Saturday, April 10, 2010

The smallest audience

We played the last concert of the season at the Loretto Chapel (at Loretto Academy) this evening. The acoustics there are gorgeous and the concerts are always well-planned and well-performed. The setting is truly more akin to a European Cathedral than a modern recital hall. Tonight's concert included music by Handel, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Puccini, Mascagni, Grainger, and a few others - yes, it was rather eclectic. Charles Gray, violinist-violist and professor of music at St Olaf College, was our guest artist. The Bruce Nehring Consort sponsors this series of concerts every year and they are a highlight of the concert season here. Unfortunately, they are appreciated by just a few. There must have been about ninety persons in the audience. The Chapel can accomodate quite a few more. Nonetheless, that is not the smallest audience I have ever witnessed. I attended a concert in Mexico City once where only four people showed up, including myself. There were four of us and about fourteen ushers so there were about 1,800 empty seats. Nonetheless, the violinist played the entire program, which included Cesar Franck's violin sonata. To this day, I have never figured out how it was that only four people bought tickets.