Attending a symphony concert can seem a little scary to some first-time concertgoers, but there’s no reason to stress. Relax and enjoy the music. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about our concerts, which we hope will help make your first visit a pleasing and memorable experience. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact the Box Office at 407-770-0071 (Mon-Fri from 9:30am to 5pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to help!
PLANNING YOUR VISIT
1. What should I wear?
Contrary to what many people think, formal attire—such as tuxedos and evening gowns—is not required at Philharmonic concerts. Most of our patrons dress as if they are going out to a nice dinner, or to church.
2. What should I know about concert etiquette?
Please silence cell phones before the concert begins. A ringing cell phone can distract from the music, and a brightly lit cell phone can also be distracting in an otherwise dark theater. You can turn your cell phone back on at intermission or after the performance.
Be considerate of your fellow audience members and the artists on stage and refrain from talking, or making other noise during the performance. If you have a cold, it’s best to bring cough drops or lozenges (just remember to un-wrap them before the performance!). If you must make noise, try to wait until a movement ends.
Generally, you should clap only after a piece is finished. For example, if you’re listening to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, which has four movements, it is appropriate to clap only after the last movement. You can look at your program book to find out how many movements a piece has. Usually, there is a 15- to 30-second pause between movements. If you’re unsure, you can wait for the rest of the audience to clap before you join in.
3. Can I bring the kids?
We generally recommend our Classics Series and Opera Series performances for adults and children ages 10 and up. If you have young children, consider our Pops Matinee Series concerts, which are generally more family friendly. Paid tickets are required for children ages 3 and up.
4. When should I arrive?
We recommend you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your event to make sure you get a parking spot and find your seats on time. Both the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre and the Margeson Theater serve drinks and snacks prior to concerts. You can also browse the Friends of the Philharmonic Boutique, which sells gifts and CDs in the lobby before each concert and during intermission.
5. Where can I park?
Parking at the Bob Carr PAC (Super Series, Classics, Pops & Opera) is $8 per car before 5 pm, and $10 per car after 5 pm. Click here for parking information.
Parking at the Margeson Theatre (for our Focus Series and Sounds of Summer concerts) is free in the lot between the Lowndes Shakespeare Center and the Orlando Art Museum. Parking often fills quickly, so we recommend you arrive early.
CLASSICAL MUSIC QUESTIONS
1. What is classical music?
The term “classical music” covers a wide range of musical styles spanning hundreds of years, from early 18th-century composers (such as Bach), to 19th-century (Beethoven and Brahms), 20th-century (Stravinsky, Copland and Shostakovich) to today’s composers, such as John Adams, Philip Glass and John Corigliano). Generally, classical music is played by strings (violins, violas, cellos, and basses), woodwinds (clarinets, oboes, flutes, and bassoons), brass (trumpets, French horns, trombones, and tubas), and percussion (drums, xylophones, and bells), or some combination of these instruments.
2. Will I enjoy the concert?
Classical music is exciting, surprising, moving and sometimes even funny. Whether you have a degree in music, or this is you very first orchestra experience, we’re sure you will enjoy your first Orlando Philharmonic concert.
The more you know about a piece of music, the more you will enjoy it. If you are unfamiliar with the works programmed for a specific concert, we encourage you to find a video or audio recording on the internet, read an article about the composer, or attend one of our pre-concert conversations, held one hour before show time in the backstage rehearsal hall. These gatherings are free to all ticket holders (seating is first-come, first-served), and feature conversation with the conductor and guest artists.
If you are unsure of what concert to attend, feel free to ask the Box Office for help. Our friendly staff can help find something that will suit your taste.
3. Will I recognize any of the music?
You’ll probably recognize far more music than you would have imagined. Many of today’s popular songs, television shows, and movies use or are based on classical themes, including the “Lone Ranger” theme (Rossini’s William Tell Overture), the Bugs Bunny cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?” (Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries), Billy Joel’s “This Night” (Beethoven’s Pathetique Piano Sonata), to name just a few.
4. What’s the difference between a Symphony, a Philharmonic and an Orchestra?
The short answer is: NOTHING! Among the top tier orchestra names in the US are the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony. The word “orchestra” refers to a group of musicians performing a concert. “Symphony” means harmony. “Philharmonic” is the love of harmony. Different orchestras may choose their names based on how it sounds with their city or state name, to differentiate it from other orchestras in the same city or area, or just because they like one better than the others.
5. What is a subscription?
A subscription series is a set of pre-selected concerts that may can purchase as a package. When you purchase a series/package, you become a subscriber (you have purchased a subscription). Subscribers enjoy many benefits that single-ticket buyers don’t, including lower ticket prices, sitting in the same seats for every concert in their series, and invitations to special events. We offer many different kinds of subscriptions: Classics, Pops (choose Matinee Pops or Evening Pops), Opera, and the Focus Series (chamber orchestra music).
HOW TO LEARN MORE
Our website is full of useful information, including program notes, insights from our Music Director, biographies of our musicians and guest artists, as well as a concert schedule. The very best way to stay in touch and informed is to sign up for our email list. We’ll send you concert announcements, special behind-the-scenes videos, and monthly news. You can also follow us on facebook or twitter.
For other questions, please contact the Orlando Philharmonic Box Office.