NSO’s Asian Tour
December 1, 2009 § Leave a comment
The National Symphony Orchestra, took its first Asian tour this summer in China and South Korea. They performed in Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Seoul and Goyang, but the orchestra kicked off the tour with a first performance in Macau.
The writer pointed out some similarities and differences of classical concerts on the Washington Post’s review of the NSO’s Macau performance. The most interesting thing I found is that the writer observed a noticeably young audience, with many teenagers and families including children, and the writer wonders if a sponsor had stepped in.
The concert is scheduled as part of the celebration of the Grand Auditorium of the Cultural Center in Macau, and ticket prices are even higher than regular concert prices.
Being brought up in this tiny and unique city of Macau, I am glad to see a full house for the NSO concert, and perhaps could give a better insight of the reason of the younger audiences demographic. There might be a certain private or corporate sponsor for each big cultural event. And since the cultural arts events are mostly government sponsored and operated, the size and noise of the publicity of each event depends on the budget. I remembered years ago, a poster of the world renowned violist, Yuri Bashmet, and his ensemble, is displayed on one of the biggest billboard in the center of the city around New Year’s time. It is like seeing the Yo Yo Ma on Time’s Square billboard during the holidays. The resources for publicity and advertising seem to be less struggling than here in the States.
As for why the audiences are noticeably younger than those here in the US, it is because of the availability. As the director of the International Festival of Macau pointed out in the article, the touring performers had expanded significantly in the past decade. My friends in Macau will get excited before the season brochure announcement, and they will discuss and decide what concerts they would like to go together. It is not difficult to find concert subscribers among the younger generations. They are excited because they do not get to see those high quality performing arts group often. It is not often that you get to see a world class symphony even if you are willing to pay the highest ticket price. You don’t take something for granted if it is not always available.