I may have found the ideal audience

I may have found the ideal audience


norman lebrecht

September 29, 2016

In the new issue of Standpoint magazine, I write about the quest for the elusive audience – the one that never coughs, sits on the edge of its seats and seems to need the music more than the musicians need to play it.

Pierre Boulez called it l’idéale audience, a listenership so avid it practically sucks the music out of artists. Most performers go through their entire lives without ever encountering an audience of this intensity. I think I may have found one a few miles up the road from Toscanini’s.

Read the full article here.


audience pic


  • Eric says:

    But would they buy a ticket to hear Bartok in Munich?

  • DESR says:

    Er, Bayreuth?

  • Michael Endres says:

    Inspiring article about an obviously exceptional festival.
    And I was particularly pleased to read:
    “I overcame an aversion to Max Reger in a performance of his lyrical and even humorous string trio.”
    It had to happen at some stage…

    Here is a further example of superb Reger ( playing ). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrHldaFVLr8 ( Nr.1 and the mesmerisingly beautiful Nr.6 show some of the range of his music.)

  • Ian says:

    Very impressive, but not unique. I well remember Barenboim, in his speech after the end of his seminal Ring cycle at the BBC Proms in 2013, congratulating the audience above all else for their silence. At the Proms!