Over the last 25 years, Julian West has combined a career as an oboist with developing ground-breaking creative learning and participation projects for many organisations, including Wigmore Hall, Glyndebourne Opera, Britten Sinfonia, Spitalfields Music and Magic Me.
As a project leader for Music for Life at Wigmore Hall, Julian has spent many years working alongside fellow musicians to develop the practice to a point where the project is widely recognised as one of the most significant contributors to the practice of creative music making with people living with dementias, especially those in the advanced stages.
Julian is Head of Open Academy, the Royal Academy of Music’s creative learning and participation programme, where he lectures on creative music leadership and researches into best practice, as well as devising and leading projects with some of the world’s most talented young musicians. Students are encouraged and supported to become aware of the skills that they have developed through many years of intensive study, and to recognise how these can be applied away from the traditional concert platform, in keeping with the musician’s sense of themselves as an artist.
As a co-director of Created Out of Mind, Julian is part of the team invited by the Wellcome Trust to take up the 2016-18 residency in The Hub at the Wellcome Collection. He is co-leading on projects that include an investigation of co-creative artistic practice with people living with dementias, and a project that is exploring how people with different expertise (clinical, musical, care) view and rate engagement.