Monday, May 01, 2006


Everyone's a Critic

I love it when I get treated like a member of the naive public instead of like the smart-aleck I am. Here's a survey that the NY Philharmonic just e-mailed to me, to see how I liked the concert that I blogged about yesterday:

How much did you expect to enjoy this performance prior to attending? Select a number from 1 to 5, where 5 means you expected the performance to be Extremely Enjoyable for you and 1 means Not At All Enjoyable.

And on the same scale, with 5 meaning Extremely Enjoyable and 1 meaning Not At All Enjoyable, how enjoyable was the performance for you?

Arts performances can affect people in different ways. Can you describe what this particular arts experience was like for you---the sort of feelings and thoughts you had during the concert? (Please be as specific as possible.)

How satisfied were you with the following aspects of your concert experience?
Overall concert experience
The orchestra
The conductor
Special guests
Guest soloist
Program selections
Acoustics/sound quality
Your seats
Price of your tickets
Ease of purchasing tickets

How would you rate this concert in terms of its value for the money?

They asked about how much I paid for my tickets, my familiarity with classical music, how much I enjoy attending classical concerts and how many I attended in the past year. Finally, various demographic-related questions: gender, age, education, employment status, race and income (which I never answer).

All this, no doubt, in the continuing, urgent quest to serve old audiences and attract the new. Maybe instead of applauding after each piece (or each movement, as was the case with this particular audience), we should take a vote.

At least the Philharmonic's questions were more sensible than an interminable phone survey the Metropolitan Opera once subjected me to. Those wacky queries included whether one of my primary motives for attending opera was having a chance to dress up in fancy clothes!

Do you think Bernard Holland gets to take these surveys?

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