Do you personally invite people to go to concerts that you perform in? And if you don't perform, do you invite people to go to the classical concerts that you attend?
When it comes to filling the halls, the personal invite can go a long way.
But sometimes we perfectionist violinists (and our viola, cello, bass, etc. colleagues) are a little afraid to actually invite people to our concerts. This is not helped by the following general fact: If you want to have a big audience for your concert or recital, the ideal time to start inviting tons of people is.....before you are actually ready to perform! For an orchestra concert, this can mean inviting people before any actual rehearsals have begun. For a recitalist, that can mean putting up posters all over town (or campus) before those technical details feel even remotely solid.
Sometimes it's not fear that keeps us from inviting people, it's just apathy. It's quite possible, as an orchestra musician, to go through an entire season and never personally invite a soul to a concert. But is that the right thing to do?
When it comes right down to it if we are going to the trouble of giving a concert or recital, we will get our act together in time, and we will play our best. And after all that work, we want a good audience! There's nothing like going to someone's doctoral recital and finding only 10 people in the audience. Or the premiere of a concerto, with a half-empty hall.
So make up your posters, paper the town. Use every comp you get for orchestra concerts and then invite more people on top of that. Invite students. Invite that person who always takes a special interest in the fact that you are a musician, and then invite their friends.
Answer truthfully below, then let's talk about how we get big audiences for our performances.
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