The Latest Threats to the Future of Classical Music Concert Going


The Latest Threats to the Future of Orchestra Concerts

 In the Beginning

1) The preconcert talk…the Preconcert Lecture…that starts at the exact time the orchestra concert is scheduled to begin.

2) The 10 minute “Thank the donor, audience welcome and solicitation” speech that takes place at the exact time the concert is supposed to begin.

Sometimes concert going feels like going to the movies for a 7 pm screening, but the show actually begins at 7:20 after the previews and popcorn and soft drink ads

In the Beginning

I’m sure we all agree that preconcert talks and preconcert lectures can be informative, entertaining and enhance the concert experience that’s about to come.

It’s always important to thank the donor(s), especially if it’s in the contract-agreement.

And a quick hello from the stage is another important face-time moment.

Think about your audience, and the time, effort and planning that went in to getting to your concert on time.  

Maybe there was terrible traffic on the way, maybe the baby sitter was late to arrive, or maybe there was trouble finding a place to park.  But, they made it to their seats at 7:59, stressed, but ready to hear your music. Let’s get it started.

And from the orchestra and performer’s perspective, oboe, clarinet and bassoon reeds are getting dry, instruments are getting cold…and the mental preparation (and associated nerves) required to play the big trumpet solo in the beginning of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 has to be extended an additional ten minutes.

I know you’re a professional, and you know how to coolly and competently deal with the delayed beginning – that’s the gig. 

But why make your audience wait for the Main Event? Let’s get it started…on time, as promised.

(Composer Jennifer Higdon recently told me that several orchestras now project donor thank yous, current and future concert event information and other important information on a screen above the stage in a continuous loop before the concert. . In so doing, the VIP names andnews can be viewed mutiltiple times before the concert begins, an those concerts now begin on time. Win Win for everyone.)