“I’ve certainly heard the complaint that symphony orchestra concerts can be intimidating to the newcomer, but is the answer to make concerts more casual, or to actually make them more formal?” writes Laurie Niles in Friday’s (4/12) Violinist.com. “There are a few factors that come to mind, that can make a concert feel more or less formal: • How the orchestra and conductor dresses. • How the audience is expected to dress. • The level of quiet expected in the hall. • Whether it’s okay to clap between movements. • Whether it’s okay to take cellphone pictures or text during the show. Some symphonies have ‘casual Friday’ concerts or something similar, where both orchestra and audience are invited to wear casual attire, have a drink at a reception beforehand, and enjoy a shorter concert…. This can foster a sense of relaxation and the feeling of having a good time. But I’ve also had people tell me that part of what they most enjoy about a symphony concert is the sense that it is a special event: you dress up for it; the musicians dress up for it. It takes place in a hall designed for sound, so the audience respects that atmosphere.”

Posted April 15, 2019