27th February 2012 | Concerts, Inspirations, Travel | 2 comments

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.


  1. Steve Zade

    Silence is to music perhaps what space is to sculpture. The one is articulated by the other. Parisian audiences not only cough and hack through the performance, but also burst into huge applause before the last note has faded away. It is comparable to looking at a piece of sculpture with sandwih wrappers upon it.

  2. Rob4

    When you’ve paid £25 to sit high up in an auditorium, for instance the Royal Festival Hall, with the musicians a long way off, and some idiot hacking like a dying man in the seat behind you, someone else sneezing three times in a row in a quiet bit and someone else reading a messge on his full-brightness mobile phone screen in front of you, you wonder why you didn’t stay at home, turn the lights off and put the CD on. May these people burn!


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