Top 5 Most Controversial Audience Behaviors

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

For some concertgoers, the concert hall is a last bastion of decorum, but for others it’s an anachronism needing to loosen up its strict customs. While some disturbances are universally scorned, certain manners are less clear cut. We’ve gathered the five most hotly debated subjects of concert etiquette. Let us know which side you fall on in the comments box below.

1. Clapping Between Movements

No audience behavior sparks as much controversy as the act of clapping, particularly when it comes in between movements. Though impromptu applause and cheering were frequent through the turn of the 20th century, giving a hand anywhere but at the very end of a complete work has become a faux pas in the modern concert hall. While some critics have been calling for the end of what they consider an elitist and arbitrary custom, others defend its practice. The debate shows no signs of being resolved soon.

 

2. Smartphone Use

While the unsilenced cell phone will never be welcome at a performance (we hope), other elements of the smartphone are gaining traction in certain corners of the classical music realm, primarily as means of documenting and publicizing performances. Orchestras such as the Detroit Symphony have invited audience members to tape and photograph their concerts and post the videos and pictures on social media sites. "Certainly each and every ensemble must find new ways to reach the public these days,” wrote Leonard Slatkin, defending the decision on the Huffington Post. However, performers such as the pianist Krystian Zimerman have been outspoken against these bootleg documents. "The destruction of music because of YouTube is enormous," he allegedly said, following an incident in which he suspected iPhone user of taping his concert.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra patrons take photos at a concert in Florida (Jenn Scott)

3. Non-Muffled Coughing

When it comes to audience tendencies that annoy performers, the number one complaint seems to be coughing. This annoyance is rooted in suspicions that coughs aren’t due to illness but boredom. A recent German study supports that belief, finding that concert hall coughing is not random: it happens twice as often in the concert venue than normally. The same paper also found that coughing was particularly rampant in modern works and during quiet or slow movements. Conductors and performers have recently fought back by expressing their displeasure. Michael Tilson Thomas even threw lozenges from the stage to a hacking audience last fall. Meanwhile, etiquette sticklers say that if you truly are suffering from a cough be considerate of your fellow concertgoers and stay home.

 

4. Booing

Is booing a right granted to a paying public along with their freedom of expression or just a rude response? The debate rages. The latest development came when Alexander Pereira, the new maestro of La Scala, appealed to the loggionisti, who are notorious for hissing at stars like Piotr Bezcala, Renee Fleming and Roberto Alagna, to silence their jeers. Pereira hopes that a friendlier crowd would lure back offended stars who have vowed to never sing at La Scala. Only time will tell whether the paying seat-holders feel that expressing their displeasure outweighs Pereira’s casting needs.

 

5. Shushing

Ironically, the people who are most ardently defending silence are the ones who are most disruptive to it. Yes, they are the shushers. Whether they’re provoked by murmurs, an unwrapped lozenge, or other rustlings, they let out a loud accusatory “Shush!” Their admonitions are more often than not more distracting than the noise from the initial offender. These self-appointed policemen of the audience have provoked the ire of Alex Ross, and Jay Nordlinger, among others. However, many a thankful concertgoer has benefited from a discrete request to hush up.

Tags:

More in:

Comments [88]

Emma from Long Island, NY

As a violinist, I personally mind it when people clap between movements. Especially because some people do, and some people don't, and you either want full enthusiasm or none at all - half enthusiasm seems sort of wimpy and annoying.

A few weeks ago I saw a performance of Shakespeare's Twelfe Night on Broadway. The person next to me kept shushing the people in front of me, who were talking. Unfortunately, the shushing was so loud that it practically ruined the performance because every other line, I would hear "If music be the fruit of SHHHHHHH!!!!, then play SHHHH!!!"

Apr. 09 2014 05:49 PM

I was at a (sparsely attended) solo piano recital Saturday afternoon. Granted, there were not ushers on hand for seating, but there was a notice in the program to sit (or leave) only at appropriate times, such as between movements or during applause.

That didn't stop a trio of latecomers traipsing in during the FOURTH piece in the concert. One of the offenders sat for only two minutes before getting up and exiting. When she came back in during the fifth piece, she entered the row behind her friends and managed to step on the feet of someone in that row.

Then there was the boor in the last row who, despite a no eating or drinking policy, decided that her plastic-wrapped snack was more important than listeners in the audience.

Good concert. Bad experience. At least no phones went off -- probably due to the light attendance.

DD~~

Apr. 06 2014 02:49 AM
Jo from Manhattan

My biggest peeves are children & adults who don't understand that if they lean forward in their seat at dance, theatre & even music performances, their heads completely obscure the stage for the person in the row behind,
Armrest "hogging" or worse shoulder leaning is actually painful to me since I have neck & shoulder pain. I also take pills that increase my thirst & I try to be very silent & discrete about water sipping & have never had anyone indicate that they've noticed, so it's possible.I also take antihistamines to control congestion that leads to coughing & find it very effective.
As to applauding between movements, I generally find it distracting to the flow of the piece, which then cannot be gotten back. I suppose there are rare exceptions, where a movement of a large piece warrants the expression of appreciation before the end. Bye the way I was glad to see that others find the need to begin applause before the last note of a piece is finished extremely annoying. It's as if the audience members are competing for who will start applauding first. A moment of silence, especially at the end of a pensive piece is really more of an expression of appreciation.
I won't even dignify the question of electronic devices glowing or beeping with a comment beyond - NO !!!
I am sorry if the need for some sort of decorum at public events (other than the stadium pop sort) is off-putting to some. Everyone has a right to enjoy a performance without being intruded upon by others. If they've come to enjoy it, let them behave as is that's their purpose - and if they don't know whether it's time to applaud, let them hold off a second & they'll find out.
Generally, I'm very glad to see such discussions taking place, so SIT BACK & enjoy !

Apr. 03 2014 06:10 PM
Rita, NY

I find it annoying when many in the audience start clapping before the very end of a piece. Those last moments of the music can be so beautiful and meaningful. You have to wonder if people are really listening or are involved. Sometimes it feels like they can't wait to show their appreciation or pleasure, or maybe they can't wait to leave. Perhaps it's a matter of a few clapping, and the rest following, as if they can't help it. People can be such sheeple sometimes.

Apr. 03 2014 06:05 PM
Megan from Alberta, Canada

In the city I come from, we have some of the worst behavior in our symphony hall.

I personally have absolutely no tolerance for any person who makes ANY sound during the show. It is not that hard to sit quietly for two hours (average show time here). Do not root through your purse, open candies / lozenges, talk / whisper, shuffle / shift, sneeze, sniffle or cough!

Me and my significant other have been able to successfully do NONE of the above for over 4 years, attending upwards of 14 shows per season - and while having colds, flus, allergies. A little time spent preparing yourself, and ACTUALLY CARING, goes a long way towards being able to prevent these things from happening. The brain / human body can do powerful things, you just need to put your mind to it.

I think that filming shows with a smartphone should not happen under any circumstance. The point is for people to actually GO to these shows, supporting the music financially and by word of mouth, from experience. Orchestras and live music will dwindle if people can just watch it on YouTube. We need to support culture.

Using smartphones during concerts: if you're not interested enough in the show to watch it, and instead are on your Facebook, social media, texting, etc - why even come? Why are you there? Put the phone away. Lights are distracting, too. Taking a few pictures BEFORE and AFTER show is okay with me - never during.

Applause: I can't be too mad at people for doing this, but it is quite annoying that people attending these shows don't have the basic knowledge that classical music comes in multiple parts. Also I feel it is very unfair to the performers; the flow of their performance and their concentration is disrupted, the conductor is disrupted. It also disrupts the flow of the music for those in the audience who "know".

Booing is a selfish action; the people who do it think that their opinion should be broadcasted to the world. No one cares if you don't like it! The performer worked really hard and is there because they are talented; you have no right to boo them!

Shushing just creates a chain reaction of noises (people getting mad that they are being shushed, or people in the surrounding area wondering who is shushing who and why, etc) - just don't do it. Glare or make a signal by putting a finger to your mouth, placed vertically, showing the "quiet/shhh" gesture that is pretty universal.

BTW, I am not from an older generation / an older person, who is more strict / offended about this. I am a 23 year old female who really thinks people should behave at the orchestra and is deeply offended when they don't.

Apr. 03 2014 03:54 PM
beachsiggy from NYC

Most frequently found in the upper reaches at the Met, we have the Translators, who provide a running description of the opera in a language not yet offered in Met Titles; we have Snorers; we have Eaters, tho this has gotten a bit better this season due to attention from the ushers; and then we have the lovely guy who picks his teeth, making all sorts of uncouth noises while doing so.

At a performance of Luisa Fernanda in LA some years back, we had most of the top deck of the house singing along with the choruses, but it was actually more fun than horrid, as the people were not regular opera-goers, but were huge Zarzuela fans, enjoying hearing their music sung beautifully.

Apr. 03 2014 11:46 AM
Walter77777 from New York city

About clapping between movements: It is really fairly bad form to clap between movements of a symphony because the piece is to be considered a whole. I personally find applauding between movements of a concerto (usually considered to be OK) also to be very distracting.

The best illustrations of the relationship between movements of a multi-movement piece which may be obscured by applause between the movements may be found by listening to the organ symphonies of Louis Vierne. One might easily miss the repetition of themes in different movements if someone applauded between the movements.

W.

Apr. 03 2014 10:01 AM
Flávio from Goiânia, Brazil

Except for Clapping Between Movements, which is completely harmless, the others are really annoying.

Apr. 03 2014 09:37 AM
Ric Robinson-Horley from London, England

Rude interruptions are unacceptable - phones ringing - coughing is unfortunate, but we shouldn't stop people appreciating the music. If they want to clap between movements go for it. I remember seeing Nabucco in Budapest when an excellent rendition of the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves was rapturously applauded and an encore given on the spot. Now, that was value for money!

Apr. 03 2014 04:50 AM
Vickie from Kensington, Ohio

I, too, have asthma and love classical music. I particularly enjoy the Baroque ensemble performing in smaller venues. I use Ricola, which I keep close to hand. An additional measure that I use, even before a simple church service, is to use my additional inhaler and take a Sudafed. These work, provided someone doesn't believe their perfume is wasted unless inflicted upon the public in extremely close quarters. Anyone caught using an electronuc device should be promptly ejected. Booing was not tolerated even when I was in elementary school. Classical concerts are for adults and properly supervised children only.

Apr. 02 2014 10:34 PM
Stephen Quinn from Orange County, California

Fascinating! The things I find most objectionable (except of course for cell phones- they have no place in the concert hall) weren't even mentioned. For me it's the noisy, distracted listener. The person who seems to have the attention span of a five year old. He/she just can't sit still, must be noisily flipping through the program, fidgeting and shifting in his seat, sighing with apparent boredom. If you don't love this music, please stay home. And apparently the people who never mastered the art of silence aren't the problem. It's we who either "shoosh" them or sit in stony silence, shooting daggers with our eyes or digging our fingernails into the armrest to stifle our rage. It's gotten so bad I've all but given up on live performances.

Apr. 02 2014 07:46 PM
Linda from SF from San Francisco

Electronic devices have NO place at a classical music concert. The program can serve for your memories of the concert. I have two other annoyances. (1) people who lean forward to have a better view of the stage, thus blocking the view of everyone behind them; and (2) people who sit in the middle of a row who are unable to stand or to move their feet so that everyone who must pass them is in danger of falling over the row. This happened to me after back surgery and I really feared i might fall. After intermission, I went in the other side, disrupting fall more people.

However, as to people who drink during a performance: I have an auto-immune condition which causes extreme thirst. I carry a water bottle with me everywhere. I try to be as quiet as I can, but plastic is not silent and I get dirty looks. Sorry. I wish I could go without water until intermission, but I can't. Please don't assume that everyone doing something is inconsiderate. Some people have coughs.

Another bete noir is that the SF opera has installed movie screens called opera vision for the benefit to those in the balcony. However, it ruins the experience for those below them in the more desirable and expensive balcony circle.

Apr. 02 2014 06:48 PM
Bob from Traverse City MI

Applause between movements is ok if the performance really rocked. All the other stuff is vile. Especially booing. If you don't like the performance, leave (between movements!)

Apr. 02 2014 06:30 PM
S. from NYC

Leonard Slatkin is doing the majority of his audience no favors by allowing a few with electronic devices to ruin the concert for their everyone around them by the distraction they create by handling their phones, holding them up and, most importantly, the light this generates. If you have to have a "record" of where you have been, save it for when the piece is over. I would like to enjoy concerts without distractions of any kind - also including texting or any other activity on a lighted electronic device, moving any body part in time (or often not) with the music, talking, making out with your seat neighbor, fidgeting, making noise with the program book. Most egregious behaviors observed - a young man pulling out and eating a takeout dish of meatballs in the balcony of Carnegie Hall when a concert was about to start (an usher I alerted soon put an end to that), and an older woman in the Family Circle starting in on a rustling plastic bag with popcorn just before the end of Act I of Rosenkavalier. Kleiber's Rosenkavalier, sacrilege!!!!

And I do agree that far too many concerts these days are received with standing ovations. If it ends loud and fast this seems to be a Pavlovian response these days. The emphasis has shifted from appreciating artistry to rewarding "energetic" performances. For instance, while conductors who moved excessively used to be frowned upon and considered distracting, nowadays they more often than not are judged on the basis of their terpsichorean skills, what en "exciting" conductor! A pity, really, as there is so much more to music than mere visceral excitement!

Apr. 02 2014 12:08 PM
Floria from NYC

I cannot stand restless, fidgeting people sitting next to me. It happens much too frequently. I can deal with early applause at the end....I can deal with applause between movements (I just think this must be their first concert)....booing is kinda fun - it conjurs up a lot of things in the mind....whispering is usually handled by other concert-goers near me....but fidgeting drives me crazy!

Mar. 31 2014 01:43 PM
Jennifer from New Jersey

Singing along with Kiri Te Kanawa at the Met. I kid you not.

Mar. 31 2014 12:25 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Big, dopey, flowery hats that were in fashion. Thank God for Jackie Kennedy and the pillbox hat.

Mar. 31 2014 09:14 AM
Tesse from Cleveland

Noisy jewelry, purses. Women rustling through their purses playing with glasses, cough drops, lipstick. Heavy perfume or cigarette odor. Seat kicking from behind. Seat neighbors who hog the arm rest and bump me during the concert.Folks in front of me who lean to one side, blocking my view. Waiting for music to start before unwrapping cough drop.

Mar. 30 2014 11:10 PM
Steve Corrigan

There have been times when music sends me into a kind of trance. If someone starts clapping before the last movement, I might "wake up" and start clapping as well. Bruckner symphonies are a prime example.

There are always people who are unfamiiar with the music, and are not sure when to applaud. All conductors know this, amd most are not annoyed.

As for coughing,sneezing and loud farts, we audience members must control them as best we can.

Mar. 30 2014 04:50 AM

If I had multiple programs to throw at people Saturday afternoon, I would have. Before the performance began, the host took out his cell phone, said he was turning it OFF (not to "vibrate" or anything else), and exhorted the rest of the audience to do the same.

Despite actual signs saying NO PHOTOGRAPHS OR VIDEOS on display in the hall, I saw at least five cell phone/tablet cameras in front of me, plus the ambient light of at least one behind me. A fascinating performance was marred by boors. Totally insensitive, asinine boors.

DD~~

Mar. 30 2014 12:45 AM
Robert St.Onge from Cochiti Lake,NM

The moral of this blog would seem to be: Going to live performances is wonderful if it weren't for all those pesky people surrounding us. And he/she who is without sin should cast the first program.

Mar. 29 2014 05:54 PM
Allyson from montreal

Booing is not something heard much but talking, whispering, page flipping, dropping programmes definitely are.

Mar. 29 2014 04:45 PM
David from Flushing

I am under the impression that synchronized clapping is a European custom that is reserved for a very high level of approval.

I like Handel operas that tend to be long in the first place. The definite breaks between arias lead to applause after each and make the evening even longer.

It is very true that people talked during performances into the twentieth century. I recall reading complaining letters in music publications in the late 1890s. One magazine came up with a solution displayed in a cartoon. While other audience members were intently watching the performance, a box holder was hosting a noisy party, but the box had a glass front. It seems less offense was taken to noise than when a box holder allowed their servants to attend the opera. There was one letter, however, that defended the servants stating that they were more quiet than most of the audience.

Mar. 29 2014 10:26 AM

@Mr. Minott: Re. "synchronized clapping" -- Wouldn't that involve a lot of audience discussion, in order to synchronize, resulting in even more "shushing"?

DD~~

Mar. 29 2014 01:14 AM
David Minott from Long Island, New York

Instead of booing and/or hissing, an audience should be allowed to show their displeasure by using "synchronized clapping". The faster the rate, the more displeasure can be shown. An extremely slow synchronized clap can indicate boredom, while a single, loud, synchronized clap could indicate the audiences desire to leave as quickly as possible.

Mar. 29 2014 12:31 AM
Fred from Queens

Bernie from UWS:

You inadvertently make the point that those 18th and 19th century "listeners" didn't go to the concert hall to hear music. They went to socialize and be seen. The privileged would typically stay for an aria or an act and then leave for a better time.

Considering some of the quietest, most reflective music written, I wonder how many people in powdered wigs were applauding between movements.

The 19th century was a long time ago, and these days silence is a welcome relief. Ignorance shouldn't be an excuse for everything.

Mar. 28 2014 11:28 PM
John

Bernie,

I disagree that foreign audiences are somehow less sophisticated, don't "know better" and more apt to clap between between movements. I think rather that foreign orchestras may play more crowd pleasing pieces and undoubtedly generate more excitement simply because audiences have fewer opportunities to hear them. Plus, Carnegie Hall where the visitors often play has such superior acoustics compared to Avery Fisher, that might be part of the reason you hear less applause at AFH. My point is, when you think you notice trends like that, a million different reasons are behind it and I would hesitate to generalize.

Weekend before last, I heard the NY Phil play Nielsen and Vienna Phil the following day at Carnegie Hall. The NY Phil was applauded during every pause (and deservedly so, they played well), the Vienna Phil wasn't (and not because they played poorly, they were incredible). But I wouldn't read anything into this either.

Mar. 28 2014 07:10 PM
Bernie

My wife and I have subscriptions to the New York Philharmonic, as well as to a series of visiting orchestras. It is really interesting to observe the inter-movement audience responses for the various orchestras. The New York Phil audiences are clearly the best behaved and are almost always silent between movements. It is clear that the visiting orchestras attract a more diverse crowd. Foreign orchestras, especially, attract many people from their home country, who may not be regular attendees. Applause is much more likely to erupt between movements. My wife is annoyed (and feels superior). I take it as a quick sociological survey of the makeup of the audience. It also depends on the piece of music. We recently heard the Brahms violin concerto played by a visiting orchestra and soloist. The end of the first movement is as rousing a finish as you would expect in any symphony, and at it got an enthusiastic response from the audience. I was very tempted to join in because the playing was superb, but I restrained myself, because, well, I "know better".
Leon Botstein, the conductor, educator, and music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, does a series of concerts every year which he calls Classics Declassified. At the end of each concert he takes questions from the audience. At one such event, a listener asked him how he felt about people who applaud between movements. His answer was basically "more power to them". If they are so moved by the music that they feel the impulse to applaud, he felt that the performers would be flattered and encouraged.
When we started to attend operas some years ago, I was startled to find that people routinely applaud each aria, without regard for the obvious interruption of the performance. Some time ago we attended a Met Opera performance of Turandot, and eagerly awaited the singing of the Nessun Dorma, perhaps the best known and most popular aria in all of opera. It ends with a dramatic and beautiful high-C by the lead tenor, followed by the swelling orchestra. Except that evening the tenor could not do it, and didn't even try. The orchestra simply never finished the piece, as if it was all planned in advance. I am sure in Milan, they would have booed him off the stage, possibly followed by rotten fruit. In New York, not a peep was heard from the audience, although I felt like demanding a refund.

Mar. 28 2014 05:56 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Good for you, Robert! If I had been in your place, I would have wanted to do the same, but I don't think I'd have the nerve!

Mar. 28 2014 04:35 PM
Robert St.Onge from Cochiti Lake,NM

Ah,yes,the snorer.I was at a NYPhilharmonic concert, Karl Bohm conducting the Bruckner Eighth Symphony.A man in front of me snored slightly during the trio of the Scherzo but subsided. It could have been worse,I thought.Comes the divine slow movement, much of it soft. And it began in earnest. Not wanting to disturb those around me, I waited.Softly,I rolled up my program and at the climax with the full orchestra aroar and cymbals clashing and the triangle triangling I smacked him hard on the head. He snorted aloud (covered up by the orchestra), his wife gave him the glare of death, and a couple of people near me gave discreet 'thumbs=up'. It's all in the timing!

Mar. 28 2014 04:24 PM
Chris Welles Feder from New York, NY

I recently left a concert at intermission because the coughing was nonstop and truly interfered with my ability to hear and enjoy the music.

Mar. 28 2014 02:32 PM
John from NY

For a truly unique pet peeve, my university holds recitals at noon every week. There are doctors from the hospital adjacent to us who show up in their hospital scrubs or white coats, looking like they came straight from surgery. They sit down next to you and when you move a few seats away don't take the hint. Either they're bringing germs from the hospital out to you, or they're bringing germs from outside back into the hospital. That's so much more disgusting than the usual coughers, snorers and talkers in the audience.

The huge 'whoosh' of shushing that sweeps this audience when a newcomer dares clap after a first movement is quite amusing to observe though.

Mar. 28 2014 02:19 PM
Ray Moy from Chappaqua, NY

This is not really a problem at WQXR events, but at big venue rock concerts there are those people, usually right in front of me, that think everyone should stand for the entire concert. But I'm also irritated by obligatory standing ovations. Do I have a point here? or is it true, as my wife says, that I'm turning into a 67-year old curmudgeon?

Mar. 28 2014 01:53 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Yes, Mr. St. Onge, stinky perfume and on men as well. Some of the stuff for the guys is awful. One cannot stop breathing and has no choice but to smell these fragrances. My husband was a bus driver and one day, he threw a passenger off the bus because she positively reeked. He felt nauseous. Thank God she did not sue. As you know, we have a plague of lawyers.

Mar. 28 2014 01:25 PM
Madison from Manhattan

Pat from N J ,

We were in the last row of the Family Circle seated directly behind those people @ Andrea Chenier. I had to move to standing room to see "Comme un bel di".My wife thought it was his mother to whom he continually whispered explanations of the opera during the performance. Any noise during a performance is terribly annoying.

Mar. 28 2014 08:59 AM
Avery M from Kent, CT

Hopefully it's not too late to add one other pet peeve to the list. Indeed, it's one I find more annoying than any mentioned so far. Snoring. Alas, I'm not sure what the solution is. Suggestions?

Mar. 28 2014 08:57 AM
Frank from UWS

Sometimes I do like to take photos or short videos with my phone during concerts. I like to be able to share them with my friends on Facebook, especially when I'm traveling. But I never hold the phone up over my head or stand in the aisle to take the shots. I also wait for the piece to end before I post it on my Facebook page. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with that.

Mar. 28 2014 08:40 AM
Richard from Pound Ridge, NY

I don't mind applause, it's a show of affection/appreciation. Cell phones and all electronics should be checked at the door. As far as cough drops, etc. unwrap at home and put in a snack size baggie. Booing, just rude, don't do it. Singers, hummers seat conductors and talkers - either audition for the part or shut-up!

As a general rule of thumb, just be polite. We all paid for our seats (expensive now-a-days) to enjoy the performance

Mar. 28 2014 06:44 AM
Steve from Palo Alto, CA

Has any Metropolitan Opera audience in recent memory been able to hear the quiet closing note of an act or an opera once the curtain starts to budge? Some audience members appear to believe that the first motion of the curtain is their cue to start applauding, regardless of whether the orchestra is still playing. There is a simple solution, which the Met management should implement -- NEVER let the curtain start to fall until the music has ended completely. Dimming the lights on stage can provide the appropriate visual accompaniment to the diminuendo at the end of the opera. San Francisco Opera has learned this method, and it works wonderfully, so we almost always get to hear the complete quiet endings.

Any hesitations about booing need to include exemptions for the stage directors who impose concepts and actions that contradict the music the composers wrote. They need to be booed off the stage when they come out for their first-night curtain calls.

Mar. 28 2014 02:40 AM

@ Bernie from UWS: "This reverential, no clapping atmosphere of the 20th century is partly responsible for driving away young people from concert halls."

Usually I'm on your side. Not here. When little kids are exposed to classical music, they'll often applaud at the end of a movement. And performers are fine with that.

As they get older, they should learn concert etiquette. I did.

DD~~

Mar. 28 2014 02:35 AM
Steve from White Plains

Although from the responses here, there are far worse behaviors, the 'unwrapping hard candies, cough drops, etc.', here's a hint, especially for those who cough and unwrap cough drops, lozenges, etc. Use Ricola. I speak from experience. Even though the wrapper sticks to the lozenges, the paper is soft enough to make no noise at all, when carefully peeled off. Just a 'word to the wise'....

Mar. 28 2014 01:55 AM
David Gravitz from Westchester County, NY

Even worse than applause between movements is applause when some people think it's over but it's not, e.g., the "false" ending of Schubert's Trout Quintet where the ending is repeated after a moderate pause. Some performers skip the pause and immediately go into the repeat which prevents the applause (generally) but, to me, loses something.
On the other hand, I am told that when Beethoven conducted the premiere of his seventh symphony more than 200 years ago, the applause after the second movement was so intense that the entire movement had to be repeated. So, obviously, there was a time when applause between movements was accepted. Just saying.

Mar. 27 2014 10:52 PM
emily from manhattan

...and then there was the concert neighbor who engaged in foreplay with his mini-skirted companion! You can get to "third base" at Avery Fisher.

I think people give a standing ovation because they can't bother to stay long enough to bring the performers out for a bow three or four times. They clap on their way to the exit.

I don't clap between movements, but sometimes wish I could, if what I heard really thrilled me. Twenty minutes later, the message is not so clear.

Mar. 27 2014 09:44 PM
Sol "Roundman" Weber from Queens

Re clapping between movements, count your blessings. Years ago, while a young soldier in Huntsville, Alabama, I'd listen to the local classical music station and was astonished to hear COMMERCIALS between the movements! It had become an otherwise very cultured little town thanks to the sudden presence of Von Braun and hundreds of other German scientists and their families at Redstone Arsenal. His biopic, "I Aim for the Stars" played at the post theatre, and we added the unofficial sub-title, "But sometimes I hit London."

Mar. 27 2014 09:31 PM
Greg from San Francisco from San Francisco

American audiences give way too many standing ovations. Its seems that concert and ballet performances, ranging from 'pretty good but not great' to 'poor' rate standing ovations with audiences these days.

Mar. 27 2014 08:15 PM
Michael Meltzer

Whether clapping between movements is to be allowed or condoned should be an artistic decision entirely up to the conductor, or soloist if it is a solo recital. It is they who best know if a silence or a specific amount of time is needed for the music to make its full impact.
The best example is the practice we've all seen in the Beethoven Ninth of bringing the chorus on stage prior to the slow, meditative 3rd movement, rather than after, which would totally dissipate the dramatic effect of the entrance of the 4th movement in which the chorus is to sing.
That is far from the only place in the literature where silence is needed, and the conductor or soloist must be the final judge. His/her wishes should be in the program.

Mar. 27 2014 08:11 PM
Alan from Michigan

I attend concerts where there are often empty and easily reached seats on the sides or in the back. Yet, late-comers--either on their own or with a hovering usher--insist on climbing over those already seated during or between movements to get to a specific seat. They should be content to find a seat and stay put until the end of a piece or intermission, and this should be a practice enforced by the house. I have also been to general admission concerts where parents of small children do not have the sense to sit near an exit to allow a fast removal without stepping on those in their row. This is inconsiderate to their neighbors, the child, and to the musicians.

Mar. 27 2014 08:05 PM
MJ from Summit, NJ

It is very interesting that this is today’s topic. Last night, I attended the concert in Avery Fisher Hall with my two young adult daughters. We were appalled with clapping between movements (I assume that refraining from clapping is to give the performers an opportunity to segue to the next movement without any distractions in an effort to maintain the flow of music), excessive coughing, and “squirmers” . Finally, the ultimate rudeness occurred when half of the audience sprinted up the aisles before the bows were off the violins final notes! If you can’t remain in your seat to express your gratitude to these talented people then stay home. Can you imagine what the orchestra was looking at as the lights went up???? No wonder Joshua Bell came out without his violin for his final bow---no chance of an encore for the rest of us. What happened to plain old manners?

Mar. 27 2014 07:49 PM
Martin O from Flushing, NY

I do have sympathy for an occasional cough. People are not robots and sometimes a cough happens. But if it is a persistent, hacking cough,unless the cougher has just come down with it in the middle of the concert, that person should stay at home and give the ticket to someone else.

As for clapping between movements,let's not be snobs. If someone is interested enough to come to a classical concert but does not yet have exposure to or experience with expected decorum, that person should not be shamed. In Beethoven's day, movements of symphonies were not played seriatim but were played with intermissions. Customs change.

Lighten up.

Mar. 27 2014 07:49 PM
Bernie from UWS

@Fred from Queens: If you study your history of classical music you'd find that composers intended there to be applause between movements. People in the 18th and 19th century treated classical music much as they would a rock concert or sporting event today - they'd talk, drink, play cards and carry on during the performances. This reverential, no clapping atmosphere of the 20th century is partly responsible for driving away young people from concert halls.

Furthermore, few people under 40 like to be stuck in a place where you have to be so silent and still for 2+ hours. It's just not part of their nature. I'm not saying one has to applaud between every movement, but you should be accepting and non-judgmental to people who wish to do so.

Mar. 27 2014 07:47 PM
Gloria M - from New Jersey

I, too, have been through lighted smart phones, coughers, kickers,talkers, (I give them a cold stare), inappropriately dressed 'patrons' et al, but what made us give up our seats at the PAC was the woman next to me who thought she was the conductor, waving her arms.....NOT in tempo. Couldn't take it. Also, as a singer, I detest people 'singing' along with the singer I came to hear. I can control myself, even though I know the piece, but some people have to show off that they know it....or think they know it. I didn't pay to hear them!

Mar. 27 2014 07:31 PM
Doris from Manhattan

No one has mentioned the dreaded hearing-aid battery problem. Regrettably, the hearing-impaired probably can't hear that their battery is dying and is therefore whistling. Why can't the people around them clue them in? They can't all be deaf. I had a José Van Dam lieder recital at Carnegie ruined by hearing-aid battery whistling. It's naturally more evident in quiet musical passages. Put fresh batteries in before entering the concert hall! I think I have merely normal, not super-acute, hearing, but my seat mate claimed he didn't hear the whistling. This is the only time I have no sympathy for people with disabilities. Oh, maybe the huge walkers blocking bus aisles. Fold them up, for God's sake! But I digress.

Mar. 27 2014 07:12 PM
Pat from NJ

I was seated in the Family Circle for Andrea Chenier Monday,March 24. Just as the tenor was about to begin "Come un bel di di maggio" a large ungainly person began bumping, slumping down the stairs, hanging over people in the aisle seats. He(I think it was a man) was accompanied by a companion and a person with a flashlight, an usher I suppose. As this person reached the exposed area at the front of the Family Circle where an usher stands to hand out programs before the performance he stood up straighter and rocked as if he were about to pitch headlong down the steps. What a horrible distraction to hundreds of people! I suppose he felt ill or needed the bathroom but I don't understand why this disruption was allowed at this time. Un bel di di maggio is a short aria, a highlight of the opera, and he should have waited. Moments earlier there was a scheduled interruption for which I blame the management. Why allow curtain calls between the trial scene and the final scene? There is just a semi-lit "pause" between these scenes, not an intermission, and it broke the drama to have a few quick curtain calls which could have waited till the end of the opera.

Mar. 27 2014 07:08 PM
Rose Marie Wilson from Wantagh, NY

I forgot to mention my pet peeve; it is that, no matter what I attend, whether it's a baseball game, circus, concert, etc., I always seem to be seated in front of someone who repeatedly kicks the back of my seat! It's usually some bored kid, but the worst thing is that the parents never tell their little brats to knock it off! I have tried freezing glares, but I have trouble turning to look behind me. Once I got so fed up that, at the first intermission, I stood up, turned, and snapped at the kid, whereupon the mother apologized and made the kid switch seats with her. I don't know if the kid proceeded to kick the back of the new seat he was behind, but I finally was able to enjoy the rest of the performance!

Mar. 27 2014 07:00 PM

After reading all of the comments, I felt somewhat heartened that not all the provincial behavior was restricted to audiences here in Washington, DC! On the other hand, it's very nice to be seated in the Opera House (for a very mediocre "La Forza") and have the teenagers sitting around me ignoring their cell phones, which they had shut off and put in their purses, and raptly watching the action onstage. And behaving, I should add, much better than their elders.

Mar. 27 2014 06:49 PM
Rose Marie Wilson from Wantagh, NY

For those with allergies or who are prone to coughing in the dry atmosphere of a concert hall, here is a tip that might help you; take 3000 mg of Vitamin C daily, of the "Ester-C" type (or the equivalent "Active-C" sold by the Vitamin Shoppe). Vitamin C helps to keep your mouth and sinuses moist, thus cutting the tendency to cough. As for cough drop wrappers, instead, try using soft, gel-type candies which are usually unwrapped.

I must agree that it breaks the mood when people applaud between movements, and I know from musician friends that it is very annoying to the performers, as it interrupts their mood and concentration.

Mar. 27 2014 06:45 PM
Kathleen from New Jersey

Let us never give up the fight to preserve the decorum of the concert hall...for amidst all the insanity it is the last bastion of a civilized world...an inner sanctum of peace, tranquility and beauty!

Mar. 27 2014 06:40 PM
Eric from New Hampshire

While I agree with many of the comments, I do often use my iPhone or mini iPad to read scores. I realize the light may bother some people, but find it less disturbing than others who bring in paper scores and make noise turning pages.

Mar. 27 2014 06:33 PM

To David of Flushing - Ahhh, those forward leaners at the Met. I'd they're elderly I sigh softly and let them enjoy...the others are tapped on the shoulder to please sit back. I thought it was my fate to sit behind them, sorry you have to share the same fate. SIGH.

Mar. 27 2014 06:28 PM
Sheila from Man hattan

All of the above are obnoxious, and then there are these: hitting the back of the seat in front of you with your knees or feet, and elbow-gouging for arm-rest space.

Mar. 27 2014 06:23 PM
Sheila from Manhattan

All of the above are obnoxious, plus these two: kicking with feet or knees into the seat in front of you, and elbow-gouging for arm-rest space.

Mar. 27 2014 06:19 PM
David from Flushing

I would add two more deadly sins. There is the dread hummers that deserve a special circle in the underworld. I suspect some of these people are hard of hearing and do not realize how far they carry.

The other offense is those who lean forward in their seats. Places such as the Met Opera allow those seated behind to view the stage only if the person in front sits back. I have a rather tall sitting height and make an effort to slouch and never lean forward.

Mar. 27 2014 05:32 PM
Robert St.Onge from Cochiti Lake,NM

How's this for a trifecta of annoyances. We are at the Met, Grand Tier first row,slightly off to the left. It is Leonie Rysanek's 20th anniversary at the Met, doing Tosca. The expensive seats are a Birthday present to me from someone who knew how much I loved Ms. Rysanek. Seated next to me is a quite zaftig woman wearing jangle bracelets, on both arms. Because of her size, she rustled her nylon stockings whenever she moved, which was constantly. And she was doused in a perfume that reeked of an odor that would make the old Gowanus Canal blush. The only saving grace was that she and her companion evidently found the opera boring and left after the first act. Alas, the aroma remained!

Mar. 27 2014 04:35 PM
georgef from Princeton

All of us at one time or another make unnecessary noise. The ones who continually unwrap candy, whisper loudly, tap their toes on the seat in front of them, or text message during a performance don't care about the rest of us. I am sure they have been stared at, shushed, and still no alteration to their behavior. I attend NJSO concerts in Princeton and without fail, the same people make the same noise each and every performance. What are the rest of us to do except be civil and grit our teeth.

Mar. 27 2014 03:47 PM
Margaret from Stratford, UK

I don't like shshers, wrong time clappers, cell phone users, wrappers, coughers, sneezers, standing-ovationers, sloppy dressers, ETC. But then, I'm 67. If concert halls are to fill seats after my generation is below the grass, they need to just get over it. And, one more thing: revamp those decades old programs and get a new, modern look. They do not speak to a younger audience. Look to the future or there won't be one.

Mar. 27 2014 03:34 PM
Fred from Queens

@ Bernie from UWS:

Listening to a complete piece of music before applauding has nothing to do with "elitism". It's about creating an atmosphere that allows the different moods of a composition to unfold uninterrupted. Musicians don't appreciate these breaks, and most listeners find it annoying. Classical music is as much about silence as it is about the notes.

You are wrong about booing at concerts. It's just plain rude (even at a sporting event). These are people performing and usually trying to do their very best. You should stay home and listen to technically perfect CDs if you want reproducible error-free music.

There's more than enough rude behavior everywhere, and it doesn't belong in the concert hall. If you don't like it, just don't applaud.

Mar. 27 2014 03:27 PM
Andy from NYC

I believe they should a coat check for cell phones. Multiple times I had to ask people to put their phone for the light while texting was extremely annoying to me. My worst experience was when someone answered their phone and carried on a conversation during the performance. I remember a few years ago Hugh Jackman scolded an offender whose phone went off during his performance. When I saw Jane Fonda lose her train of thought.
And what makes me burn, it is not just young offenders, I see many of middle to upper aged adults on their phones, texting/talking away. You would think that they would know better.

Mar. 27 2014 03:16 PM
Daniel Hirsen from Chicago

Years ago I attented a piano recital by a renowned artist, who stopped playing to berate the audience for frequent coughing. "Ladies and gntlemen, your silence is part of my performance....."
Although I too was annoyed by the coughing, I felt ashamed that the performer was angry at the entire audience. I could not enjoy the ramainder of the concert, and obviously have not forgotten the episode, nor can I think of that artist as favourably as before.

Mar. 27 2014 02:57 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Texting, cell phones, ipad, apps, etc. We are living in an electronic concentration camp. Every message we send out is being stored somewhere. There is no escape not even in the concert halls. Wonderful world of the future. Glad I won't be here. Sorry to be so bitter.

Mar. 27 2014 02:56 PM
Richard from Hackensack

Fortunately, it doesn't happen often, but nothing grates as much as a "sing along" or "hum along" audience member, Especially if they are are off-key as well!

Mar. 27 2014 02:48 PM

I went to a concert where a young (30s) woman was sitting next to me. At the beginning of the concert the announcer asked people to shut off their cell phones and to not take any flast pictures. This woman left her very large phone on vibrate (which is not "off"). She kept getting texts and texting back and she was taking flash pictures. I finally said to her, "I don't mean to be rude but they asked for phones to be turned off and your busy texting away." She said, "I have it on vibrate so it doesn't ring." I replied, "However, it lights up, and it's distracting. Also, I'll bet you're texting friends that your at this concert, however your just not in attendance." She still didn't shut it off and after some 10 to 15 minuets, she turned to me and said, "What you said to me was very rude, I paid for a seat like everyone else." I replied, "We all paid for seats, however, we paid for the concert, not your rudeness and that's the last I have to say about it. My dad taught me to never fight with an unarmed adversary!" She and her date/husband then got up and walked out. "I thanked her as she left." The concer was only half over. What a dip! There is entirely too much distruptive behavior at all concerts these days. It's gonna get worse folks as people who were born with cell phones and IPad/IPods in their hands reach maturity.

Mar. 27 2014 01:57 PM
Ricardo

Alas, black tie & long gowns are out for all but the most gala performances. But for heavens sake, why tee shirts, jeans and even baseball hats (worn during concert and opera performanced? A little propriety please.

Mar. 27 2014 11:15 AM
Bernie from UWS

There's nothing wrong with clapping between movements. Composers like Tchaikovsky actually wrote pieces in which they *intended* applause between movements. The church-like atmosphere is a modern phenomenon wrapped up in elitism.

I also think there's nothing wrong with booing at the end of a piece. Artists aren't special people who deserve to be treated with kid gloves. If A-Rod is having a bad night he hears it from the fans. So should Alan Gilbert.

Mar. 27 2014 11:04 AM
Betty Greitzer from NJ

All of the above are major annoyances. I'd add drinking beverages during the opera, as the 20-something sitting next to me at a "Wozzeck" performance did. He and his pal were trading a bottle back and forth; we later got into an argument between scenes when he refused to stop texting. I was stuck because "Wozzeck" has no intermission during which I could complain to an usher; not so at a performance of "Madama Butterfly" at which the man sitting next to me was sipping a Coke and rattling ice cubes during "Un bel di" and "The Humming Chorus." The usher I complained to promptly read him the riot act, but my enjoyment of Patricia Racette's performance was somewhat marred.

And as more than one poster has mentioned, premature applause is a criminal offense. Someday I'd like to hear the conclusion of "Otello's" Act I, Scene I following the love duet the way Verdi intended.

Mar. 27 2014 10:52 AM
Liz from New Jersey

Clapping between movements actually disrupts the "flow" of a work.

Having performed multiple, multi-movement, works since high school, with Very Demanding conductors, I find I'm more sensitive to disruption like this.

Movements have their own character and, in many cases, cannot stand alone. They truly require the context of the larger piece to make narrative sense. They illustrate moods, or paint different pictures, or are even positioned to illustrate contrast. In some pieces, you have a sense of a journey, as I've felt performing Brahms Requiem or Pinkham's Wedding Cantata. You break that "spell" of storytelling if it's interrupted by applause, no matter how well-intentioned it may be.

Maybe it's staid, maybe it's stuffy, but I like the opportunity to stay in context.

Mar. 27 2014 10:50 AM
Jonathan Cohen from Irvine, CA

I find one of the most vexing concert behaviors to be the "standing ovulation" :the indiscriminate standing ovation and cheers for a very ordinary performance. For a good concert, one applauds. Only for a truly great, once-in-several-years concert is a standing ovation appropriate. It's like tipping. For good service, you leave 20 percent; you don't leave $100 on the table for the waiter every time you eat out.

Mar. 27 2014 10:49 AM
Fran from Scotch Plains, NJ

I attribute the clapping between movements to some new audience members who were excited by the end of the movement and that is a good thing, right? The worst I heard was at Central Park when many in the huge audience started clapping during a brief silence in the fourth movement of Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony. I am more annoyed when the audience applauds during an aria which has not yet finished.

Mar. 27 2014 10:34 AM
Paul Pelkonen from Brooklyn NY

I write a classical music blog (Superconductor) and spend a lot of time in concert halls, opera houses and other such bastions of group activity. Let's address these one by one.

1) Do not applaud between movements. Also especially if it is a quiet close do not applaud until the conductor puts his hands down. Finally, it is considered poor manners to applaud at the end of Act I of Wagner's 'Parsifal.' That said, it is good manners to applaud an orchestra or conductor at the start of the last act of an opera, especially at the Met.

2) Turn your phone, tablet and whatever else off and put it away. If you are old fashioned like me and carry an IPod makes sure the headphones are unjacked. Your pictures will suck anyway and they will probably be blurry stills of a bunch of people in concert blacks. If you really must have a picture most concerts are documented by professional photographers and you can download a nice picture off the Web.

3) If you have the flu, stay home. Don't give it to your fellow concert-goers. You can probably exchange tickets for when you feel better. Bring cough drops anyway because concert halls are artificially conditioned to be dry environments. Drink a cup of water at intermission and you'll be fine. If you have to sneeze, muffle it.

4) Let's see how you'd like it if you were onstage working your ass off, or had rehearsed something for months, and people were booing you. Booing is for sporting events and should generally only be directed at the referee. Would you like Alan Gilbert to come to the office and start heckling you?

5) Generally in a concert hall, I find the turn and freezing glance more effective and less disruptive than the "Sssh." I WILL ssh you at the Met if we're all in the dark and you won't shut your trap. If you say the word "Macbeth" inside an auditorium I might even ask you to leave. (Was sorely tempted to do that once.)

Mar. 27 2014 10:22 AM
Diane from UWS

The most astonishing concert (mis)behavior I've recently come across was during a performance of "The Messiah" by Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall this past winter. I was seated (alas) up in the 'nose-bleed' section and the crowd there was, shall we say, a bit more 'relaxed' than the orchestra section denizens.

Relaxed, notwithstanding, I was AMAZED when the patron behind me took advantage of the empty seat to my right to swing his feet over and use the seat adjacent to mine as a sort of extended foot rest.

Yes: for the entire concert, this fellow had his legs swung over and residing on the chair next to mine. There was no usher in sight and I'm too timid to say anything (I clearly should have).

I felt like screaming: "Hey, you're not in Yankee Stadium, mister". (Actually, YS fans would've had the gumption to dissuade him).

I spent some portion of the performance being so annoyed that I couldn't focus on the music. I subsequently calmed down, decided to disregard the two large legs occupying the seat next to mine and ultimately enjoyed the concert.

Mar. 27 2014 10:03 AM
Vicki from Queens, NYC

As a newly diagnosed asthma patient years ago, I was siezed with an incipient cough and hadn't prepared by pre-unwrapping a cough drop. The guy next to me hissed, "what are you doing?" All I could do is look apologetically and gasp,"my asthma." As a rude, nasty New Yorker, You know what I WANTED to say.
And about that clapping during movements. Hint, hint:wait til the conductor turns around. That also allows the last strains of the music to fade and holds the moment a bit.

Mar. 27 2014 10:00 AM
Avery M from Kent, CT

Yes, we know it's culturally inappropriate to clap between movements, but we need an explanation beyond simply, "It's just not done." Is there a reason for the "no clapping between movements" rule? Allow me to raise a second question. If the goal is to keep classical music alive, then isn't it worth asking whether such "rules" seem staid to younger audiences? In other words, by adhering to the rules no matter what, are we slowly, if unwittingly, contributing to our own demise and irrelevance?

To be clear, I'm necessarily taking a position on this. But I am suggesting that, for me at least, these are questions worth asking, and answering.

Mar. 27 2014 09:13 AM
Lisa

No tolerance at all for clapping before the work is finished! How musically ignorant our society is . . . Perhaps conductors need to give some basic music history instruction to audiences.

Mar. 27 2014 08:47 AM
John from NY

At Andrea Chenier at the Met Opera, I sat behind an elderly gentleman who was so wrapped up in the score that for every crescendo he raised two clenched fists, maybe in celebration or maybe imagining himself as the conductor. It was 80% annoying, but also 20% adorable. It helped that he wasn't very tall.

To Sarah, who coughs through performances because she "doesn't want to throw away $50", might you also have a Monday subscription in the balcony? I'm quite certain we sit near each other. If your coughing is an ongoing allergy as you say, do please look into medication. The 8 people seated around you are losing their $50, and I remember enough college math to deduce that $400 > $50. Also, if you are ill, please remember that your friends, family and coworkers, maybe even someone new to classical music, may be able to help ensure that your tickets are not wasted.

I second Sisko's comments about talking, and would add people who are constantly opening their program books. I often want to ask what is troubling them so, do they think their favorite performers have been replaced mid-performance, or perhaps they sense that the Concerto billed as being in C *surely must* in fact be in D?

Mar. 27 2014 02:16 AM
Fred from Queens

Can someone please explain the universal obsession to document everything with a photo? People walk around the Met. photographing paintings without looking at them. Photographing concerts is even more distracting to LISTENERS. People that want to play with their toys during a concert should stay home or be put in a secluded section.

As for applauding between movements, first get the audience to stop wildly jumping out of their seats screaming bravo between the third and fourth movements of Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony, Pathétique. It ain't over!

Mar. 26 2014 10:43 PM

1. Applause -- this is a bit difficult, especially when a first movement of a work ends with a big flourish. But audiences tend to learn. I do not applaud between movements.

2. Smart (or any) phone. Turn. It. Off. The lighted screen alone is a huge distraction. Turn. It. Off.

5. Shushing -- this is also difficult. I will turn and glare at noisy people and sometimes that works. If someone is in front of you, a discreet (note the word WQXR) shush can be effective. If you have to "shush" louder than the offense, leave it to someone closer.

My $0.02

DD~~

Mar. 26 2014 09:04 PM
frederick from Los Angeles

Sarah,
Convention indicates that when a person uses all caps in an internet statement it is equal to shouting. Your whole comment was shouted. Possibly you shouted which is rude or you are uninformed. Take your pick.

Mar. 26 2014 06:56 PM

This survey left out talking during the music. I find that to be too common in the concerts I've attended. Of the listing above - which doesn't include talking - smartphone use and coughing are the most heinous things I've come across. Clapping between movements, booing and shushing are acts I haven't found to be as egregious as talking during the music. Of course there's singing along with the performers on stage, which should be a capital offense. But that might best saved for another Top 5 @105 survey.

Mar. 26 2014 06:21 PM
SARAH from PHILLY

COUGHING: I'M ALLERGIC TO DUST AND CERTAIN PERFUMES SO I COUGH. ALSO I PICK UP OTHER PEOPLE'S GERMS, WANT TO HEAR THE CONCERT, DON'T WANT TO THROW AWAY $50 TO $100 SO I GO. MAYBE IF YOU COULD RETURN TICKETS THAT MIGHT HELP A BIT.

BOOING: I DON'T MIND THAT BECAUSE AFTER ALL YOU PAID FOR A CERTAIN QUALITY OF PERFORMANCE.

INDIVIDUAL HECKLING: IS A DIFFERENT MATTER.

CONTROL FREAKS & JUST PLAIN ANTI SOCIAL AUDIENCE MEMBERS: ISN'T SOMETHING YOU MENTIONED BECAUSE IT IMPACTS THE AUDIENCE WITH WAY TOO MUCH FREQUENCY. SO I STOPPED GOING TO CONCERTS BECAUSE I'VE BEEN A VICTIM OF IT AND WITNESSED OTHERS BEING VICTIMIZED. IT HAPPENS NOT ONLY IN THE HALL BUT DURING BREAKS. THESE NUTS KNOW YOU WON'T WALK OUT LIKE IN MOST PUBLIC SPACES SO THEY JUST WORK THEIR MAGIC. AND THE CONCERT HALL USHERS SEEM TO LOSE THEIR HEARING AND LEAVE IT UP TO THE PATRONS TO DEAL WITH THE OFFENSIVE PERSON. I PAY TOO MUCH MONEY TO HAVE AN UNPLEASANT TIME!

Mar. 26 2014 05:48 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Follow WQXR 

Sponsored

About Top 5 @ 105

WQXR helps you make the most of the New York City’s classical music scene.

Our "Top 5 at 105 " features can't-miss experiences: the best concerts, books and films about music, places to eat before and after shows, and more.

Feeds