Management (Neoma Business School)
    Research subject: Managing major symphony orchestras: programming and culture

Music societies

  • String Manager in the Kelvin Ensemble of the University of Glasgow (2017-2018)