The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: An orchestra conductor suggests 10 ways to improve concerts. The Ear adds two more.

November 2, 2014
11 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear recently came across an opinion column about how to improve concerts and maybe generate bigger and younger audiences.

concert

That is not such an unusual topic, especially these days when critics and professional musicians worry about the aging and diminishing audiences for classical music.

But what made this column particularly interesting and relevant is that it comes from an orchestra conductor: Baldur Bronniman (below).

Baldur Bronniman

But before you get to his 10 ways to improve concerts — including allowing certain uses of an iPhone or other smart phone — The Ear wants to add two of his own:

MAKE CONCERTS CHEAPER. (Ticket prices too often reflect the income gap or wealth gap, and seem less and less middle class.)

MAKE CONCERTS SHORTER. (About 90 minutes with no intermission is what The Ear hears a lot of people say, and he often agrees. Of course this is difficult to do with some things like longer symphonies by Gustav Mahler or Anton Bruckner or operas.)

The first is a function of the current economic circumstances that go back almost a decade.

The second is a function of technology, which encourages a shorter attention span and multi-tasking, and hectic personal schedules, for both work and personal activities, with too many things to do and too little time to do them in.

Now, here are the other 10 ways to improve concerts and some reactions. Read them and see what you think.

http://www.baldur.info/blog/10-things-that-we-should-change-in-classical-concerts/

And here are reactions to the original list:

http://www.baldur.info/blog/10-things-the-response-and-some-thoughts/

Then let us know what you think of those suggestions and whether you have suggestions or recommendations of your town.

The Ear wants to hear.

 


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