But ultimately, fellow students, it’s up to us. Time to invade the concert hall. Classical concerts need not be exercises in cough-stifling. I regularly wear a T-shirt and jeans to the BSO – it’s fun to give the lingering Koussevitzky-ites a mild shock, since I know Mahler’s just as sublime sans tux – and respond to the music with a vocal passion. I cheered myself hoarse for Barenboim, Levine, and Carter last year, and I booed Teatro Lirico’s apathetic “Aida’’ with equal fervor. Audience participation didn’t start in 1962 – a knowledgeable, demanding audience has been the sustaining force of every culture with music at its heart, from fin-de-siecle Vienna to New Orleans in the 1920s.

So don’t treat classical music as a once-a-year excuse to dress up and get a nice dinner. It is music. It’s meant to be loved by the young, hormone-crazed masses, loved the very same way we love Radiohead and the Arcade Fire. It should lie at the center of everyday life, spark our wildest conversations and profoundest thoughts, be the soundtrack to falling in love. There’s a galaxy of music in our city that needs our love, and I know we’ve got it in us.

Do read the whole thing.

(And while jeans and a t shirt are seen in the concert halls I frequent, some of the younger crowd do like to play dress up too … clothing runs the gamut.)

1 Comment

  1. Aw! Yay! As a Young Person who loves the Symphony (and also Radiohead), it is encouraging to see this sort of thing.

    But in the comments of that! Someone was all like, “Don’t wear jeans and t-shirts!” Pffft. Please.