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[Shenzhen] Concert hall opening marred by boorish audience (May 24,25,26)
Latest Updated by 2007-05-24 10:16:26

SHENZHEN'S new concert hall opened to the general public with three concerts Thursday, Friday and Tuesday. While the superb acoustics and high-quality musical performances generally amazed listeners, some music fans complained about the boorish behavior of many in the audience.

People continued to trickle into the concert hall 30 minutes after the one-and-a-half-hour program began Tuesday night. The show, "Chinese Harmonious Music" by the first Buddhist symphony in China, which toured Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia earlier this month, had been warmly received by Southeast Asian audiences.

But in Shenzhen, conductor Yu Feng was forced to put down his baton twice before beginning the second movement, first by the ringing of a mobile phone, then by people entering the hall after the show had started. The annoyed Yu left the stage for two minutes before returning.

Concertgoers are generally expected to be at the hall some time before the show, and latecomers are only allowed between movements. But a large number of latecomers, a rare occurence in concerts performed in Western countries and other Chinese cities like Shanghai, ruined the show for the performers and the rest of the audience, during the first three concerts at the Shenzhen concert hall.

Some audience members even brought in children with them, which is forbidden according to international practice. "People are recommended not to take along children less than 1.2 meters tall, and those taller than 1.2 meters need to pay for a separate seat they occupy," said Yi Kun, an employee of the concert hall.

Some people refused to buy tickets for their children, and some even took in babies, who cried during the concert. Some did not sit in the seat numbers printed on their tickets, and moved around to find better seats during the the show. The rustling sound of plastic bags, the click of cameras, and the rings of mobile phones were heard from time to time. People used camera flashes, which is forbidden in concerts. Some also applauded at incorrent moments.

"Concerts require people to be quiet to fully appreciate. The shows I attend will be perfect if people were more quiet," said Jeffery Gu, a senior journalist and music reviewer.

"The Shenzhen Concert Hall, which took 10 years to build, can be compared to top international concert halls like the one in Tokyo. Any noise made will be heard at each corner of the hall. It makes higher demand on the audience," he said.

The concert hall, which will have its formal opening in October, was designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who previously designed the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, the Gumma Prefectural Museum of Modern Art in Takasaki City, Japan, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Kyoto concert hall.

Editor: Wing

By:Li Dan Source:Szdaily web edition
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