Since I don't do much lately, I'm slowly becoming a real concert-goer. Or what I would call a music crank... Anyway, I did manage to visit eight concerts in nine days. In different venues around Athens -4 of them- with diverse artists.
Good concerts, some great. I mostly didn't get bored, and when this happened it was my fault, aka as weakness to follow huge programs of let's say Schubert's music. There are very good players/performers in the city of Athens and one cannot really complain about that! The venues too are there, though I don't know whether all of them are the best possible for the purpose they're used, or the best equiped. For example I heard the Orchestra of the Greek National Opera in its premises on a concert last Wednesday. It was my first visit to the Olympia theatre as adult -and the first time I heard the orchestra in a long time. It is clear -in my mind at least- that this theatre is too small for opera. Nevertheless, it wasn't fully seated. So, yes a bigger auditorium for better artistic results, but for whom? Or will it be full only for the Toscas and the Bohemes of the year and empty the rest of the time?
Another empty venue was the small hall of the Megaron last weekend -around 60 people on Saturday and 45 on Sunday. In the concerts songs by the Greek composer Emil Riadis -some for the first time. Both of them were free of admission for students of conservatories and universities. Still very few of them showed up and even less Greek composers... Lovely songs these were! And they'll be recorded and distributed in the market sooner or later.
Peter-Lukas Graf's concert was on the other hand fully seated at the small concert hall of a conservatory in Athens. Also last Saturday, and most flutists of the city were present. Unfortunately for us, Athenians have to wait to listen artists of that calibre only at this age... -he's a almost 80, and you can hear it in the playing.
Among the other concerts, it's worth mentioning those at the Benaki Museum. It seems that another audience has started to flourish over there. It's been for example a big surprise to see so many colleagues listening the two conerts I attended there last week. This doesn't happen so often. Of course this means not much as far as audience development is concerned -but I think it's about time to escape from this typical Megaron audience... what I mean is that people should enjoy concerts more and care less about how they're gonna behave during those...
From this almost daily adventure I got again the feeling of vanity in what we musicians do. And for whom. The thing about music -unlike other arts- is that it happens exactly at the moment the receiver enjoys it. If we do it only for ourselves, why should we expect to live from it, and why we need expensive concert halls? If not -don't we really need this audience? Small or big is not important; it is however important, whether there is any out there -and whether we can do anything to increase it. Because I don't see anything good in meeting the same old -charming indeed- ladies since the late '80s in concerts... Very few young people -though the student tickets in most of the concerts I visited is lower than the price of a movie ticket. Not to mention some free admission possibilities... On the other hand, the normal price tickets are slowly getting more pricy -very pricy. It makes you wonder -at least me. Enjoy!