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The Blue Sofa Returns to the SalzburgKulisse

7 AUG 2011

published in: General

Alfred Brendel, Photo: Ben Ealovega/Decca
Alfred Brendel’s dream of happiness? An audience that doesn’t cough. To the 80-year-old pianist, who has been known to interrupt recitals because of coughing audiences, concert life has not changed over the course of his long career: “The audience always came, including young people, so that from my point of view, I don’t find the development so worrisome.”

Cultural researchers today do not share this opinion; they give audiences they lovingly call the “silver sea” a maximum life expectancy of 30 years. Regarding concerts, theaters and operas, there has been no shift to adapt to the media habits of the audience. And only because the traditional concertgoer is 61years old today on average and doesn’t know anything else, he applauds artists who appear for 90 minutes in tails or long dresses – as they did in the 19th century. At the same time, crossover artists like David Garrett or “classics” like Peter Maffay, who has started to underpin his rock sound with a large symphony orchestra, bring thousands of young people into the arenas. Is the increasing focus on the “event” replacing the good, beautiful and true from our society, or have classical programmers neglected to adapt their offers to the needs of a younger audience?

This public conversation will feature different perspectives and attitudes. Hans Neuenfels sees the audience as the necessary basis for his work, despite all the worries. And Markus Hinterhäuser? He increased ticket sales at the Salzburg Festival by emphasizing unusual performance venues, idiosyncratic artists and contemporary music. For years, he has also been spreading his enthusiasm for the music of the 1960s – thus enticing a young, alternative and curious audience segment to the Festival! This promises to be controversial!

Free tickets for the event hosted by Club Bertelsmann, Deutschlandradio Kultur and ZDF are available at SHOP • KARTEN/TICKETS, Hofstallgasse 1. 

The conversation will be broadcast on the ZDFkultur channel on August 21 at 5:45 pm.