Applauding the relaxing of rules of clapping in classical concerts
Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The so-called rules about applauding at classical music concerts appear to be relaxing. Even in the bastions of classical music — New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s BBC Proms at [the] Albert Hall, the Metropolitan Opera and more — you are likely to hear premature clapping. It appears the experience of an orchestra concert, opera or recital is becoming less restrictive — and that deserves a round of applause.
This article makes interesting reading and makes some good points in the process, most notably by quoting the pro-applause views of conductors and soloists. I’m afraid, though, that I have to admit to remaining firmly in the camp of those who glare at premature clappers. I also have to admit that I wasn’t aware of the following (quoted from this article) as being the reason for frowning on clapping between movements:
Tucked in the penultimate page of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra programs, the [rule] about holding applause until the very end of a composition is actually spelled out: “In a multi-movement work, it is customary to wait until the end of the last movement to applaud, so as not to break the concentration of the performers.”