London orchestra plays to near-empty Munich hall

London orchestra plays to near-empty Munich hall


norman lebrecht

September 27, 2016

It appears the organisers of a Bartok for Europe series failed to sell the concerts.

This is the audience that greeted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Vladimir Jurowski and soloist  Valery Afanassiev, yesterday (Monday) evening.

Our correspondent in the hall thought the concert was terrific, albeit somewhat private.

The concert management, in a private communication, blamed the October beer festival for the hall being ‘half-empty’.


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UPDATE: The hall was even emptier than we thought.


  • Douglas Quigg says:

    Brexit it would appear worked both ways

  • Hugh Jorgan says:

    The rest were upstairs having a drink: Bar-talk.

  • Rodney Punt says:

    Look on the bright side. At least the beer-belching was kept to a minimum.

  • MacroV says:

    Also perhaps worth considering that in a city that has the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Munich Philharmonic, the Bavarian Staatsoper (and State Orchestra), an orchestra like the London Philharmonic might not strike people as particularly distinctive. Though I suspect they would have drawn better in Prague, despite its own wealth of orchestras.

  • Magnus says:

    The rumor says München is always sold out. So not true.
    Who was the promoter? Clearly doesn’t know how to build an audience if they blame Oktoberfest.

    • Una says:

      Sounds a pretty lame excuse to me to use a beer festival for a half-empty hall. Can’t imagine some of the people I’ve seen at these beer festivals go anywhere near a concert hall over there, and probably just as well. Just bad organising or no organising by the promoters, and perhaps they are better at organising the beer festivals!

      Nothing wrong with an all-Bartok programme if that is what they offered. They don’t need more Mozart over there.

      • David Osborne says:

        Una, you know we always agree. Definitely nothing wrong with all Bartok and perhaps with the wisdom of hindsight that’s the way they should have gone.

  • David Osborne says:

    An all Bartok program?

  • Joe Biding says:

    Alas, you’d have to multiply the audience by a factor of ten or more before that hall could be considered “half-empty”.

  • Rugbyfiddler says:

    I remember playing in a concert on a Sunday in the 70s, in The Hague conference centre – (it was a while ago now) and at the rehearsal we were warned that the hall was going to be nowhere near even half full. It seemed that our own Marketing team thought the Dutch Marketing team would handle the publicity, and vice versa. Result? About 250 people in a 2000 seat concert hall – One of the brass players actually counted the number (during long rests in one piece)

  • Peter says:

    Ticket prices? Anyone?

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Half full. Not half empty.

  • John Greenwood says:

    If folks aren’t going to show up for the concert, nobody is going to stop them!

  • musicologyman says:

    Looks like Peter Gelb has been moonlighting.

  • Milka says:

    That the hall was almost empty only bolsters the glaring facts concerning
    the so called classical audience , a pathetic dead beat bunch for the most part
    who are yet to enter the 20C. of music , one can only imagine how small
    would be the numbers for a Stravinsky evening .