This research project wants to investigate how Mozart's contemporaries 'jam' in their performances. Mozart often improvised while playing his own pieces, as Prof. Robert Levin demonstrated in his lecture Improvising Mozart (2002). It was an important skill for a professional musician at that time to improvise in preludes and cadenza sections, in order to surprise the audience with the performer's creativity. Mozart's contemporary François Devienne (1759-1803) was called 'Mozart in Paris' as his compositional style was similar to Mozart’s. In his flute method Nouvelle méthode théorique et pratique pour la flûte, he inserts preludes before every short composition. Studying the prelude styles of Devienne and Mozart will allow us to gain a major overview of improvisation performance practice in the late 18th century and early 19th century.
This project aims to introduce the audience to a new way of performing music, making use of a concept of improvisation. For students, it will be a unique opportunity to learn to express themselves in a proper manner and style, and to foster a creative approach in their music performance.