Boston Symphony concerts “jolt a hall awake” during China tour

Posted on: May 7, 2014

In Wednesday’s (5/7) Boston Globe, Jeremy Eichler writes from China, where he is reporting on the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s tour, “In Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, anyone talking during the music, rustling a bag, or otherwise straying from the path of concert etiquette can be unnervingly called to task by unseen ushers armed with laser pointers.… At the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, where the Boston Symphony Orchestra performed on Sunday, groups of young men in bowties, just before the music begins, appear out of nowhere to troll the aisles carrying bright green neon signs saying: ‘No Camera.’ … attending a classical music performance in today’s China might be unlike hearing a concert anywhere else in the world.… All three halls in which the BSO has played on its current Asia tour have an unabashed sci-fi aesthetic, suggesting that whatever transpires inside must have less to do with the past than with the future.… Then the music begins and, in all the concerts I’ve attended here in China, something unexpected happens: A kind of electric silence descends on the crowd.… In the United States, classical music is often marketed for its powers of relaxation, so it was refreshing to see the opposite properties at play in China, to watch a symphony jolt a hall awake.”

Posted May 7, 2014

Pictured: The Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, in Shanghai’s Pudon district. Photo credit: PR News Foto / Dow Corning Corp