Classical Music Concert FAQs
ECO Concert FAQs
Going to your first classical concert? Interested in how it all works?
Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s not all that complicated and lend you a helping hand with some of the more commonly-asked questions.
Most of all, what really matters is that YOU have a great time at the concert.
Here are a few of the questions we frequently receive from first-time (and returning!) concertgoers.
What do I wear?
For ECO concerts, you can “come as you are“. You don’t need to wear a tuxedo or ballroom gown (though you’re certainly welcome to do so if you’re comfortable!). In the past it was customary to go to orchestral concerts in “evening wear”, but these days almost all professional and semi-professional orchestras have very relaxed dress codes. Please feel free to wear what you’re comfortable wearing.
When do I clap?
Everyone at ECO would have the same answer for you – if you feel we have deserved your applause, we are incredibly grateful. Clap whenever you feel like it!
But… if you pressed us, typically audiences applause after the full piece has been performed – so, if there are three movements in a symphony (more on this in a sec…), the normal practice is to clap after the end of the third movement.
Here’s a guide using Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony that we performed our recent Fall Concert as an example:
PROKOFIEV – “Classical” Symphony Op. 25
I – Allegro
(short pause, no clapping)
II – Larghetto
(short pause, no clapping)
III – Gavotte; non troppo Allegro
(short pause, no clapping)
IV – Finale; molto Vivace
(end of piece – clap here!)
This tradition developed in the early 1900s with the proliferation of the solo recital. Some of the more… pompous performers required absolute silence to aid their concentration and actually asked audiences to refrain from clapping until the very end of their entire program. Prior to this, concerts were actually much more “rowdy” – more akin to a current rock concert than anything else!
Again – ECO is pretty relaxed, and we welcome your encouragement and applause whenever and wherever you might feel is appropriate.
How long are ECO concerts?
ECO’s concerts typically last a little under two hours, including intermission. This depends on the music we’re performing, but generally a concert that begins at 3:00pm will end before or close to 5:00pm.
What are the ticket prices?
ECO has simple ticket prices for our Masterworks Concert Series and Chamber Recital Series events. If you buy in advance online, you can get a $2 discount!
ADULT TICKETS $22 advance // $24 day-of
For patrons under the age of 60
SENIOR TICKETS $18 advance // $20 day-of
For patrons over the age of 60
STUDENT TICKETS $6 advance // $8 day-of
For patrons who are students (elementary, middle school, high school, college, or graduate)
Tickets for our Season Preview: Classic Night at Cactus Jack’s, our Colorado Mountain Holiday Concert, and our Annual Gala are a bit different. They are determined prior to the event – so please check on each of the respective event pages.
What's a good seat?
The best seat is the one you’re most comfortable in! But, for acoustic and listening purposes, the best seat will typically be directly in the center of the hall (horizontally) and about a third of the distance back from the orchestra. However, if you prefer to hear a “closer” sound of the orchestra, by all means get up close! Likewise, some people really enjoy to sit far away from the orchestra to get a big “soundscape”, which would allow you to experience more of the acoustics / reverberation of the concert hall. With all that being said – ECO has no reserved or assigned seating, so if you’d like to get a specific seat, make sure to arrive a bit early!
What about parking?
ECO has limited reserved parking available for donors at the $10,000+ level, but other than that there is no reserved parking. We also do NOT charge a fee to park. Our parking situation is pretty simple – there is plenty of parking and you don’t have to pay. If you’d like to get a spot that is closer to the hall, we recommend you come a bit early.
What does "concertmaster" or "principal" mean?
There are several leadership positions within the orchestra.
A principal is the leader of the group of musicians playing an instrument. Each instrumental group – or “section” – usually has a “principal”, who leads the section and often performs solos. Violins often have two (or more) sections – first violins and second violins. Each violin section has its own principal.
The concertmaster is the principal first violin and often considered “second-in-command” after the conductor. The concertmaster leads the entire violin section and is usually one of the most skilled and knowledgeable musicians in the orchestra. They provide guidance and make key decisions on bowings and other technical decisions related to playing the violin for the entire section. The concertmaster also leads the orchestra in tuning before concerts and rehearsals. It’s vital that the concertmaster and the conductor have a good, productive, and harmonious working relationship in order to produce performances of the highest caliber.
Can I use my phone?
We understand that most people rely on their smartphones in many aspects of their lives. From communication to scheduling, our phones are ever-present in modern life.
We do ask that you silence your phone prior to entering the concert hall.
This is not only to avoid being disruptive to the musicians and other music lovers in the audience, but also to ensure YOU have an excellent experience.
Exactly because our smartphones are such a prevalent existence in our lives, we think the ECO concert experience is a wonderful time to deliberately silence your phone, take a step back, remove distractions, and enjoy music in peace.
You are, of course, welcome to get up and exit the hall if you are expecting an important phone call. You are also welcome to check and use your phone during intermission outside the concert hall.
What is a symphony?
A symphony is an extended musical composition (often) written for orchestra in Western classical music. The most common meaning is a work consisting of multiple (generally three or four) distinct sections called movements. The first movement is almost always in Sonata form. Symphonies are most often scored for an orchestra consisting of strings (1st and 2nd violin, viola, cello, bass), brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments. Generally the total number of musicians ranges from 20 to 100 – but ECO consists of 40 people. Some symphonies include vocal or choral parts – a famous example would be Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
What is a concerto?
A concerto is similar to a symphony, except that it is written for orchestra and a solo instrument (such as piano, violin, cello, flute, oboe, etc…). Typically concertos are in three or four movements – similar to a symphony – and the first movement is also often in sonata form. Concertos are often written in a brilliant or virtuoso style in order to feature the exceptional skills of the soloist. Concertos are exciting and often dramatic and offer some of the best musical works in all the repertoire.
Famous examples would be :
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
Tchaikowsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in Bb Major, Op. 23
All of these are EXCELLENT pieces to help you get into classical music! They are exceptionally exciting and powerful.
I've heard that you need to be educated to enjoy classical music. Is this true?
Absolutely not! The only prerequisite to enjoying classical music (or anything, really!) is that you come with a curious and open mind, heart, and ears. Other than that, you all you need to do is just listen. The only person who can determine what you do and don’t enjoy is YOU.
What else should I know?
Our number one priority is that you have a great time at our concerts. We know there are many options for entertainment – and not just in classical music. Netflix and other streaming services offer you an unlimited amount of entertainment and you don’t even have to leave your home!
If you have any questions at all, or think we could do something better, or need anything from us – please do not hesitate to send us an email or message, or talk to us at the ticket table. Each and every one of us here at ECO will be very happy to help in any way we can.
We think that we can beat Netflix in the unique experiences we can provide. A live concert, even if recorded or filmed, can only happen once LIVE, and this experience can be quite profound. We guarantee you’ll love it!
Where can I study up before the concert?
Just like any other art or discipline, classical music has technical terms that can be a bit confusing to new music lovers. While we don’t think you need to know all these terms to greatly enjoy our concerts, we’d like to provide you the opportunity to learn more about a few different subjects.
In the meantime, you can get your tickets below!