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) '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 <>


Additional information


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


  • MA in Music (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)