Posted by: emanuelax1 | March 3, 2009

A Few More Thoughts on Applause: Why Can We Interrupt at the Met?

I have been having a wonderful time going to hear opera – this year at the Met, the thrill of an unforgettable Tristan and Isolde, a beautiful – and new to me – Thais by Massenet, and a deeply touching Eugene Onegin. During the Tchaikovsky I realized that the audience expectation and behavior is the complete opposite of what we are used to in the concert hall. At the end of virtually every aria, there was wild applause, which often had little to do with the actual action on stage and certainly no connection to the story line. In fact, in many opera performances, the music that follows a “big” aria, such as Don Jose’s declaration of love in Act 2 of Carmen, is not even heard by the audience because applause is still going on, and in any case, the impact of the wonderful harmonic change from the D flat to Carmen’s “Non, tu me n’aimez pas”, with the amazing D flat to G, presaging a grand finale in C major, is just lost on us. Mimi’s aria introducing herself to Rodolfo suffers the same fate, because we are yelling “Bravo!” after his having introduced himself to her. And yet, the impact of the story is still there – I am always in tears by this time, and a little applause just gives me time to blow my nose.

If this is all OK at he opera, why should we sit silently by as Evgeny Kissin or Yefim Bronfman finish a movement of Rachmaninoff or Tchaikovsky which should bring us to our feet, and gets a few coughs and rustles instead? Here is my “modest proposal” – let’s trade audiences between the Met and Fisher Hall for 4 weeks, and ask everyone to follow what they would do in the other hall. The only thing we have to make sure of is that Messrs. Bronfman and Kissin don’t sing the Tchaikovsky Concerto and that Karita Mattila does not play any octaves. Although you never know…with their talent, they can all probably do both!

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Responses

  1. Hi Manny
    Your comments generated three days of letters in the Sydney Morning Heralad, after a Boston Globe report on your comments was printed.

    See http://www.blogger.com/posts.g?blogID=29417898

  2. Manny, I think your observations are entirely on track. When people clap between movements at our concerts, I always celebrate it becuase it’s clear they are newcomers. The last thing we want to do is scare newcomers off by chastising them when they try to show their enthusiasm. A year or so ago, when we performed Scheherazade (R-K not Ravel!) our concertmistress finished one of the big violin solos and someone from the audience started yelling and whooping like it was a rock concert or like someone had taken a jazz ride. It was actually fun. I think what we most need is to encourage more excitement and engagement at our concerts. Thank you.

  3. Manny, on 2/27/09, I was reminded of your comments on applause when I was at a performance of the Brahms Second Piano Concerto by your friend and neighbor, Yefim Bronfman, with the San Diego Symphony. After the first movement, the audience applauded, so of course Fima got up and bowed with mock solemnity. A man in the first row shouted a compliment to him, to which he replied. The InstantEncore version included the applause, but not that exchange, alas. I am mentally applauding in recollection of your own wonderful rendition of Strauss’s Burleske on 10/9&11/08 here with the San Francisco Symphony. Applause may interrupt the flow of a performance, but in opera, that never prevents the singers from going mad, declaring love or expressing despair. Some long-time patrons like to flaunt their superior knowledge about when the “right” time is to clap. Better that we should attend performances, encourage others to do so and continue to support the arts without worrying about when to clap. I do wish, however, that the adult patrons would regard performances as special enough that they’d refrain from coming dressed as if they’d just been working in the garden. And Manny, as long as people don’t clap while you or Fima are actually playing, no amount of applause would be too much.

  4. Hi Manny,
    I saw you perform tonight at Carnegie Hall. You played Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 (my favorite piece of music ever and I have seen work performed3 times in concert already!) beautifully. I really liked your cadenza. What I liked even more was the piece you played for your encore. What is it called? I loved it so much!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please reply!!!

  5. There is an interesting data point from Tchaikovsky’s score for SWAN LAKE. The coda to the third act (“Black Swan”) pas de deux requires the ballerina to do 32 fouttes. The score follows that episode with a grand pause, the assumption being that the audience would burst into applause at that point! This strikes me as similar to applauding a cadenza, but the music does not create the same opportunity!

  6. Bebop audiences routinely clap (or clapped, when there was bebop) after each instrumental solo and again at the end of each number. But trends in audience behavior are quirky: standing ovations, at least in the US, seem to me much more frequent than when I was a kid in the 1950’s. My feeling is, clap loudly or feebly or not at all, sit, stand, just go to concerts and enjoy the music.

  7. I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to applaud after a great first movement but felt constrained by standard audience deportment, so I am with you on this!

    I’m curious about one thing – was there any applause other than between acts during the Tristan performance you saw? Wagner’s works don’t lend themselves to post-aria applause, mostly.

  8. It’s my understanding that Mahler began the “tradition” of withholding applause until the end of multi-movement symphonic works (along with the more understandable practices of dimming the auditorium lights and not seating latecomers once the music had started). I must confess that I think some pieces work well with interspersed applause, while others would not (Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony comes to my mind) but I cannot think of a way for people to tell the difference. On the other hand, I do know what I think of the occasional director (such as the late Milton Katims) who instructs, or even scolds, the audience for applauding between movements — not much.

  9. Agree completely. There’s nothing less natural than sitting there silently after the orchestra has come to the thrilling conclusion of a piece of music that was beautifully played, and touched the emotions of everyone in the hall.

  10. You make an excellent point and I’m glad that you are doing so publicly.
    I am saddened by the comment that people should dress better. The price of concert tickets can be onerous to many people now, and perhaps what they are wearing is not so important to them as attendance at the concert. I think that is laudable.
    Frankly, I believe that having bottoms in the seats is more important than what those bottoms are clothed in.
    And if they joyously clap at the end of a movement, even better.

  11. This is an issue that comes up for me whenever I am moved by a performance. If the fantastic experience of, say, the first movement of the Rach 2 thrills the audience, shouldn’t we applaud? Classical music can be more powerful and exciting than any other kind of music, so it’s strange for the crowd to react as if it’s bored. I’m only 19 years old; maybe it’s because I come to performances without decades of adhering to the social code of clapping that I often feel so frustrated. But not applauding after a dazzling and virtuosic performance, wherever it comes in the course of a piece or concert, seems both artificial and somewhat fogeyish.
    In addition to the opera, at the ballet applause often erupts during a particularly thrilling series of turns or jumps, which usually adds to the experience. While I don’t advocate applauding as a pianist pulls off a particularly tricky fingering mid-measure, I do think that there’s an opportunity for artists to begin to change this quite stifling convention. If you said a few words at the beginning of your concerts promoting this “freedom of applause” idea, you might actually be able to shake things up. The next time I’m lucky enough to hear you perform, I’ll give it a try—if you earn it! (Just kidding. You don’t ever seem to have much of a problem there…)

  12. [...] anyway, Mr. Ax’s latest entry deals with applause. During pieces, not after. Or, well, he talks about the rules of “only [...]

  13. [...] of applause Jump to Comments The pianist Emanuel Ax has posed the following question on his blog: Why is it alright for audiences to applaud after an aria, duet, or ensemble number in an live [...]

  14. rootlesscosmo, I like your backhanded assessment of the current state of jazz; but you also make an interesting serious point. There is usually some issue of what the music is “trying to do.” Applause between jazz solos can actually serve a function by giving the next soloist a chance to “get in the groove” while the previous soloist is being applauded. It provides a bit of warm-up time before the soloist actually gets down to business, so to speak.

    We do not encounter such practices in the concert hall; but sometimes there are cues in the score (beyond Tchaikovsky’s use of that grand pause). The Mahler third is structured in two parts: the gargantuan first movement and everything else. Getting through that first movement is such an achievement that applause is deserved! The first movement of the eighth is not quite as long but still makes for a formidable performance task. In both cases the ensemble has to catch its breath before proceeding, so why shouldn’t there be a brief interval for applause?

    On the other hand, to use Lisa Hirsch’s example, each act of TRISTAN is a continuous tightly-knit fabric. Any interruption would be like cutting some of the threads. The whole effect would (if you do not mind stretching the metaphor) unravel.

    For me the really interesting question is the one I previously raised: What do you do after a cadenza that really perks up your ears? In a Mozart concerto the cadenza is usually followed by a relatively routine coda. You could applaud the cadenza on the grounds that the orchestra is playing material you have already heard; but that would really bother purists (like myself?) who want to savor every last not.

    It’s a bit like the paradox of comedy in the theater. You want to laugh at a funny line. However, if the pace is rapid-fire, you don’t want your laughter to cover up the rejoinder!

  15. I know I’m a little late to the conversation about applause between movements, but just for the record, I attach below a link to a piece I wrote for The Hartford Courant (later reprinted in Symphony Magazine) on this topic over a decade ago. The odd thing about this subject is that even though most musicians, orchestra managers and ticket buyers agree that it’s a foolish and pointless custom, we don’t seem to make much actual progess doing away with it.
    http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=14841113&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=16778&RQT=309&VName=PQD

  16. I know I’m a little late to the conversation about applause between movements, but just for the record, I attach below a link to a piece I wrote for The Hartford Courant (later reprinted in Symphony Magazine) on this topic over a decade ago. The odd thing about this subject is that even though most musicians, orchestra managers and ticket buyers agree that it’s a foolish and pointless custom, we don’t seem to make much actual progess doing away with it.
    http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=14841113&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=16778&RQT=309&VName

  17. I guess the link I provided in my previous post is no longer active. But in any case, for what it’s worth, here is the piece I wrote more than a decade ago for the Hartford Courant, later reprinted in Symphony Magazine, on the question of applause between movements:

    Wouldn’t it be great if our struggling symphony orchestras could, in a single stroke, energize their audiences, enliven their product, demonstrate adaptability, build bridges to new listeners and generally create a loud, positive buzz in the cultural marketplace?

    And wouldn’t it be especially nice if they could do all this without adding any staff positions, writing any grant proposals or indeed spending a dime?

    They can.

    All they have to do is this: Declare publicly and unequivocally that the “rule” against applause between movements of a symphony or concerto is all over. Finished.

    I can almost hear the sighs of gratitude and relief from true music lovers and sensible people everywhere.

    Of course, I can also hear, as a faint but steady counterpoint, the indignant sputtering of pedants and self-appointed guardians of tradition.

    But more about them in a minute.

    *

    Is this, in the first place, even an issue worth bothering with?

    Only if you think trying to preserve orchestras, or serious music in general, is worth bothering with.

    No aspect of the concert experience is so intimidating or off-putting as the question of how to behave. And no breach of “proper” behavior is more humiliating, or makes a person feel more like an abject dummy, than clapping at the “wrong” moment. Or even feeling the temptation: In the solemn and unforgiving environment of the modern concert hall, committing applause in your heart is almost as damning as actually doing the deed.

    We’ve all witnessed the scene:

    The conductor (and/or soloist, if there is one) flies through some impossibly demanding and exciting stretch of music. The section gathers energy, finally ending with a brilliant and triumphant flourish.

    And then — nothing.

    Well, not exactly nothing. A few hapless arrivistes begin to clap in a poignantly clueless way. But they are quickly put in their place as their neighbors to all sides wheel around and fix them with poisonous stares, as if the poor dopes had just told some loud, tasteless joke.

    Silence thus quickly and brutally restored, the piece continues.

    The scene plays out pretty much the same in Hartford as it does in New York or Tanglewood.

    Really, is this any way to run an art form?

    A little history

    Classical music performances may tend to be somber and reverential events today. But the concert- hall ambience of the 18th and 19th centuries was far more freewheeling.

    At the time of Mozart and Haydn, musical performances had a rough- and-tumble feel, with audiences talking and eating and generally emitting more or less at will.

    Mozart, who was not above monitoring in great detail the reception his pieces got, writes frequently to his father about this or that particular movement or aria’s effectiveness in eliciting applause. In at least one case, he notes approvingly that a certain passage in one of his concertos actually brought forth immediate and spontaneous applause, in the way a contemporary jazz audience would immediately respond to a fine solo.

    For much of the 19th century, the historical record brims with accounts of movements that had to be repeated in their entirety as the result of sustained, and happily accepted, applause.

    When did this all begin to change?

    There’s no neat answer. With respect to concert behavior generally, and the no-clapping clause in particular, the process seems to have evolved slowly and irregularly. Richard Wagner certainly figures in here somewhere. With his pursuit of the endless melody (no place to clap), and his imperious prescriptions for audience behavior at his operatic shrine at Bayreuth, Wagner certainly cast the first major pall over audience spontaneity.

    The trend gained ground in the United States, where early symphony audiences ached to exude social refinement. Still, the hardening of the no-clap convention was haphazard.

    Most music lovers assume the convention was widely established at least by the early days of this century. Not so, say some music historians, including Steven Ledbetter, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s longtime archivist and program annotator.

    “This question of exactly when audiences stopped applauding between movements is interesting but not easy to answer,” says Ledbetter. “But we know that as late as the mid-1940s, Boston Symphony audiences applauded, because we have tapes of radio broadcasts to prove it. These were concerts conducted by Koussevitzky, and there is obviously also no effort on his part to shush the crowd.”

    A few years earlier, New York critic Olin Downes had written about the “ridiculous banning and absence of applause between movements,” which he identified as a fairly new and clearly unwelcome development. Calling the practice “anti-musical” and a form of “modern snobbery,” he argued for an end to this “unnatural and sterile exhibition in the name of high art!”

    So much for the influence of critics.

    The performers

    One of the oddest features of this issue is that the vast majority of younger soloists and conductors — let’s say those in their 40s or younger — tend to take a strong pro-clap position.

    A sampling:

    * Violinist Gil Shaham: “I love to hear applause between movements. I think it’s great. If anything, we need more of it.”

    * Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers: “When I hear clapping after a movement that’s gone well, it’s a great relief. It’s never a distraction. In fact, I think to myself, `Thank God there are some normal people out there.’ ”

    * Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen: “I don’t see any practical value in the {no- clap} rule. There’s no aesthetic or artistic ground for it. We know that the people went bonkers after the movements at the premiere of Beethoven’s Seventh. This is something that should be a matter of the individual preferences of the listener.”

    There is less certainty, however, over how the performers should acknowledge this applause, if at all.

    The current, unsatisfactory practices include the painful, ambivalent smile, as if to say thanks but no thanks; the sullen nod, sometimes followed by the Miles Davis-like full-body turn that leaves the soloist’s back to the audience, ostensibly to re-tune or wipe away a few beads of perspiration, but also serving to instantly silence the crowd. And perhaps most popularly, there is the habit of doing nothing in particular — just standing there riding it out until the sound subsides, as, under the circumstances, it tends to do very quickly.

    If the pro-clap policy is to succeed, performers will have to meet it halfway. They can’t say, “Why, yes, I think people should be able to respond if they are so moved,” and then convey, with their body langauge, impatience or indifference or disdain.

    For guidance, soloists and conductors might look to sports. Not gratuitous fist-pumping or taunting boogaloos, of course, but a more moderated, mid-contest display. Think of the baseball slugger who is called out of the dugout by the cheering crowd after slamming a homer. If he has a reasonable sense of proportion (increasingly unlikely, alas), he will step out briefly, perhaps tip the bill of his cap and return to the bench. The gesture reflects appreciation and politeness but, simultaneously, an awareness that the game isn’t over.

    “This gets very interesting,” says Leo Najar, music director of the Saginaw (Mich.) Symphony Orchestra. “As a conductor, I find it’s appropriate for me to turn if the applause is real. And I may even smile. On the other hand, the body language tries to say, `Let’s not stop everything here.’ The trick is to make some contact, but make sure the focus stays on the music. It’s a subtle thing, and it takes a little practice, but it can be done.”

    The naysayers

    and the managements

    There will be naysayers, we might as well admit. And they will be loud. And they will use belittling rhetoric, including terms like “philistine” and “dumbing-down.”

    In a recent on-line discussion of this question on a classical music bulletin board, one correspondent weighed in with a fairly typical example of what the naysayer position will sound like: “I don’t quite recommend summary execution for offenders, but they should at least be forced to wear mittens.”

    Here are two of the objections the naysayers will raise, and how they can be countered:

    * There are some works in which applause would be jarring and inappropriate.

    True enough. Certainly big choral/orchestral sacred works, requiems in particular, would be examples. Some symphonies, perhaps, like some of the more angst-ridden Mahlers. Obviously, works in which the composer creates a continuous musical bridge between one movement and the next. And there may be a few scattered other works where applause would just feel wrong somehow.

    In most of these works, audiences would probably not be tempted to applaud in the first place. But if it’s a concern, the printed program need only ask listeners to withhold applause until the piece is over. Or better yet, conductors — who should be saying introductory things at most concerts anyway — could gently reinforce the no-clap status of a particular piece just before playing it.

    * A move like this will open the floodgates.

    To what? Greater enjoyment, and a greater sense of connection to classical music, by a greater number of people?

    What the naysayers are really afraid of is that the concert hall might become a place where people can feel comfortable even if they do not own the complete works of Boccherini on original instruments, or do not know how to spell Dittersdorf, or do not talk about music in sentences that begin, “My sense is that . . .”

    But the naysayers will prevail only if we let them. Symphony managements, especially, have to be prepared to take a stand. They will have to say to the wider world, “This is not something we are merely tolerating; it’s something we’re endorsing, supporting, encouraging.”

    Besides being a position of enlightened self-interest, it may also be a position that simply acknowledges the inevitable.

    “Performances of all kinds are moving away from the kind of formalism we saw early in this century,” says Lawrence Levine, whose astute 1988 book “Highbrow, Lowbrow” examined the process whereby art becomes strictly, and often stultifyingly, canonized. “Look at the opera house and supertitles. There was great resistance initially, but now almost every opera house uses them. They’re wonderful. I haven’t thought about the clapping question specifically, but I think it falls in this general category — things that empower the audience.”

    Of course, even if the pro-clap position prevails, as it should, it won’t singlehandedly solve all the problems of serious music or its institutions.

    But it will strip away a little pretense and artifice, and maybe even put back a little passion.

    And those are things we can all applaud.

    STEVE METCALF

    • I encountered this while at a Phoenix Symphony for the Schools concert on Wed 5/13. The students WANTED to clap (& did during the 1st 2 pieces – at appropriate climactic moments). But, by the end of the concert (only abt 45 min & included dance, poetry & visual art) they had seen several signs projected on the screen “please don’t clap” and were audibly wiggling in their seats. It seems we are stifling our potential audiences by removing their only socially acceptable was of expressing immediate & honest approval/emotional reaction to music (and classical music is BUILT on creating that emotional reaction). Is this a large part of why classical music is seen as boring & elitist? I am trying to formulate a blog post within the next week or so & if I may quote you, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

  18. In a letter Mozart wrote to his father from Paris, he reported that the audience so loved the opening of the last movement of what is now known as his “Paris” Symphony that they broke into applause in the middle of the performance. Mozart was so gratified, he informed his father, that he recited a rosary on the spot.
    We’re looking forward to your next performance in Chicago–maybe we in the orchestra should shake things up with a little unauthorized applause!

  19. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  20. Applause is the only means by which an audience has to show its appreciation for a performance. How arrogant of performers, then, to seek to impose rules on an audience regarding how to thank the performers? Why is it not surprising that Wagner had something to do with the introduction of this rule?

  21. What a great entry! Reminds me a bit of Stephen Hough’s entry on the same subject:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/stephen_hough/blog/2009/02/26/clap_between_movements_please

  22. At the risk of sounding overly theoretical, it seems to me that the underlying question is whether or not the applause is interrupting some “natural flow” of the music. Presumably, we do not clap in the middle of an act of a Wagner opera because we do not want our applause to drown out the music that is still proceeding at its proper pace. At the other extreme in Mozart’s time, the “gap” between two movements of a symphony (usually the first two) may have been filled by other compositions. (In other words the first movement served as an “overture” for the evening; and the remaining movement provided the finale.)

    Unfortunately, our sense of “natural flow” has been seriously compromised by studio recordings. On a studio recording you do not hear the members of a string quartet get back in tune after the first movement of a Bartok quartet, and you probably do not want to hear it! The down side is that those recordings create unrealistic expectations about how time actually passes (mild nod to Stockhausen for that phrase) in a concert.

    The bottom line is a pretty simple rule of thumb: If it interferes with your listening or with what the performer is doing (as when Schiff sat very still for quite some time at the end of Opus 111), don’t do it!

    http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2009/04/concluding-beethoven-cycle.html

  23. [...] About mei 4, 2009, 1:25 pm Ingedeeld onder: Uncategorized | Tags: 2009, Emanuel Ax, festival classique, klassieke concerten, revolutie, stef collignon Het is wel verfrissend om te merken dat ook echte klassieke klavierleeuwen als Emanuel Ax het met Festival Classique eens zijn: hoezo wordt er zo krampachtig gedaan over applaus (of welke vorm van publieke bijval dan ook) bij klassieke concerten? In zijn eigen weblog (jaja, hij houdt ook een blog bij!) schreef hij er recent het volgende over. [...]

  24. My final opinion on when to clap is that if it or anything else is a particularly sensitive issue for a specific piece, the conductor might consider mentioning that beforehand.

    My own crusade is to encourage donations to the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF.org). Their endowment of some $14 million was decimated by Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi fiasco. AICF has been a big factor in enabling promising Israeli music students come to the U.S., study at such places as Juilliard and borrow or buy high-quality instruments. Many would have been unable to continue in music without this help. Past recipients have included Gil Shaham and Yefim Bronfman, who was quoted in the NY Times (5/21/09) on thi as saying that when his family came from Russia with no money, he wouldn’t have been able to continue his studies without AICF. Can you imagine classical music performance today without Gil and Fima? I can’t.

  25. Oddly enough, applause broke out twice between movements in the final performance of the Los Angeles Philharmonic this season, the orchestra playing under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach. I have a hard time remembering anything like this, either in the Disney or the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Listeners in the cheap (and uncomfortable) seats behind the orchestra led the way after the first movement of Mozart’s Symphony no. 34, suggesting a relief to hear Mozart in a hall where modernism is often predominant. I did not join in, finding the playing a bit uncertain, especially the tricky upbeat at the start

    Then after the equally breezy Scherzo of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony, scattered applause occurred in the high Terraces on the sides of the hall. Perhaps people were glad to find some Mozart in this 65-minute late-late-Romantic work. For my part, I came close to applauding at the end of the first movement, since I (like Richard Ginell of the LA Times) found extraordinary insight in Eschenbach’s sense of structure, pace and meaning.

    So will the LA Phil audience continue to break the rules next season, responding to the musicality of Gustavo Dudamel? Stay tuned!

  26. [...] Emanuel Ax has 2 blog postings on the subject “When to Applaud” and “A Few More Thoughts on Applause.” [...]

  27. [...] Emanuel Ax has 2 blog postings on the subject “When to Applaud” and “A Few More Thoughts on Applause.” [...]

  28. If this is all OK at he opera, why should we sit silently by as Evgeny Kissin or Yefim Bronfman finish a movement of Rachmaninoff or Tchaikovsky which should bring us to our feet, and gets a few coughs and rustles instead?

    Opera goes according to the rules of theatre. One reacts to the drama of the story (by laughing, gasping, etc.) , to notable exchanges, or to notable soliloquies (such as arias).

    If you don’t want the audience to hear the flow of each movement to the next, or to have a pause for reflection (a large part of most classical pieces), let its members know they can applaud bewtween movements and so not hear that. If you want them to applaud between movements and so have you lose the mood and your own sense of the contrast between those movements let them do so. Go even further: be you a soloist or an orchestra or anything in between, if you want them to miss all the nuances of your unamplified performance (which is the whole point of having different performers play the same piece in the first place), then let them know they are free to make noise at any time and so miss all the subtleties you worked so hard on. But in that case the audience is not hearing what YOU are playing, but is really either hearing just a parts of it, or relying on some generalized/generic idea of the piece rather than hearing YOU playing it. So you may as well have a computer play all your pieces for you, and save yourself the effort of actually performing.

  29. I didn’t read the whole thing you wrote, I just read how you liked opera. If you like opera so much, then you should really come to Hansel and Gretel by the Kentucky Opera in Louisville, while you’re here. If you’re here long enough…I’m 13 years old and I’m in it. We’re doing two performances and they’re on November 20th and 22nd. Not sure of the times. I’ve also been playing classical piano with Bruce Boiney, using the Suzuki Method, for five years. I’m coming to see your concert tomorrow (November 7th) with my teacher. I’m really excited!!!

  30. Woops, I mean November 8th, I’m seeing your performance on the 8th.

  31. Some of the most sensible thoughts on applause that I’ve ever heard, and I wholeheartedly agree. I have to tell you how much I adore your interpretation of Chopin’s Ballades – Bravo!

    Any plans to perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the near future?

  32. The “art” of applause is cultural and very dependent on where the performance is taking place. In the west there are unwritten rules which are no longer taught in schools because our politicians no longer finance fine art for students, ie music and art appreciation.

    So, here is the bottom, line, there is a time and place for everything, Opera crowds can hoot and howler whenever they want, which by the way includes booing; Concert goers follow the rule that applause is “OK” when the piece is concluded. Chopin and Beethoven are not Hootie and the Blow Fish nor the Dead or for that matter, FIgaro …. Do what is appropriate for the venue.

  33. Music in the ambrosial hours, they can be a beautiful aspect of early morning prayer time.


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