Last week, we introduced you to a list of instructions sent out to performing artists by Concerts at Cratfield, an English chamber music series. In response to popular demand, here are a few more:
10 We like your performance – and the music – to speak for itself, with the minimum of interruptions and extras, from us as well as you. Unless you really have important information to give, we strongly prefer you not to introduce yourselves or to make any announcements, especially at the start of your concert.
11 If you will be uncomfortable keeping completely silent, then say a few words before you start your second piece, or as you return for the second half. But please do not repeat anything already in the printed programme, and avoid anything jokey or which could seem condescending. ‘How wonderful that you’ve turned out for music this afternoon, when there was the Wimbledon Men’s Finals on TV’: such clumsiness goes down like the proverbial lead balloon. If in doubt, check out what you’d like to say with me first.
12 If you do say anything, please speak loudly enough that everyone can hear you, at the very back of the nave as well as behind you on the altar seats. [Try speaking from the platform while you are rehearsing and ask me if I can hear you from the back row.]
13 If at the end of the second half you judge that the audience is eager to hear more, and if you have a short (not more than 5 mins) encore ready which will not detract from what you have just played, do go ahead; but please announce what it is. There’s no tradition that there should be an encore at all – and never at the end of the first half.
14 In acknowledging applause, please don’t forget the part of the audience sitting behind you.
Anything they’ve forgotten?