05. March 2014 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

… should we do it too?

There’s a rather popular person (if you can be “popular” in the classical music world) who makes a living and loves to talk and write about how old the classical music audience is now, how it didn’t used to be that way, and how we need to change if we are to survive. Similar to the doomsday Christian authors who made a bundle on saying the world was ending, the writer is doing quite well, saying we are a mess and need to change. Heck, those authors and that classical music person aren’t all wrong: there is truth in what they write. But there are also things I would question.

I read about how disruptive audiences were back in Mozart’s day and how wonderful that is. Audience involvement and all that jazz.

Back in Mozart’s day. So shall we then assume that we prefer to go back to Mozart’s day? Because it was done back when Mozart was alive does that make it the way to go?

I could write more, and pose more questions, but I’ve not finished my latté yet.

So back to my latté. For now why don’t you listen to this young guy (14) play the Carmen Fantasy, since he won the 2014 Menuhin Competition in the junior category. In this case the audience saved their outburst for after he was done.


  1. patti with an i

    The classical music audience in this country has *always* been “old.” People have been bemoaning that fact for decades, and predicting the art form’s imminent demise for just as long. Generally, regular attendance at symphony or opera or chamber music requires a certain level of disposable income and a certain amount of leisure time, both of which are more commonly found among people who have steady employment (or good retirement income) and no small children at home, and not surprisingly, those people tend to be on the older end of the spectrum.

    As for the audience free-for-all, I personally like being able to tell whether I’m at a concert or a hockey game, so I vote “no” for going back to the Mozart-style behavioral norms.

  2. The person who makes a living off of criticizing the classical music world says our saying it’s always been an older orchestra is simply wrong, Patti. But whatever. I’m with you … keep the cheering and yelling at the games, please!