Live concerts after Corona: If the audience stays away despite the opening of News and Criticism | CLASSIC BR

Live concerts after Corona

If the audience stays away despite the opening

June 8, 2022 by Moritz Wolff, Antonia Goldhammer

To reject! Live concerts at last! In many places, however, it is not that simple – at the moment it can be heard again and again: the audience is not coming back. BR-KLASSIK reporter Moritz Wolff did some research. His conclusion: the situation in Bavaria is completely different.



Image source: picture-alliance / dpa

In the middle of beautiful Chiemgau, about ten kilometers northwest of Lake Chiemsee, stands a large wooden house. Here, in the festival hall in Gut Immling, rehearsals are already underway. The opera festival kicks off on June 25 and ticket sales are already going well. The location is an advantage – says Ludwig Baumann, founder of the Immling Festival. “With us, you don’t just come to the opera house, we are on a beautiful hill with a panoramic view of the mountains, west, sunset.” And for some, it’s just too much to go to Munich, park in the garage, go to the opera.

Especially young and old are undecided


Donizetti's love potion in Nuremberg |  Image source: Bettina Stöß / Nuremberg National Theater
Scene from Donizetti’s “Potion of Love” at the State Theater in Nuremberg | Image source: Bettina Stöß / Nuremberg National Theater

Many organizers in the largest Bavarian cities cannot complain either. The Staatstheater Nürnberg is pleased with its loyal audience. Across all sectors, the current overhead demand is 75%. compared to the pre-crown level, with an upward trend. At the Regensburg Theater and the Bavarian State Theater in Munich, occupancy rates are as high as around 90 percent.

The situation is different in the case of smaller organizers. At Concerto Winderstein in Munich, the number of subscriptions to the most important series of concerts has dropped by about a quarter, complains managing director Hans-Dieter Göhre. Therefore, he decided to suspend the series of concerts until the fall of 2022. Especially on the outskirts, with audiences young and old, there are losses, says Göhre.

Some older people are still anxious, they don’t want to get infected.

Hans-Dieter Göhre, Managing Director of Concerto Winderstein

Moreover, says Göhre, older people have gotten used to their living room. She perceives the development of young people as dramatic: “Many are interested in completely different things that are currently being offered. We see it at the box office: even students of music academies do not come. “

Munich Chamber Orchestra with modern concepts

The Munich Chamber Orchestra has an idea how to bring the audience back to the concert halls. Since 2013, the ensemble, together with the Munich Philharmonic, has been organizing chamber music concerts in three Munich clubs. The club concerts in Rote Sonne, Pacha and Harry Klein are surprisingly well received, says Florian Ganslmeier, managing director of the Munich Chamber Orchestra. He is always amazed at how attentive and excited the audience is for these concerts. Also because this audience is not used to this kind of music.

Most of the songs performed there meet young people for the first time.

Florian Ganslmeier, managing director of the Munich Chamber Orchestra

In an interview with BR-KLASSIK, musicologist, physician and journalist Wolfram Goertz speculates about the reasons why the audience stayed away. For him, this includes the need to save due to increased energy costs and a lack of curiosity after the pandemic. Goertz says it only takes a while to get back to “concert walking mode”. After the concert halls close for a long time, the audience “cannot now be forced to return with the switch.” In addition, there are concerns, especially among older audiences:

Everyone has learned that a concert hall can also be a potentially dangerous place.

Tungsten Goertz

Getting used to it also plays an important role, says Goertz. People who have had a subscription for years, due to the pandemic, were looking for a replacement for live concerts, e.g. streaming.

This is why the Munich Chamber Orchestra is now starting a new collaboration and hopes to bring the audience back to Corona. For example, on July 15, the Isarphilharmonie will host the first joint concert of the Munich Chamber Orchestra and the Jazzrausch Big Band.

Program: Allegro, June 9, 2022at 6:05, at BR-KLASSIK

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