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  • Chris Anderson

Classical Concert Etiquette

Attending a classical concert, whether it's an orchestral performance, a chamber music recital, or a solo piano concert, often requires a certain level of decorum and etiquette. Here are some specific guidelines for etiquette at a classical concert:



Dress Appropriately: Classical concerts are often formal or semi-formal occasions, so it's best to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing casual or overly flashy attire, and opt for modest, tasteful clothing.



Arrive Early: Arrive at the concert venue with enough time to find your seat, use the restroom, and get settled before the performance starts. Latecomers can be disruptive to performers and fellow audience members.



Turn Off Electronic Devices: Before the concert begins, turn off your cell phone, pager, or any other electronic devices that may cause distractions during the performance. Avoid checking your phone or using any electronic devices during the concert.



Be Quiet During The Performance: Once the performance begins, refrain from talking, whispering, or making unnecessary noise. Even soft noises can be distracting to performers and other audience members. Listen attentively and be fully present in the moment.



Applaud Appropriately: Applaud at appropriate times, usually at the end of a piece and during bows at the end of the performance. Avoid applauding between movements of a multi-movement work, as it can interrupt the flow of the music.



Avoid Unnecessary Movement: During the performance, try to minimise unnecessary movement, such as fidgeting or rustling papers, as it can be distracting to others. Keep still and attentive, and avoid distracting behaviours.


No Photography Or Recording: Most classical concerts prohibit photography, video recording, or audio recording during the performance. Respect these rules and refrain from using any recording devices, as it can disrupt the performance and infringe on copyright laws.



Respect The Performers: Show respect and appreciation for the performers by refraining from talking or making negative comments during the performance. Remember that performers have put a lot of effort into their artistry, and it's important to honor their work.



Stay Until The End: It's customary to stay until the end of the performance, including any encores or final bows. Leaving before the performance is over can be disruptive and disrespectful to the performers and other audience members.


Be Mindful Of Others: Be considerate of other concert-goers by keeping noise levels down, avoiding strong fragrances, and being mindful of personal space. Show respect and consideration to others to create a pleasant and enjoyable concert experience for everyone.


Following proper etiquette at a classical concert shows respect for the performers, fellow audience members, and the art of classical music itself. By adhering to these guidelines, you can help create a respectful and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone to fully appreciate the music.


With all that said though, at SSOCs I don’t like us to be too formal at all! You can wear what you like, you can take photos, you can clap along, you can even sing along, you can dance! Of course some of our more serious concerts (or moments) we’d prefer a little more decorum.

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