This article (you’ll have to register but it’s free and no big deal), by Daniel J. Wakin, is fun to read. It’s about the “secrets” of the orchestra … tuning, what we wear, the traditions, things like that.
I was surprised to read that the women of the New York Philharmonic have to wear gowns. No pants allowed. I find playing English horn in a dress to be a bit dangerous; I once got the fabric caught in a lower key of the horn … right before we were to begin Swan of Tuonela! Talk about scary. (For those of you who don’t know, “Swan” is a big English horn work.) I think pants can look just as formal as dresses anyway. But what do I know?
I found it interesting to learn that the Metropolitan Opera musicians leave the pit before bows are completed, except in special circumstances. I think it looks rude to leave, and I’ve heard audience members say it seems as if we don’t care about what we are doing and aren’t involved when we run to our cars before they’ve even left the hall. But again, what do I know?