In the 21st century, symphonic music institutions face challenges that endanger their traditional ways of operating. Although symphonic music is widely accessible, it has lost its once leading position in musical culture. In the NWO/SIA-funded Artful Participation-project, the world of the symphony orchestra is studied as an exemplary case in scientific and artistic research on cultural reproduction in the 21st century. This research project is a collaboration between academic researchers, practice-based artistic researchers, orchestra musicians, conservatory teachers, art students and the audience. It starts from the assumption that innovation of symphonic music practice is not possible without improving the quality of audience participation in this practice. The project combines strategic research into reasons for the declining interest in symphonic music with embedded artistic research in the context of a major symphony orchestra, to innovate this practice in an artistically relevant way.