How audiences can appreciate classical music amid today’s distractions

Posted on: November 4, 2019

“Classical music concerts are treated like Brussels sprouts—good for you, even when they may taste icky,” writes Heather O’Donovan on Thursday (10/31) at New York classical radio station WQXR. “In our technology-driven age, it’s becoming ever easier to zone out…. We often mistake our lack of focus for a feeling of dislike. Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo notices inattentiveness creeping in even when he’s indulging in his favorite pastimes: ‘Reading a book,’ he explained… ‘I keep having to go back to a page I’ve already read and read it again.’ … Dramaturg Cori Ellison encourages audience members to be patient at the beginning of a concert [in order not to miss] ‘a part of the performance … that you might end up enjoying.’ … Concerts are, in essence, a dialogue between performer and audience…. At the New York Philharmonic, President and CEO Deborah Borda and her team frequently receive feedback from audience members: ‘It’s great that people feel free to contact us. Often it’s really, really positive, but if it’s negative, that’s cool. We respond to every single one of those complaints.’ It is precisely this healthy and open dialogue that will continue to propel the genre forward.”

Posted November 4, 2019