Awakening the audience

I’ve posted something new on my website — a piece about the orchestra audience that I wrote a year ago for Symphony magazine (published by the American Symphony Orchestra League). I said that orchestras (and just about all classical music groups of any kind) treat the audience as something passive. It’s supposed to buy tickets, maybe donate some money, maybe volunteer to help out here and there, and otherwise receive great music in passive, reverent silence. (Followed, of course, by thankful applause.)

This, I think, is bad for business, bad for art, and also not so great for plain old human decency. Shouldn’t orchestras treat the people in their audience as equals, and find ways to get them actively involved?

I hope you’ll read my piece, and tell me what you think.