Our friend Holly Mulcahy, concertmaster of the Chattanooga Symphony, finds that many in her audience are uncomfortable as to when – and when not – to applaud. So she’s written a little etiquette guide:
Concertmaster enters, clap. The concertmaster bows, representing the orchestra, and then tunes. You can stop clapping once the tuning starts.
Music Director enters, clap. Keep clapping; generally the music director will invite the whole orchestra to stand and share his or her acknowledgment.
After that, it gets tricky. Read Holly’s full guide here.
Among other tips is one to conductors:
It’s not a great idea to shoot glaring looks or a frantic waving arm to “discipline” an audience member who has clearly clapped in a wrong point. People will remember your actions much longer than that of the offender(s).
Ring any bells?