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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: June 24, 2009 Archive

NY Phil Puts Its Stats Online

Posted at 1:10 AM on June 24, 2009 by Gillian Martin

Did Antonin Dvorak ever perform with the New York Philharmonic? (Yes.)

How many times has violinist Joshua Bell performed with them? (28 performances of 11 different programs.)

How did the orchestra respond to the assassination of President Lincoln? (They played the "Funeral March" from Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, and left the "Ode to Joy" off of his 9th.)

How do I know all of this? Because they put it all online. The curious can explore a searchable database of every NY Phil concert since 1842. Read more about it here (registration required). Play with it here.

Hold your applause

Posted at 11:23 AM on June 24, 2009 by Alison Young

Sitting quietly throughout a multi-movement work and waiting until the end to applaud (or scream "bravo!") is a relatively recent phenomenon. Music was used more as an accompaniment to an event than the event itself, so clapping, talking, even milling about might have been commonplace before the Romantic era.

But not everyone knows the "rules" as Anne Midget points out in her final report to the Washington Post from the National Symphony Orchestra's tour in China. Even in Beijing, as it turns out, people need to be reminded to hold their applause until the end.

Do you participate in the arts?

Posted at 11:49 AM on June 24, 2009 by Rex Levang

Are you a photographer? Do you go to salsa concerts? Are you attending more operas than a few years ago, or not as many?

All these ways of participating in the arts, and more, have been surveyed by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the results are out.

It was a pleasant surprise to see that 3 percent of the adult population performs or creates classical music--I might not have guessed that high. Photography, to answer that question, is getting more popular. And there have been some other statistical upticks in the past couple years.

So there's some positive news. But that's against a larger backdrop of aging audiences and what they're calling "a persistent pattern of decline." See the whole report here.