Is There a Right Way for Audiences to Behave?

The Bay Area’s Awesöme Orchestra delivers “classical music in a way that’s more friendly to audiences that want interactive, collective experiences.” Photo credit: Gael McKeon

Kaya Oakes got shushed at a Yo-Yo Ma concert, and she wrote an article about how the churchlike atmosphere that audiences expect at these concerts is killing classical music.

Oakes shares how disruptive the shushing is (the woman does it to others in the audience) and about how the day before Yo-Yo Ma had performed at a strikingly different venue: a street party.

Oakes writes, “I wish I could tell the shushing woman we need ways of experiencing classical music other than treating it like a fragile, breakable object in order for it to thrive.

Here on Selling Out, we’ve written about, as Oakes puts it, “ensembles that are working to deliver classical music in a way that’s more friendly to audiences that want interactive, collective experiences.” (See our list below.)

Oakes’ message is clear: ” … the point is about an audience and orchestra becoming a community, together.”

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