If you’re new to orchestral concerts you might be wondering what to expect. We answer (nearly all) your questions here.
Expect to enjoy yourself! Come with an open mind and you’ll have a great time. Attending a concert is a great chance to surrender yourself to the amazing experience that is watching a symphony orchestra in full flight. How you experience it is up to you – some listen with eyes closed, some prefer to watch the conductor and the musicians, and some just prefer to sit back and feel the music.
Classical music is everywhere – in movies, on TV, in video games and everywhere in advertising. So, chances are you’ll find yourself listening to a tune you already know. And even if you don’t, just like picking up a new book or watching a new show on Netflix, hearing something for the first time can be one of the best things about attending concerts. You never know when you’ll discover a new favourite!
Whatever makes you feel comfortable. Some audiences like to dress up if it’s a special night out, others prefer to keep it casual. Although our musicians get dressed up for every performance, there’s no dress code for our audience, it’s entirely up to you.
Most pieces of classical music are broken up into different movements, like acts in a play. Generally, people hold their applause until a piece has ended, meaning there are often silent pauses between movements. If you’re unsure of when to clap, our program books include an estimated duration of each piece and the number of movements. You can always wait for the conductor to turn around at the end of a piece as a sure signal for when to applaud.
We recommend arriving at least 30 minutes before the beginning of the performance. That gives you plenty of time to cloak your bags, enjoy a drink in the foyer and find your seats before the music begins.
If you arrive after the performance has begun, you’ll still be allowed to enter the hall but only at an appropriate break in the music, usually between movements or at the end of a piece. While you wait, you can still see and hear what's happening on the screens in the foyers.
We would love you join in our conversations on twitter @sydsymph before and after the show. But during the show, we do ask for mobile phones to be switched off.
Children are more than welcome to each performance, although we do advise ages 8 and up will appreciate a concert most. We do have a variety of programs made for families including our Family Concerts and outdoor concerts. Our Meet the Music series is a great way to introduce older children to classical concerts.
Taking of photographs or recordings of any kind is a breach of copyright and is not permitted during the performance. Please ensure your mobile phones are switched off during any concert.