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How Do You Attend An Orchestra Concert?

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For the last few months I have been researching symphony orchestras and how they function. Im in part two of my research I would like to hear from you on specifically your experience in attending concerts. I want to know how you feel when you go to the symphony.


 



  1. How often do you attend the symphony or any classical music events?
    1. If not, why not?

  2. Do you buy tickets there or buy season tickets if available?
    1. Do you buy discounted tickets, student rush tickets, or get tickets for free from friends or family typically?

  3. How do you dress to go to said concert, why?
    1. If you answered no to the first question: how do you feel you would need to dress to the symphony?

  4. Do you park your own car or use the velvet if available?
  5. Do you buy drinks or food while at the symphony? If so what and if not why?
    1. Are food and drink even provided like a cash bar or reception? Are preconcert dinners provided and do you go to them?

  6. Do you feel that you need to maintain a certain level of concert etiquette during the concert? AKA no clapping between movements, no talking, sounding educated about the music, etc...
  7. What attitude do you feel the people around you have? Are the friendly, smug, indifferent, etc...
  8. Anything else you want to add?

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I do attend sometimes. Not often, once in a few months. Usually I just look on the orchestra's web page and see what they're playing. If the piece sounds interesting, I will probably go to their concert. I usually don't dress up too formal, just like casual formal. Foods aren't really served, or maybe allowed during the concert. Most people have some knowledge of when to clap and all, and they are all quite polite. Yah. Overall, concerts by symphonies are quite great! I recommend you attend one.

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1. I try to attend the symphony once in a while (maybe once or twice in a 2-3 month period). Depends on the program, the conductor, artists, etc. As a broke college student, money is the important factor in deciding which concerts to attend (or not attend). Disclaimer: I also play in a community orchestra....The big orchestra near me (the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra) is currently being locked out by the management, so I haven't been to a concert in a while.

 

2. I buy individual tickets...the whole subscription thing looks unappealing to me. Sometimes I might be able to get free tickets from friends.

 

3. Casual formal, though I wouldn't mind dressing up more. I think there should be SOME level of decorum while attending a concert, and most people adhere to it (even if they do wear jeans...which I don't mind).

 

4. Usually park myself at a designated parking structure (another cost added to the ticket...)

 

5. I know most places have bars and snacks for intermission, I don't usually buy anything. Just a sip from the old water fountain will do.

 

6. There SHOULD be a certain level of etiquette. I don't mind clapping between movements as long as it is heartfelt and necessary (I would be pissed if someone clapped at the end of a really beautiful middle slow movement...), but I'd prefer if people would wait till the end...and most of them do. I've been at concerts where people actually clapped in the middle of the movement.... No loud talking, no cell phones is a must! There is nothing wrong to "sound educated", but keep the flaunting to a minimum...that being said, the whole listening experience would be better if the listener understood some musical details (theory, composer bio, etc.)

 

7. Most people are there to have a good time and are really friendly. Sometimes, I feel people are a little indifferent to what they're hearing up on stage, but thats just my opinion.

 

8. Pet peeve at the symphony: giving standing ovations at every concert....most of the time it is NOT deserved. I also feel like most American orchestras (except maybe the top ones) should program more contemporary music, and stop rehashing the same old tunes over and over again. After observing many European orchestras, I also sense that most American orchestral players look really bored on stage, and that has an effect on their sound and group dynamic. Also, I believe that most American concert halls are TERRIBLE, and most orchestras deserve much better.

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1 - symphony, not more than once every 2 months or so; other classical music concerts, weekly or fortnightly

2 - discounted tickets where available, single tickets where not. not a subscriber

3 - in clothing that does not display my genitalia or buttocks, because that would be illegal in the country where I live

4 - I take the bus. don't have a car

5 - no, it's way overpriced

6 - I occasionally feel a compulsion to be less white and middle-class if that counts. Also to slap people who are texting during the concert

7 - Most of the other people look incredibly boring and old. Has to be said.

8 - no

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  1. Until a few years ago, 1-2 times/year.  Now that my wife and I have  young child, well, that has curtailed on that for now.

Only buy tickets for specific concerts.

I wear a nice shirt and pants, business casual

I take public transportation

Definitely no food during the concert but a nice meal before or afterwards.

I'm definitely big on the no clapping between movements.  Obviously, keep the coughing/sneezing to a minimum, cell phones off etc. just as one should behave if in a movie theater

Most people are pleasantly indifferent, just as in any other public place.

I second danishal's peeve about standing ovations.  I do think the programing should mix it up more though I'm more for playing stuff from less well-known composers in the past over playing more modern music.  Perhaps adding a piece or two to a contemporary of the featured composer's work like playing a piece of Cherubini's in a Beethoven heavy concert for example.

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I noticed many of y'all said you didn't buy food or drinks at the symphony. Why not? 

Are food and drink even provided such as a cash bar or reception? Are preconcert dinners provided and do you go to them?

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We usually have a cash bar and maybe some candy bars.  It's expensive, and the lines are long, and I'm not really interested in chugging an alcoholic drink that just cost me $10.  Intermission isn't long enough to sip a drink politely, and drinks aren't allowed anywhere but the front lobby area.  You can't take them back to your seat.  (And then you would have to pee during the second half of the concert.)  Nice dinner with a glass of wine before the concert, though?  Now we're talking!

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Yeah some places have a pre-concert dinner/lunch and feature the conductor/players, but yeah they cost a lot. I agree with Pater, there isn't enough time during intermission to wait in long lines, and the drinks/snacks ARE expensive. 

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Responses in Red

 

For the last few months I have been researching symphony orchestras and how they function. Im in part two of my research I would like to hear from you on specifically your experience in attending concerts. I want to know how you feel when you go to the symphony.

 

  1. How often do you attend the symphony or any classical music events? I used to go a lot more, like five or six times a year. But lately that's dwindled to less than one a year.
    1. If not, why not? Tickets got too expensive.
  2. Do you buy tickets there or buy season tickets if available? I buy tickets on Student Rush. Anything else is beyond my financial means. Season tickets are for rich geezers who money is no object.
    1. Do you buy discounted tickets, student rush tickets, or get tickets for free from friends or family typically? Student Rush.
  3. How do you dress to go to said concert, why? I don't dress up, no need for it. The night is about the music, not discussing your new suit.
    1. If you answered no to the first question: how do you feel you would need to dress to the symphony? Like you would at any normal office I suppose. I've even worn a Hockey Jersey to a Philharmonic concert. It was exhilarating!
  4. Do you park your own car or use the velvet if available? Neither. Subway. Take the (1) to 66 Street. 
  5. Do you buy drinks or food while at the symphony? If so what and if not why? Never. WAAAY too expensive. $6 for a soda or $4 for water is highway robbery. 
    1. Are food and drink even provided like a cash bar or reception? Are preconcert dinners provided and do you go to them? Both are provided at Avery Fisher but I don't use them. Too poor.
  6. Do you feel that you need to maintain a certain level of concert etiquette during the concert? AKA no clapping between movements, no talking, sounding educated about the music, etc...  Of course. It shows respect to the music. Though I have been known to bring a score along and follow, especially if its Mahler. 
  7. What attitude do you feel the people around you have? Are the friendly, smug, indifferent, etc... It varies. The most common feeling is probably indifference, of all things. Rarely you might get a really excited person, others are just men being dragged by their wives just because. 
  8. Anything else you want to add? Add some cool lighting and make scores available. Don't talk down to audience members but educate them about the grand masterwork that they're about to hear. Also, commission lots of new music that sounds good, not avant garde crap that just perpetuates the cycle of people not "liking" classical music. 

 

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Q. How often do you attend the symphony or any classical music events?

A. At present, very very few times, orchestra is very bad and incomplete, conductor is very bad, they usually perform works are not of my interest. (decades ago I used to go every weekend, but the reasons were the contrary I just wrote)

 

Q. Do you buy tickets there or buy season tickets if available ?

A. I Buy tickets for a single concert.

 

Q. How do you dress to go to said concert, why?

A. How ever I'm dressed that day, nothing special, unless I have to do something with the concert, I wear a suit.

         (* once they played Mahler, I showed up with my Mahler t-shirt :P )

 

Q. Do you park your own car or use the velvet if available?

A. I have no car.

 

Q. Do you buy drinks or food while at the symphony? If so what and if not why?

A. They don't sell any kind of drink/food, nothing is offered, and I spent enough buying the ticket. (I wouldn't eat during the concert anyway)

 

Q. Do you feel that you need to maintain a certain level of concert etiquette during the concert? AKA no clapping between movements, no talking, sounding educated about the music, etc...

A. Sure, I do know what are they playing.

 

Q. What attitude do you feel the people around you have? Are the friendly, smug, indifferent, etc...

A. Most of them have no idea of what is happening.

 

Q. Anything else you want to add?

A. Let me be the conductor I'd raise the whole thing.

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