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July 24, 2006

Concertgoers Just Wanna Have Fun

by Allan Kozinn

I'm not sure it's so much a question of people wanting to be associated with a winner; I think it's that they want to be excited by the musical events they attend. They're spending a lot of money to go. And much of the time they could be having a similar but more enjoyable and immensely less expensive experience at home listening to a CD. What orchestras have to do -- and I'm not sure why we're focusing on just them, there's plenty else out there, but maybe they're the most change-averse -- is find ways to give their audiences an experience that they will find memorable, moving, visceral, or whatever (depending on the program), both musically and extra-musically, and that will make them want to go back for more. This is what I don't see a lot of at the moment, at least on the orchestral level. But where the beasts aren't quite so ponderous -- that is, with chamber orchestras, chamber ensembles, soloists -- there seems to be greater freedom to experiment, and the experiments are yielding more hits than misses.

Posted by akozinn at July 24, 2006 07:19 PM


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