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Classical Notes

High Prices Keeping You Away?

Posted at 5:28 PM on December 3, 2009 by Rex Levang (5 Comments)
Filed under: In the media, The blog

Our colleagues, over on the MPRQ site, pose a Question of the Day, and today the question was: Does the price of a ticket keep you from attending classical music concerts?

(As Gillian Martin recently noted in this space, pop music events can come with a high sticker price too. But in light of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's news about lowering prices, that's how the question was framed.)

Read the responses here.


Comments (5)

Absolutely, for years I had a subscription to the opera here in Florida. Quality was acceptable, i dont expect the Met here. But, the cost of the tickets have skyrocked and to be honest, the price wasn't worth the quality. So my wife and i cancelled our subscription.

But i resent the high prices and the constant begging for money, support, etc. It is a broken record..... Inflation in the arts is bad and it has become unafordable. But are the arts not attracting people due to the cost or is the cost not worth what the arts are providing.

For me, its a bit of both, mediocre performances and high prices. Unfortunately I don't see that going away and so my children and I will go less and less due to the cost especially in this economic environment and the fact they cant find jobs which pay a living wage.

Posted by Douglas Klein | December 4, 2009 7:27 AM


Dear MPR:

Thank you for rebroadcasting the VocalEssense Concert, I cannot afford to attend because I have been unemployed for the past 18 months.

Ireally want to hear the new John Rutter carol and this is the only way I can do so.

Yes, ticket prices are way too high, the last concert I went to was a Gay Men's concert 1 1/2 years ago.

Posted by Elaine Shelby | December 4, 2009 9:40 AM


i posted this on the other site (to some effect):

be more creative in programming: people will pay any price if it is something they want to hear. and by creative, get out of the "classical majority" and do things that the middle and young generations will know. For instance; "An evening with Indiana Jones and Beethoven." You take two things that people know 1- everybody knows the Indiana Jones suite and people love it, it's fun to listen to and you can even show clips of the movies to get some effect across. 2- everybody knows beethoven, but here's where you get a cool chance to show something they dont know...do one of the more un-played symphonies like no. 8 or 7, or a concerto or something. And to add even more spice, during intermission, ask a local choral, chamber, or even school band to come play and encourage them to play NEW pieces.

And then make sure you brand things correctly...the title "An Evening with Indiana Jones and Beethovens" just reeks a good bit; but why not brand it with a battle of the bands title? "Beethoven vs. Indiana Jones" -- that catches attention to the younger generation because it's so far fetched, and you can take this even farther...allow the audience to proclaim a winner of to two by "measuring the applause" after each piece.

Just be more creative, and take some risks.

Posted by xerox01 | December 4, 2009 11:01 AM


also, i think having a website like this is an especially good idea for classical music as a whole. id like to see one dedicated to all american classical music.

Posted by xerox01 | December 4, 2009 11:06 AM


In our present circumstances, yes, a concert is a luxury, but it is more than that. Whenever we manage to attend a performance, it is followed by incessant phone calls and mailings looking for support or subscriptions. I absolutely understand their problems, and I really wish we could be generous, but we must have other priorities now. So when we want to attend a concert or any other event, including some museums, we have to think not only about the price of tickets but about the inevitable followup phone calls, e-mails and mailings we'll receive. It doesn't brighten our day to be constantly reminded of the fact that we can no longer afford to help.

Posted by Jacquelyn Graham | December 7, 2009 11:39 AM