Shuffle concerts: where the audience orders the music

Posted on: March 13, 2014

“The people around me were ordering music the way I order a burger. ‘I’ll take the Prokofiev,’ No. 12 declared. ‘Let’s have the Bach,’ No. 2 said,” writes Anand Giridharadas in Thursday’s (3/6) New York Times. “At the Shuffle Concert, where crowdsourcing crashes into classical, every guest gets a number. If yours is called, you pick the next piece.… An ensemble of six young but highly accomplished classical musicians was … knocking the genre from its pedestal with a game of musical ‘Choose Your Own Adventure.’ Their goal is to create a gateway drug to classical music for casual and sporadic listeners like me who want something in between the tap water of department store Mozart and the heroin of a Bach ‘Brandenburg’ Concerto marathon.… On your menu is a unique handwritten number and a list of 35 musical works in 15 categories.… The ensemble is prepared to play all 35…. The audience’s choices zagged across genres and eras—from the 20th-century Brazilian songwriter Antônio Carlos Jobim to the Baroque composer G. P. Telemann; from klezmer to opera to Broadway…. To be in the room that evening … was to discover the tension and the drama of never knowing what’s next.”

Posted March 13, 2014