Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Classical concerts.

I go to quite a lot of classical concerts. I love a lot of classical music and seeing it live is absolutely uncomparable to listening to records/cds. However, as a young person I often don't quite feel at home at these concert halls. The ones I've frequently been to are the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, De Doelen in Rotterdam and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. I know the buildings by heart, I could sleepwalk my way there, I know what the acoustics are like, I have favourite conductors/performers everywhere, but still there's always a certain feeling of discomfort.

A lot of this is to do with the fact that about 80% of people who go to these concerts are over 50, white, and dressed up (although moreso in Amsterdam than in Rotterdam and London). It is such an elitist place in so many ways, and I don't like it. Because with it comes the association that these concerst are expensive (both London and Rotterdam usually have cheap tickets, and the Concertgebouw has really cheap ones for young people), that the music is boring/only for old people (modern classical music is unbelievably exciting and LOUD) and that you get frowned upon if you walk in with just jeans and a t-shirt. The strange thing is that I love dressing up and often dress up on "normal" days but whenever I go to a classical concert I feel the need to wear trainers or motorcycle boots or anything else that screams "CASUAL". I don't want to be uptight and fit this mold. I want concert halls to become like regular venues, I want people to move along to the music, I want them to relax, I want them to wear whatever they feel like wearing, I want non-white and young people to feel welcome and comfortable in these places, I want these concert halls to be for people of all backgrounds. Will this ever happen? I don't know, I really don't. I try to do my part my encouraging more young people to go to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and by educating my friends about classical music and how exciting it is. And then maybe one day going to the Concertgebouw will be just like going to the Paradiso.

But I will say this, one of the things that I do appreciate at classical concerts is that no one talks while the music is being played.

And here's some exciting music for your enjoyment:

1 comment: