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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Too many people worry too much about preparing for a classical concert

By John Terauds on November 15, 2012

No matter what you call it, this old Parisian building will be just as beautiful.

I’ve been following the Facebook updates from two friends who, thanks to a conference, are in Paris for the first time. Their adventures have provided me with an apt metaphor of how we should treat art music.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

Without the benefit of reading or research, these two people are simply wandering from quarter to quarter, taking pictures that include “a beautiful old church” as well as some creative graffiti in forgotten little alcoves.

They don’t actually care about the history of a building or a street, but they are thoroughly enjoying their hours of walking.

This is the same way a lot of people experience art music for the first time.

Like more diligent tourists, many first-time classical concert goers worry whether or not they know enough about what they’re going to hear to be able to enjoy it properly.

Those of us who could act as guides should, I think, encourage newcomers to chill and, instead of worrying about preparation, behave like my two acquaintances and enjoy the experience.

Like most people who give Paris a chance, my guess is that this couple will return for more in their own time, in their own way.

Isn’t that what we we wish for art music, as well?

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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