On my return after 10 days in the West, I received a letter from the SSO dated 21 September 2009 inviting me to take part in a survey at the link above.

The survey closed on 28 September, which strikes me as rather early.

The letter says that the orchestra “is considering changing the start times of the concerts in the International Pianists in Recital series.”

I know that means they want to start it earlier.

I get the impression that the City Recital Hall at Angel Place, the concert venue, is dead keen on 7pm starts.

At the very least, that’s less time between 5pm and the start of the show to keep the box office open.

I’m dead opposed to a 7pm start or to anything earlier than the present 8pm. For one thing, it is impossible to get a street park in the city at that hour – admittedly something which I desire as a result of my preference for (a) a nap before a concert and (b) a trip home afterwards unplagued by the vagaries and gaps of Sydney’s night-time public transport timetable, and as a result of my aversion to (c) paying money to park in a parking station.

And yes, I know that (b) mightn’t be so bad at 9-something pm as at 10-something pm, but not sufficiently to offset the other inconveniences, including of travelling into the city at peak hour, even if against the tide.

So, disenfranchised from the survey, this is my vote to leave things as they are (in fact, why not an old-timey Musica-Viva-esque 8.15 while we are at it?).

I don’t recall the same solicitude of subscriber views when the SSO decided to shift the entire series from Tuesday to Monday. I suspect that had a much more adverse effect on the subscriber base (so easy to destroy; so hard to build up) than any question of 7 or 8 pm.

It’s true that a Monday recital means a touring pianist could be off somewhere else for a first rehearsal with an orchestra on Tuesday. I suspect however that the real advantage was to Angel Place in palming off (I hope at a reduced rate) four Monday nights. If Angel Place ends up saving money because the concerts are brought forward to 7pm, I hope the SSO gets a share of those savings.

2 Responses to “www.sydneysymphony.com/pianosurvey”

  1. Kitty Gassner Says:

    I think 8 p.m. start is the best.

  2. Schumann slighted « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] the 7pm start? (If so, I gnash my teeth, because we can expect more of the same quite contrary to my own preference.) Was it the particular program or pianist? Was it the fact that the SSO is apparently now offering […]

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