Classical music and locations: how to make an event out of a traditional classical music concert

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The other day I was watching TV programms with different musicians like Lang Lang in Moscow Conservatoire and Piano Guys in London Arena and both programms reminded me that there is nothing like going to a live music concert. When we attend a concert, we become a part of the concert. We could feel very different energy coming from the musicians and the choice of the location is very important. The architecture of a venue influences the music enjoyment and determines the character of the concert.

Much has been said about the big concert halls: the audience growing older and danger of not selling enough tickets… Playing big needs big names, big money and big risk for the agents. Big concert venues have their own life and could be even considered a part of tourist programms. However, the classical music concerts take place not only in traditional concert venues.

The role of a modern musician is to search for his/her audience in the places where people are spending their time and make their music appreciation experience more enjoyable. There are different ways of making an event out of a traditional classical music concert: you could work on the choice of music, on the presentation form, add special features, combine different artistic disciplines or you play in different and unusual locations. The gurus of music business keep saying that classical music market is not rigid anymore and it keeps changing. It is time to go new ways, get an inspiration from outside and be the first who is brave enough to try it. The best way to get an orientation how to approach a broader audience would be to get help from the sociological studies.

Several studies describe the population groups and their life styles. It is interesting to read that the traditionalists and conservative establishment prefer the big concert halls and big names. But they represent only 20 % of the population. Classical music admirers are not only traditionalists. It gives hope that musicians can reach more audiences!

The first example that comes to my mind is the office “after work” parties and business lounges – just think of putting piano in the office, organizing some drinks and offering some music at office premises. The families with kids are interested in the events that involve the whole family – they like museums and exhibitions, family shows with the combination of some educational topics. Hedonist groups enjoy good food and wine – so the restaurants and wine shops would be a nice place to present your music. Intellectuals like literature forums, museums and art galleries. What can be more enjoyable as a music concert to accompany literature event or vernissage? The so-called high performers like luxury brands and prestige: Surely, the classical music with its perception as high-class entertainment fits well to the product presentation of luxury shops and brands, car shows and noble furniture, jewellery and design clothes. But the selection of locations can get even crazier: there is a possibility of open air concerts at lost places, garages, former factories. There are abandoned fortresses, castles, undergrounds. The people interested in sports could appreciate more music in golf or surfing clubs. As you can see, the possibilities are unlimited. And this is just a beginning. All it takes is to be creative. Richard de Hoop said that the success of any show is to combine the profound content with the entertainment and start where the audience is ready to start, “give them all you have got”. Bringing the music to the unexpected places shows that the classical music can be part of everybody’s life, might take away a fear and what is important; it shows that classical music is truly fascinating.
Internet page www.movingclassics.tv has a tab called LOCATIONS. The idea behind this section is to share all interesting and unusual places for classical music concerts you experienced yourself or are dreaming of visiting.We would appreciate it if you upload your pictures and share with the classical music community these locations.
Thank you for reading.

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