I came across this NY Times letter to the editor from 1990:
Published: April 1, 1990
To the Editor:
Why must we be subjected to the cacophany of onstage practicing musicians before a concert, and again during intermission? Why is it that our American orchestras allow their musicians to ''do their own thing,'' producing this combination of discordant sounds?
Warm-up, Maestro Muti answered when I sent him a 20-minute tape I had made prior to a Philadelphia Orchestra concert. Warm-up! Are there no warm-up rooms in our Carnegie Hall? Warm-up! During intermision! Are they not sufficiently warmed up by the first part of the program? How come not one European orchestra or any chamber-music group finds it necessary to warm up? They all walk onto the stage simultaneously and start the concert.
Those of us who have a hectic day before attending a concert, or perhaps a hectic subway ride or car ride to get to the concert, would really appreciate a quiet respite to enable us to unwind. Instead, we are trapped into hearing what is spewing forth from the stage.
Opera singers don't warm up on stage. Ballet dancers don't warm up in front of the audience. Certainly something can be done to stop the orchestras from doing it.
Never knew that coming out on stage early was offensive!
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