Top Five Famous Classical Music Fans
Thursday, October 11, 2012
The Knicks have Spike Lee, tennis star Roger Federer has Anna Wintour, and Team Great Britain had the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge rooting them on during the Olympics.
However, sports teams aren’t the only attractions that pack the seats with boldface names. We’ve collected the top fanatics you’d recognize who dot concert halls and opera houses.
1. Alec Baldwin
Before he became the spokesman for the New York Philharmonic, Alec Baldwin attended the ensemble’s concerts like every other ticket buyer. Then in 2008, he told the New Yorker of his secret desire to be a classical music radio presenter. The Phil took him at his word; the actor is now the voice of orchestra on the air and often at concerts. Baldwin developed his love for the orchestral repertory as a young actor, listening to classical music stations while looking for work in LA.
2. Garrison Keillor
A Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor is better known for strumming country and folk tunes on his long-running show than sitting in velvet seats. Yet Lake Wobegon’s most famous citizen can often be spotted at the Met (where he publicly lusted for Renee Fleming) or Avery Fisher Hall, where he’ll celebrate his 70th birthday with the NY Philharmonic. (We imagine that Baldwin might get some ideas for his future milestones).
3. Patti Smith
As the godmother of punk, Patti Smith seems more suited to booze-soaked East Village dives than the gilded halls of the Metropolitan Opera. Yet Smith professes that she’s had a life-long love of Wagner, Puccini and Verdi—which developed before her rock ‘n roll days. (You can see her talk about her Top five favorites in this WQXR video from this summer). She has been seen traipsing down the Met’s red carpet on several opening nights.
4. Novak Djokovic
Returning to the realm of sports, tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has never been shy about professing his love for classical music and opera. In 2007, he took a break from competing at the U.S. Open to visit Natalie Dessay on the Met stage. He later told 60 Minutes that this music relaxes him. With the No. 2 player’s success on the ATP tour, we would like to think his fellow competitors are tuning into Mozart.
5. Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews graced both the silver screen and the Broadway stage. These days the woman who brought Mary Poppins to life is bestowing her energies on the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where she’s a board member. The always classy entertainer also hosted the organization’s opening night event at the Hollywood Bowl this year, as well as the PBS broadcast of the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve concert.
Honorable mentions: justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, rapper Kanye West
Weigh in: Share your nominations for classical music's most famous fans below: