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Peter Benoit (1834- 1901), founder of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, aspired to educate "… not only virtuosi but also men and women who actively reflect on society".

The Royal Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (AP University College) are productive research institutions in the field of the arts. The AP Schools of Arts have jointly developed a research policy encouraging, supporting, representing and reinforcing artists, researchers and research groups. Researchers in the arts contribute to society by performing excellent research in an international context, expanding art practices and innovating art education. 

Fascinating border crossing projects emerge when research “In”, “with” and “on” the arts meet. The various research groups at the Royal Conservatoire and the Royal Academy promote a transdisciplinary approach by facilitating collaborations. Exhibitions, performances and (artist) publications such as Track Report and FORUM+ are the main channels for disseminating research outcomes. 

Research at the Royal Conservatoire is supported and organized via four research groups:

1. Performance Practice in Perspective is a transdisciplinary group of researchers in music, dance and drama, focusing on all research aspects of performance practice. The group clusters research on the application, improvement, specialization and broadening of current music practice. Furthermore, the practice-oriented research focuses on possible methodologies for different theatrical forms and interdisciplinary collaboration. The research group is chaired by Dr. Eugeen Schreurs and Ms. Clara van den Broek 
2. LABO XIX-XX, chaired by Mr. Jan Dewilde, focuses on all aspects of repertoire and historical research of music and performing arts, mainly during the 19th and 20th centuries. The research projects are closely linked to the activities of the heritage library at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. 
3. CORPoREAL is an interdisciplinary research group devoted to the role of the body in music and performing arts. On the one hand there are various research projects and PhD’s on embodiment as an artistic process and phenomenon. On the other hand the group stimulates research on health care and the prevention of injuries in professional music and performing arts practice. CORPoREAL is chaired by Dr. Kathleen Coessens.
4. CREATION, chaired by Dr. Ine Vanoeveren, is an interdisciplinary research group conducting studies, research and experiments in creative processes in performing arts. It gathers researching composers, choreographers, directors and performing artists.

These research focusses are reflected in the Bachelor, Master and Doctoral programs, as well as in the various research projects carried out by researchers at the Conservatoire. 

We aim for our graduates to be musicians with all-round artistic competences, envisaging a divers and long career.

The RCA takes an active position in the continuous evolution of the arts, encouraging its staff, students and partners to actively build a professional artistic career and to engage in research projects, especially with an interdisciplinary focus involving music, drama and / or dance. The RCA is actively involved in various international networks, fostering the creation and exchange of expertise and knowledge.

In all our Music programmes we help students develop to academic skills. The bachelor programme provides in theoretical skills in music, a broad cultural background and appropriate research skills. The master programme will provide you with individual coaching to develop your artistic personality, enriched by your own research projects and thus connecting reflection to music practice.

Two working groups operate on the crossroads of artistic practice, training and research.

-          The WHAM (Werkgroep Hedendaagse & Actuele Muziek), chaired by Mr. Wim Henderickx, coordinates artistic projects, development initiatives and research related projects in the field of contemporary music.

-          The WHIP (Werkgroep Historically Informed Performance Practice), chaired by Mr. Korneel Bernolet, is equally active in coordinating initiatives and projects in the field of ancient music.


Our extensive cooperation with the University of Antwerp within the framework of the Antwerp Association of University and Colleges results in an attractive doctoral programme in Music. Furthermore, RCA is a member of the docARTES doctoral programme in music. 

In addition to the wide variety of collaborations with several cultural and research organizations, two neighboring institutions are of crucial importance for the backing and development of the research policy:

The Royal Antwerp Conservatoire hosts one of the richest and most important libraries for musical scores and materials in the Lowlands. 
chief librarian: Mr. Jan Dewilde 

The Conservatoire shares its infrastructure with the most important centre for music and the performing arts in Belgium, the International Arts Campus deSingel
Director: Mr. Jerry Aerts