Reasons for attending a classical concert

My reasons for attending a classical music concert have changed over time. On Maui, it has become a social outing, to meet others with the same interests.


The reasons I attend concerts have changed over time. Initially I went out of curiosity. Several factors made it possible in London: I lived near a music college, and I was between jobs. I was looking for inspiration and direction.

Eventually, as a composition student, I went to concerts to learn the repertoire. As a chamber musician, I attended to observe best examples of performance.

During my time in the Netherlands, attending concerts became a habit. I’d go alone, for I did not want to be responsible for other people’s enjoyment. I’d arrive just before the doors closed. Occasionally I would bring others, such as introducing modern music to colleagues and neighbors. It was not unusual to go to concerts every day or several times a day. You could say I was a concert junkie.

Dan Tepfer visits UH Maui College Piano Class, Fall 2013
Dan Tepfer visits UH Maui College Piano Class, Fall 2013

Here on Maui where classical concerts are few and far between, a rare treat, I daresay, I attend for other reasons. Recently I brought thirteen of my students and their guests, altogether 20 of us, to hear Dan Tepfer perform the entire Goldberg Variations from memory plus his own 30 variations as jazz improvisations. Here was a unique opportunity to hear a modern interpretation of an old work. For some, it was their first time going to a part of Maui (upcountry at night) they normally never have the opportunity or excuse to travel to. For others, it was their first time attending a solo piano concert.

I had invited Dan Tepfer to visit my piano class earlier in the week. After his talk and performance, he coordinated and improvised on our group piano playing. For most, it was their first time having a conversation with and making music with a professional musician on tour. I actively encouraged my students to attend his solo concert and made it more possible by collecting cash in advance and arranged with his impressario for ticket reservations. I needed to make sure my students and their guests were committed in attending this concert at a place they’d normally not travel to. There was comfort and certainty in going with a group of people, i.e. to be with the familiar, which was also a determining factor (peer pressure) for some.

Thinking back, the first concert I had ever attended was one of Schubert in Okinawa. My father had taken me there. I remember dressing up and looking forward to attending this piano recital. It was an event.

Perhaps it does take someone to “introduce” or “encourage” you to take the first step — as a date or in a group — to your first concert.

Author: BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.

2 thoughts on “Reasons for attending a classical concert”

  1. Hello Anne, never before had heard anything from and of Dan Tepfer – really great musican.

    Concerning myself: after operations and treatments (bladder-cancer, blood-problems) I am very weak, after long time of hospital now at home I try to order my creative heritage, to get rid of instruments, books (both very difficult) … working actually on a DEMO CD of a musical comedy (hast to do with the story Richard the Lieonhearted and austrian history), young singers, willing, but very occupied, so that the project seems to last … Also try to registrate my tons of mostly short pieces (mostly written “on demand“) ….. much things to do before ready to go …

    Hugs form Vienna!


    1. Take care, Gerard. We would love to play your Happy Hour Sandwich next week when RB arrives and share your music with the audiences here. Please email as most of our duo music is stored away in the Netherlands.

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