Artistic Research


Artistic Research at Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel

In artistic research, artistic practice takes centre stage. It is both an essential part and the finality of the research process. Therefore, artistic excellence is a prerequisite for a successful research trajectory.

The artist-researcher reveals the complex structure of their artistic practice, analyzes and interrogates it critically and informedly, both in doing and thinking. The insights that flow out of this are to be processed in artefacts and shared openly with peers using diverse, non-predetermined forms.

Thus, artistic research is not only a well-thought artistic practice; it is also an attempt to disclose to the broader artistic and academic world the explicit and implicit knowledge production that accompanies it.

Research domains

The Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel comprises ca. forty researchers who aim to develop new insights and perspectives and to deepen those further through creative, artistic, and scientific research.

For this, critical observation, analysis, information, and contextualisation within all aspects of music, musical, and their respective pedagogies are central.

KCB defines four research domains that are not only rooted in the rich artistic history of the institute, which dates back to 1832, but are also continuously searching for innovation and implementation in the artistic and academic world:

  • the artistic research process of creation/performance/improvisation
  • organology
  • international en Brussels context
  • relationship technology and creation


Trobador is the departmental research committee of KCB. As an advisory body, it assists in preparing research policies and reports to the Council of the School of Arts. Trobador’s mission is twofold:

  • to support and encourage artistic and scientific research at KCB at four levels (Bachelor/Master, doctoral, post-doctoral, project-based)
  • advise, evaluate, and follow up the research projects (current and potential) and the integration of these projects in the overall functioning of KCB

Its name is derived from the Occitan verb trobar, which means to compose, invent and discuss. The commission was founded in the academic year 2003–2004 at the impulse of the late Christiaan de Lannoy. From 2009–2010, he was succeeded by Kristin Van den Buys and between 2020–2022, Jan De Winne presided over Trobador. Since 2022–23, Kristin Van Den Buys is once more the chair of Trobador in the guise of her function as research coordinator. 

The research committee meets monthly and currently counts twelve members. It strives for representation of all disciplines and education programmes on the levels of research and education at KCB:

  • chair Trobador / research coordinator: Kristin Van den Buys
  • coordinators research group:
    • Philippe Lamouris (Contemporary Music Practices)
    • Kristin Van den Buys (Cultural studies, Musicology, Library studies)
    • Matthias Heyman (Jazz, Improvised, and Popular Music)
    • Maarten Stragier (Collective Creation)
    • Jeroen Billiet (Orchestral Instrument Research in Synthesis)
    • Jurgen De Pillecyn (Composition and Musical Writing)
    • Jan De Winne (Historically & Culturally Informed Performance Practices)
  • coordinator Praktijkgericht Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (PWO): Mira Delbaen
  • representative BA and MA students (appointed by the Student Council): NN
  • representative PhD students (appointed by the KCB PhD candidates): Nuno Cernadas
  • representative Raad van de School of Arts, external member: Saskia Willaert (MIM, Music Instruments Museum Brussels)
  • representative Raad van de School of Arts, educational staff: Kurt Budé

The meetings are operationally prepared by the Bureau Onderzoek (BOZ KCB): Kristin Van den Buys, Matthias Heyman, Maarten Stragier, Jeroen Billiet.

In addition, KCB is represented in various research-related committees:

  • Onderzoeksraad Erasmushogeschool Brussel: Kristin Van den Buys, Matthias Heyman
  • Onderzoeksraad Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Kristin Van den Buys
  • Platformraad (Kunstenplatform Brussel): Jan D’haene, Kristin Van den Buys, Maarten Stragier
  • Platformbureau (Kunstenplatform Brussel): Kristin Van den Buys, Matthias Heyman
  • Raad ARTO (onderzoeksgroep Kunsten – VUB): Kristin Van den Buys, Jan De Winne, Matthias Heyman, Jan Michiels, Maarten Stragier, Peter Swinnen

For further information or questions, contact the research coordinator Kristin Van Den Buys or vice coordinator Research Matthias Heyman.