09. December 2005 · Comments Off on Pleasing the Masses · Categories: imported, Ramble

As anyone who reads classical music blogs knows, folks are often talking about how to get new listeners into the halls, and how to break down the “wall” between the audience and the stage. Some suggest shorter programs. Some suggest adding visuals to the concert. Some say we need to rethink how we program—perhaps not playing an entire symphony but only a movement or two, or maybe adding things like movie soundtracks, along with other suggestions. Some suggest we leave our formal clothing at home.

After our last Symphony Silicon Valley set some patrons wrote to say they were dissatisfied with the way some of our musicians dressed; we looked less dressed up than they thought we should look.

I doubt we’ll never satisfy everyone. Trouble is, those that already attend concerts are guaranteed attendees (as long as we dress nicely) and, usually, contributors. The “unknown” are the new and, we hope, younger concert goers. If it’s anything like my old church the older folks give the most money, and the younger donate very little but have strong opinions about how things should be done and demand the most.

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