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Concerts, Audiences, Dress Codes in Chicago and Salzburg. May 28, 1999

What REALLY bothers you about Kenny G...

May 28 1999, writes:

>I suspect there will come a day when, after the performance of

>one of Beethoven's late quartets, someone in the audience will stand up

>and shout "Boogie!"

A friend was at a concert by the Julliard String Quartet--the program in fact was late Beethoven--at Mandel Hall (Chicago) many years ago. A couple of young black guys (relevant because, like it or not, at a Mandel Hall chamber music concert in the 1970s, two young black guys decked out in complete SuperFly regalia presented quite a contrast to the rest of the University-of-Chicago neighborhood crowd) would stand up and clap enthusiastically after what they clearly heard to be particularly inspired "solos" or solo passages. After a couple of warnings from an usher, glares from the crowd, and some startled glances from the Julliard members, they were finally asked to leave, which they did without a fuss.

May 28 1999,> writes:

>Here in PDX, there's been a marked lack of

>pretense about attire since we got our

>latest conductor. The point is, legit music wasn't just for the

>elite anymore, or maybe that class became more inclusive.

I've always been one for dressing for comfort at concerts, and to this day, if I'm not going with my wife, I'll be wearing sweats or shorts and a t-shirt to the CSO, Lyric Opera, or wherever (though not the Jazz Showcase--Joe Segal's more intimidating than an Andy Frain). Not making a statement here--I'm just a congenital slob. One time where I did dress nicely, it turns out I was out of my league anyway. In 1981, I spent 2 weeks going to concerts at the Salzburg Festival (14 concerts in 13 days--heaven!), where tuxedos and formal gowns are standard. I walked in wearing a sport jacket and the guy at the gate (before I had a chance to get my ticket out) hurried me into the kitchen and out of sight of the other festival-goers. Turns out he thought I was a bus boy.

And I honestly felt bad for those Mandel Hall guys who got booted. Granted, their clapping during the quartets didn't do much for concentration, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were actually enjoying the music more than many of the more "appropriately" quiet audience members.

Dave Royko

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