Monday, July 22, 2013

Not Going to the Symphony Tonight

An orchestra getting ready to rehearse, from Flikr
This week, I realized that I haven't gone to an orchestra concert in a long time, maybe two years, discounting orchestra concerts in which I've actually performed. I began to wonder, why is that? I like orchestra concerts. I love the amazing combination of timbres and the virtuosity that they can produce There are plenty of opportunities to go in my area, professional and student. I have strong memories of orchestra concerts I have attended in the past, some of which changed my life.

Here are some possible reasons I thought of:

  1. Orchestra concerts, especially professional ones, are expensive for my current budget, even for student prices.
  2. Let's face it, I'm pretty demanding as to musical quality, and don't want to be let down, especially when I've shelled out a lot of money.
  3. For a long time, listening to art music was "work" for me; it's what did all day. Because of that saturation, when I had free listening time, I would listen to popular, folk, or jazz music. Now that listening to art music is no longer work, I'm more open to listening to art music, but my old habit of listening to other music still holds some sway.
  4. At the moment, I'm very interested in new music, and most orchestras don’t play new music, or even old music I haven’t heard before. Most orchestras are not doing well financially, and they have decided they make the most money playing old, familiar music. Even when these orchestras decided to do something different, "new" music to a symphony orchestra is usually 60-100 years old, which is hardly new at all. Most accessible new music being produced is popular music, so that's where I'm spending my listening time and concert money.
What types of concerts to you usually go to, and why?

Vocab: orchestra, timbre

1 comment:

  1. I've been thinking about this post - it's true, even when I lived in NYC, I rarely went to see the Phil, or any classical music for that matter. I've found that I relate less and less to it aesthetically and personally. It feels so static to me, not dynamic at all, as composed to other kinds of music that are more open, more genre-bending. I like that stuff more these days.