Marin Alsop: 'clapping doesn't bother me in the least'

29 September 2014, 10:25

Conductor Marin Alsop has hit out at classical purists who don't clap between movements during classic concerts.

The Baltimore Symphony and Sao Paolo State Symphony conductor said in an interview this weekend that clapping between movements "does not bother me in the least."

"When Beethoven pieces premiered people would clap within the middle of the piece."

The comments fly in the face of more traditional classical music audiences, who usually wait until the end of an entire piece for showing their appreciation. 

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Other classical music figures have since weighed in on the debate, including cellist Steven Isserlis, who commented in The Times: "I can't think of any performer who wouldn't like applause… as long as it's spontaneous and sincere, musicians are pathetically grateful for it."

Isserlis also pointed out that clapping in concerts is not always so positive, though: "You always get some idiot clapping just to show they know it's over."

Choirmaster Gareth Malone joined the chorus of approval for clapping during pieces, though he added that it depended on the concert: "In very intense concerts or a moment like the end of [Bach's] St Matthew Passion when a spell has been cast on the audience it doesn't work."

Do you agree with Marin Alsop's comments about clapping between movements? Or are there any other snobbish concert traditions that you would like to see banished? Let us know in the comments below.

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