On Saturday I played the third of my Mozart Series concerts in Perth Concert Hall with Erich Hobarth. We were both very struck by the quality of the audience’s attention. In any winter season, there are often outbreaks of uncontrolled coughing in the audience, but it seemed as if the entire Perth audience had completely mastered the urge to cough or fidget. Indeed, such was the silence in between some of the movements that I was tempted to prolong the pause for a while, just to enjoy the sound of a concert hall in which all of us were being unanimously quiet.
Afterwards, Erich commented that he had been disturbed recently in other concert halls, in other cities, by noisy coughing and wondered how the Perth audience had managed to generate such a quality of shared concentration.
I did have one startling moment when I glanced into the stalls from the piano and saw a teenager listening to her iPod during the concert, but I don’t think this was the recipe employed by the majority of the audience.