top of page

Connecting the dots



PhD project

Promotors: Kathleen Coessens (RCA) & Pascal Gielen (UA)

For a long time, the perfect execution of a score was the ultimate goal for classical performing musicians. Nowadays, they increasingly face changing expectations of new settings (cultural, technological...), in new roles (creator, executor...) using new skills (digital, interartistic...); but these are difficult to integrate into the traditional métier which lies at the core of professional musicianship. Within this research project, the aim is to fundamentally connect traditional musical métier with these challenges by designing a unifying model for musical praxis, based on practice led research in a set of artistic (-pedagogical) projects in non-traditional settings with multiple agents. How, what and why do artists (implicitely) negotiate in their sensemaking practices?


By participatively and inductively searching for answers, artistic choices, actions and implications are explicited and connected to mutual expectations in terms of methods, practices and outcomes. The 4-year investigation focuses on a variety of different projects, which allows to increasingly delineate the parameters and processes of the artistic interactions, and to process the results into a new model. Ultimately, the objective of this PhD research is to answer the question: What model(s) of musical praxis that reconcile(s)traditional performative practice and métier with contemporary requirements can be designed by investigating the processes of participatory sensemaking in non-traditional artistic creations?

Lies Colman


Lies Colman.png

Lies Colman is a versatile Belgian pianist, internationally active as a concert pianist, chamber musician, song accompanist/répétiteur, performer and teacher. She is artistic director within the Classical Music program and the Educational Master of Music & Performing Arts, majoring in Music.  


Lies started with music lessons mandolin at age five, followed by piano at age eight, violin at age ten and percussion at age fourteen. From the age of nine she gave piano recitals and concerts at home and abroad, and became a laureate in several competitions. After graduating summa cum laude from the Antwerp State Music Academy, at the age of 14 she began her higher studies as a free student at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp with Jacques Detiège and Eduardo Torbianelli.  


At 17, she temporarily reoriented herself, focusing on university studies in Antwerp and Ghent during which she successively became Bachelor of Law and Master of Comparative Cultural Studies. In 2001 she returned to the Antwerp Conservatory: with Dejan Miayev for violin, with Eliane Rodrigues and Robert Groslot for piano and with Bart van Oort for pianoforte. In 2006 she received her second Master Degree, this time as Master of Music.  


As a soloist, chambriste, song accompanist and orchestral musician, she has appeared on a variety of stages, from intimate venues to international concert venues around the world, and recorded a series of CDs in various line-ups. Her repertoire ranges from Viennese classics, through Russian high romance to contemporary creations.  


As a pianist, operatic pianist and musical theater maker, she is freelance with several international production houses. She also created or arranged the music for a number of music theater performances and took her first steps in opera arrangements. More and more she profiles herself as a creative, interdisciplinary maker and performer, doing artistic research into alternative presentation and production contexts.  


Since 2013 she has been a visiting professor of piano at her alma mater; a few years later she became a member of the Artistic Direction and Artistic Council. Her responsibilities include Composition, General Musical and Cultural Education Music Classical, Research in Bachelor and Master, Educational Master of Music and Young Conservatory.  


In 2020 she earned a Master's degree in Strategic Management and Leadership, and in 2021 she completed an MBA degree. She is currently working as a doctoral researcher on her artistic doctorate "Connecting the Dots".  


Affiliated with the RCA as: Artistic Director of General Musical Education and General Cultural Education, Composition, Research, Artist in Society 



bottom of page