Last night, on Thursday 7 July, I attended a Rush Hour concert by the Southbank Sinfonia at St John’s Waterloo. They are Britain’s orchestra of young professionals and form the country’s leading orchestral academy.
Though in essence it was a conventional concert, they have done a few things to alter the way the concert is presented.
- Catchy title – the series is called Rush Hour concerts which has a certain ring about it.
- Early start – starting at 6pm it is meant to suit those on the way back from work. Additionally, it probably appeals to the elderly who do not like to be out late in the evenings.
- Short programme – lasted 75 mins which is a more manageable chunk of time to sit and listen with full concentration. Though it eliminates the social aspect of the interval, this is suited to single attendees coming from the office.
- Free drinks – a pleasant surprise especially on a hot day. Creates a relaxed atmosphere and an occupation before the music starts.
- Introductions – either musicians or the conductor introduced each piece. While most of the information was traditional (historical context or brief analysis of the music), the young musicians used an informal tone and made a few jokes.
Though they did not revolutionise the concert experience on this occasion, they have certainly considered ways in which to make their concerts more attractive to concert attendees.