The etiquette box: The culture of classical music needs redress

Illustration by Aldo Valdés Böhm

Illustration by Aldo Valdés Böhm

It’s time for classical music presenters to think outside the box

At Austin’s Central Presbyterian Church for a recital by world-renowned violinist and teacher Miriam Fried, I was immediately struck by a note in the program booklet. On one page of the sparsely written brochure, there was a short list of two pieces to be performed and the name of the artist. On the other page, a box highlighted a list of concert rules — rules that ran much longer the list of music. The rules section was titled “Concert Etiquette in a Box.”

The box listed the familiar procedures that everyone who has ever been to a classical concert is aware of on some level. Be quiet. Clap at this point in the music. Don’t clap at that point. Most presenters are a bit more understated in their presentation and don’t necessarily set off a rulebook in boldface type inside of an actual box.

But don’t dare think outside of that box. Full story.

Chris Johnson (Sightlines magazine) / November 5, 2017

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