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How often do you attend orchestral concerts?

  • Once a year

    Votes: 24 22.0%
  • A few times a year

    Votes: 39 35.8%
  • About once every 2 months

    Votes: 12 11.0%
  • About once a month

    Votes: 16 14.7%
  • About twice a month

    Votes: 12 11.0%
  • More than twice a month

    Votes: 2 1.8%
  • Almost every week

    Votes: 4 3.7%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In an ongoing thread (HERE) there is a discussion about studio recordings vs. recordings of live concerts. The discussion has twisted and turned a couple of times in a way that underlines something that has struck me many times at this and other forums... That people's "Classical Experience" is mainly through recorded material as opposed to attending live concerts.

So that said, I just wonder how many live symphonic concerts people attend per year. Symphonic only, please, we can perhaps discuss chamber music and solo recitals elsewhere.

Personally, I attend about 10, mostly Czech Philharmonic and some Prague Philharmonia (Prazska komorni filharmonie, or PKF). I unfortunately do not have time for more, as my orchestra schedule is very busy.
 

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I've only been to the 'Nutcracker' a few times, and "La Traviata" one time, but I put down 'once a year' because 'practically never' wasn't an option in the poll.
 

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The "once a week" a week category amused me. There ought to be a "seldom or hardly ever" category, which could include a lot of people.

As for me, I used to attend concerts/ballet/opera very often a few years ago. I used to live in London and had easy access to the Royal Opera House, where I had good connections. But these days it's a lot less often, as I have moved well away from London.

Quite honestly, I can get almost orchestra-quality sound from my hi-fi.

What's all this research in aid of Kurki? Are you working on some grand theory, or are you planning on selling us concert tickets?



Topaz
 
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I agree with topaz that you can get excellent reproduction at home with a good Hi Fi system, and I listen every night through my system, but for me a live performance is unbeatable and I go to about 6 a year and would happily go to more if they were within reach, I also enjoy the pre concert talks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No real point here, just curious.

The "almost every week" category may seem farfetched, but as a music student during university I most certainly saw concerts every week. The Toronto Symphony if it was playing and if not, some chamber music.

Very much like London, Prague has many full-time orchestras (5-6) and theaters (3), so seeing not just one but several concerts a week is not far-fetched, and if one is "connected", as Topaz was in London, it can be very affordable if not free.
 

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The local orchestra where I live is always broadcasted live, and they are always wonderful! The real sound is of course better, but the hall itself is so poor and unadeqate (this was built as a cinema, and is still used as one when the orchestra isn't performing, so it hasn't been changed for better acoustics) that it is better to hear the broadcast than get a bad seat (and they are many!). Last year when Ashkenazy conducted it was specially re-broadcasted week later, I attended of course (the Ashkenazy concerts are always very enjoyable) but didn't get a good seat. Week later I compared the live-experience to the recording, I found the recording a greater experience.
 

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The local orchestra where I live is always broadcasted live, and they are always wonderful! The real sound is of course better, but the hall itself is so poor and unadeqate (this was built as a cinema, and is still used as one when the orchestra isn't performing, so it hasn't been changed for better acoustics) that it is better to hear the broadcast than get a bad seat (and they are many!). Last year when Ashkenazy conducted it was specially re-broadcasted week later, I attended of course (the Ashkenazy concerts are always very enjoyable) but didn't get a good seat. Week later I compared the live-experience to the recording, I found the recording a greater experience.
If I spend twenty dollars on a concert or the same price on a compact disc, I could listen to the latter more than once. But then I feel like I'm missing some kind of life's pleasure if I don't go out to a concert once in a while.

I saw Ashkenazy conduct the RPO in Lincoln, Nebraska some years ago, and I still remember it well. They performed Shostakovich's 10th, and I made sure to get a seat not 10 rows back from center stage. It was in a venue not known for having great accoustics, but I also wanted to sit closer for an occasion such as that one. It cost me quite a bit, too, but I conclude it was worth it, considering the experience is still vivid in my memory. When a major orchestra is touring and stops in my relatively sparsely-populated part of the country, I must go.

I had a similar experience seeing Solti's CSO perform Tchaikovsky's 4th many years earlier, but with a much worse seat.

Now, since two seasons ago when a great new orchestra hall was built in Omaha (where I live), the accoustics are world-class and I can pay 15 dollars to see a concert if I sit in back. The low price of a ticket therefore begs me to see more concerts.

One question I have, though, is how much value do you place on being able to see the orchestra rather than just being able to hear it? Is it important to see the sweat on their brows, the expressions in their faces? Is that part of your live concert experience, or do you close your eyes? I can hear the music just fine from where I sit, but they also look like ants way down there.
 

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Being a student and the girlfriend of a conductor, I find myself attending at least one performance every two months. This number actually could use to be a bit higher. I wish that I was in a community where we did have an orchestra and it was possible to go see perfromances and experience music. I guess I really can't complain because the situation here isn't that bad but it could be better.

Maybe that's where my strong desire to pick up and high tail it overseas comes from.

But to put it simply: NOTHING can beat a live performance.
 

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Being a student and the girlfriend of a conductor, I find myself attending at least one performance every two months. This number actually could use to be a bit higher. I wish that I was in a community where we did have an orchestra and it was possible to go see perfromances and experience music. I guess I really can't complain because the situation here isn't that bad but it could be better.

Maybe that's where my strong desire to pick up and high tail it overseas comes from.

But to put it simply: NOTHING can beat a live performance.
You make it sound like NYC is a desolate waste ground for classical music. Is it? Perhaps Vienna might be the place for you. I must admit Vienna does sound like a nice place to live, and I guess work if you are a musician. I have not been there but hope to rectify that situation soon. Are there any better music centres I wonder, combining lots going on in the classical music scene and good social facilites, local scenery etc.
 

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Topaz:


ahhh, NYC, I have no idea about the musical scene. I'm about 7.5 hours removed from the city. I'm actually closer to Canada than anything else. The closest city for me to get to would be Toronto. The city that I live in (it's stuck right inbetween Buffalo and Niagara Falls) lacks any sort of community music program. At least Buffalo has a Philharmonic, eventhough I am aware they are not on the level of most professional orchestras.
 

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I was visiting Edmonton about the time Marilyn Horne was making her stop there on her farewell tour, so I went to the concert. The day after, I was wandering through the dining hall at the University of Alberta and overheard two professors (possibly) talking about the concert, and they weren't very pleased with her performance. "Yeah, I left at the intermission..."

I'd love to hear a great performance, but when I go to concerts, it's as much so to see the people who perform it as what they perform. I maintain a sense of loyalty by not leaving early.

I do same at sporting events; my team could be losing embarrasingly, but yet I'll stay to the conclusion, because it's about more than what they can give me. Unless I sincerely felt they were not trying their best, I feel like I owe them something in return for their efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'd love to hear a great performance, but when I go to concerts, it's as much so to see the people who perform it as what they perform. I maintain a sense of loyalty by not leaving early.
This idea, along with the sports franchise analogy that follows, is what I've been looking for.

Going to a concert is much more than just listening to music, it is about making a connection with the art of performace and the performers themselves. Over the long term, a concert goer will also make a connection with an orchestra as an institution, very much in the same way that people like the Toronto Maple Leafs even though they haven't really won anything in 40 years.

In orchestra management, we talk alot about "perceived ownership" of the orchestra. Many community orchestras begin as pet projects of conductors, and if the orchestra establishes itself, the "ownership" moves from conductor to the musicians. Long-standing professional orchestras either "belong" to the entity that sponsors them, be it the cit/state or groups of sponsors, or as a best case scenario, the "ownership" shifts entirely to people like orquesta tipica, and belongs to its subscribers and supporters.
 

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...and there are others for whom the nearest concert takes place many thousands of kilometres away. :(

I've attended just one and it was chamber.
 

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The idea of "ownership" extends further. People who give the impression to their bosses at work that they "own" the job they do - rather than just do it for the money - are the ones who get on in the longer term. By "owning" a job means that you take a pride in it, and want it to become more important, and the whole company/organisation to succeed.
 

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In orchestra management, we talk alot about "perceived ownership" of the orchestra. Many community orchestras begin as pet projects of conductors, and if the orchestra establishes itself, the "ownership" moves from conductor to the musicians. Long-standing professional orchestras either "belong" to the entity that sponsors them, be it the cit/state or groups of sponsors, or as a best case scenario, the "ownership" shifts entirely to people like orquesta tipica, and belongs to its subscribers and supporters.
I have imagined a movie scenario--say, if hooliganism entered the world of classical music. Fans would get so passionate about their orchestra, they'd form these "firms" and follow it from city to city, and go around beating up fans of rival orchestras, in the vein of a Monty Python or Clockwork Orange style romp. That could be a funny movie, no?
 

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The orchestras close to me are surprisingly good, but the programs are frustratingly repetitive. How many times can we listen to the same Bernstein and Copland works? Every now and then, there will be a Beethoven symphony or perhaps Schubert's 8th. But there's almost no Brahms, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Mahler, Bruckner, Rachmaninoff, etc.

So I go only once or twice a year anymore. That is, unless there is an insanely good concert in another part of the country, then I might make a trip to attend that.

So, while I attend few concerts, it is only because of the limited repertoire around here. Given a more varied performance program, I would attend often. =\
 

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Nearly all my concerts were small size affairs the past 20 years. I don't go much to concerts of any type through the symphony season. I used to go to clubs for rock concerts, but my current rock interests and listening trends are outdoor concerts.

This season fall to spring two symphonies. I make the exception for Sibelius. Even skipped a Handel concert that interested me as I tend not to drive in miserable weather and we have no public transportation to speak of out in suburbs.
 

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I live close to Cincinnati and I am a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra. As a member, I get 2 free tickets to every Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concert. There's a concert in Music Hall at least every other week so I go quite frequently. The orchestra is excellent (the principal oboist, Dwight Parry, is phenomenal). They play really great stuff as well. Recently they did Mozart's Oboe Concerto, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Don Giovanni Overture, Mendelssohn's 4th' and many others. I'm actually going to hear Schubert's 9th tomorrow night. Extremely excited! I take full advantage of the opportunity. Hearing the orchestra live reminds me of why I want to be a professional orchestral musician.
 

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I live close to Cincinnati and I am a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra. As a member, I get 2 free tickets to every Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concert. There's a concert in Music Hall at least every other week so I go quite frequently. The orchestra is excellent (the principal oboist, Dwight Parry, is phenomenal). They play really great stuff as well. Recently they did Mozart's Oboe Concerto, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Don Giovanni Overture, Mendelssohn's 4th' and many others. I'm actually going to hear Schubert's 9th tomorrow night. Extremely excited! I take full advantage of the opportunity. Hearing the orchestra live reminds me of why I want to be a professional orchestral musician.
Not fair, OboeKnight. I've had a few words with the local conductor; friendly words, but I urged him to consider widening the orchestra's repertoire. Our orchestra is certainly good, but they rarely get to show their prowess. =\
 
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