David Lister: It’s right to relax concert rules, but try not to get carried away
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Thursday 19 June 2014
Audience etiquette at classical music concerts has often been as fascinating to observe as the concert itself. Don’t clap between movements. Do cough between movements. Indeed, the louder the between-movements cough, the more it signals that the cougher is a music aficionado.
The studiedly radical Bristol Proms has made a determined effort to shake up classical music concert-going and encourage a young, pop audience by abolishing the old etiquette. Clap whenever you like. Have audience interaction, have pop concert-style screens (great – we will actually see the conductor’s face, for once), even have occasional lasers and light shows.
But even radicals have to rein in their lack of inhibition sometimes. Symphonic crowd-surfing feels a step too far, and a potentially dangerous one at that. Shaking up the concert tradition to encourage new audiences is a much needed change, though. Let people clap if they are enthused. Let’s have big screens. Let’s go further. How good it would be to have conductors talking to the audience and introducing the music. Great art doesn’t have to be enjoyed in silent solemnity.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Alien 5: Sigourney Weaver will reprise Ripley role in new movie, says director Neill Blomkamp
Eurovision 2015: Finnish punk band with learning disabilities applies to raise awareness
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Drake matches The Beatles' record with 14 singles in top 100 chart at the same time
Aidan Turner interview: 'being a sex symbol is a little awkward'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'