I am writing from the soggy shores of eastern Iowa. It seems I brought Seattle's weather with me. At around two p.m. a light, persistent drizzle began to fall and hasn't let up. Christmas shopping and other holiday requirements haven't stopped me from reading the news coming out of Seattle. In fact, I enjoyed Gavin Borchert's take on classical music conventions and venues. You can read the article here.
Borchert does a good job arguing for traditional performance spaces and silence. He also uses the Chiara Quartet's two concerts last month as a case study. One concert was held at the Tractor Tavern the other at Meaney Hall on the University of Washington campus. One concert was formal the other informal. In both cases the audience was attentive and respectful. Even though the audiences were told they could clap when they wanted to.
Borchert's conclusion? People behaved because they wanted to hear the music and not because there is a concert etiquette regime keeping the audience in check.