I think most of the audience at Friday's performance was made up of high school kids on a spring break trip. There were two rows of sulking teenagers behind us, and as far as we could tell, none of them had been to a classical music concert before. I think it's great that these kids came to the NY Philharmonic instead of a Broadway show or some other New York attraction, but it would have helped if someone had briefed them on what to expect. At intermission, one gawky guy leaned forward and said to the two girls in front of him, "they played two songs in one hour." (The first half of the program was Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks Concerto and Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2.) Another boy remarked that the bathroom was "fancy." At the end of the concert, as the audience showered the orchestra and guest conductor Charles Dutoit with rapturous applause following a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, the first boy said "OK, it's over! Why does he [Dutoit] keep coming back out?"
I hope these kids enjoyed their evening. They were better behaved than the crazy lady wandering around at the last concert I attended.