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A Few More Thoughts on Applause: Why Can We Interrupt at the Met?

I have been having a wonderful time going to hear opera – this year at the Met, the thrill of an unforgettable Tristan and Isolde, a beautiful – and new to me – Thais by Massenet, and a deeply touching Eugene Onegin. During the Tchaikovsky I realized that the audience expectation and behavior is the complete opposite of what we are used to in the concert hall. At the end of virtually every aria, there was wild applause, which often had little to do with the actual action on stage and certainly no connection to the story line.

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Disney Hall

It is a real challenge for anything that is awaited with great anticipation to actually live up to the excitement. After the thrill of performing in the new Disney Hall, I can only say that for me, it has surpassed all my expectations. In the most exhilarating way, it inspires awe without forcing us to be reverent.

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When to Applaud

All of us love applause, and so we should – it means that the listener LIKES us! So we should welcome applause whenever it comes. And yet, we seem to have set up some very arcane rules as to when it is actually OK to applaud. I have been trying to find out exactly when certain listeners and performers decided that applause between movements would not be “allowed”, or at least would be frowned upon, but nobody seems to have been willing to admit that they were the culprit.

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Next Concerts

    February 25, 2018

    Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    TRIO TOUR WITH LEONIDAS KAVAKOS (VIOLIN) AND YO-YO MA (CELLO)

    Symphony Center

    Chicago, IL

    BRAHMS Trio No. 2 in C Major
    BRAHMS Trio No. 3 in C minor
    BRAHMS Trio No. 1 in B Major

    February 26, 2018

    Michigan State University

    TRIO TOUR WITH LEONIDAS KAVAKOS (VIOLIN) AND YO-YO MA (CELLO)

    Wharton Center for Performing Arts

    East Lansing, MI

    BRAHMS Trio No. 2 in C Major
    BRAHMS Trio No. 3 in C minor
    BRAHMS Trio No. 1 in B Major

    February 28, 2018

    Cal Performances

    TRIO TOUR WITH LEONIDAS KAVAKOS (VIOLIN) AND YO-YO MA (CELLO)

    Zellerbach Hall

    Berkeley, CA

    SCHUBERT Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major, D. 898
    BRAHMS Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8

    March 1, 2018

    Stanford Live

    TRIO TOUR WITH LEONIDAS KAVAKOS (VIOLIN) AND YO-YO MA (CELLO)

    Bing Concert Hall

    Stanford, CA

    BRAHMS Trio No. 2 in C Major
    BRAHMS Trio No. 3 in C minor
    BRAHMS Trio No. 1 in B Major

    March 3, 2018

    La Jolla Music Society

    TRIO TOUR WITH LEONIDAS KAVAKOS (VIOLIN) AND YO-YO MA (CELLO)

    Copley Symphony Hall

    San Diego, CA

    BRAHMS Trio No. 2 in C Major
    BRAHMS Trio No. 3 in C minor
    BRAHMS Trio No. 1 in B Major

    March 4, 2018

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    TRIO TOUR WITH LEONIDAS KAVAKOS (VIOLIN) AND YO-YO MA (CELLO)

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    Los Angeles, CA

    BRAHMS Trio No. 2 in C Major
    BRAHMS Trio No. 3 in C minor
    BRAHMS Trio No. 1 in B Major

    March 13, 2018

    Vienna Symphony Orchestra

    Vienna Konzerthaus

    Vienna, Austria

    March 14, 2018

    Vienna Symphony Orchestra

    Vienna Konzerthaus

    Vienna, Austria

NY Philharmonic

Artist-in-Residence: Emanuel Ax 2012/13.
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Brahms: Music For 2 Pianos
Haydn: Piano Sonatas
Liszt: Piano Sonata in B Minor
Mendelssohn: Piano Trios
Strauss: Enoch Arden

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Extract from masterclass given by Emanuel Ax on Beethoven Piano Sonatas and Variations. The student is Nicolas Van Poucke. The full masterclass is available on DVD from www.masterclassfoundation.org

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