Read Chancellor Arnold Eisen’s article, “Make Some Noise in Synagogue,” in Tablet Magazine

Photoillustration Ivy Tashlik; original photos Shutterstock)

"The CEO and managing director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic set off a storm of protest in the classical music world this spring when he suggested that concert halls could benefit from less audience decorum and more clapping, laughter, cheers, and other expressions of emotion. Don't sit still so much at the symphony, Richard Dare urged: Performances of classical music need to be livelier, less hushed, less boring, and audiences can do their part in making that happen.

The idea horrified some musicians and orchestra officials. If people can't "sit still and be quiet," said Robert Spano, the music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, "I don't think classical music is for them." Dare has clarified his position in subsequent articles, but has not backtracked. "I don't want bedlam to break out," he told reporter Daniel J. Wakin for a piece about the controversy published June 8 in the New York Times. "I'm keenly interested in not dismantling the experience we have now," he explained. But he does want to make that experience "relevant to more people."

Continue reading "Make Some Noise in Synagogue," in Tablet.