Clean up, dress nice and play!

Before you get angry and start to sharpen the daggers you reserve for snarky music reviewers… take a deep breath and have a look. Pictures can paint a thousand words, and here you have a cross-section of orchestral  conductors and players of all ages and ethnicities, European, South American, American… When they go to work, most of these musicians take the time and trouble to clean up good.

A symphony concert is not an informal, come-as-you-are event. These days many conductors well into or well-past their middle-age and heavy in girth try to look hip and cool as they step up to the podium in loose-fitting black shirts worn outside their either baggy or way-too-slim for their age pants.

Most of them don’t have the build for that kind of outfit and, beyond that, they are up there on that stage for the duration of a two hour gig, with their backs to us, while we, the audience, have no alternative but to look at them waving their arms and wrinkling the badly-ironed shirt they came in wearing, as it rides way too high above their butts.

Come on guys, with your high-five or six-figure salaries (and up) you could certainly spring for a nice custom-made tux or, even better, tails! And if you perspire a lot, then bring an extra shirt to change into at intermission. That and ask the management to crank up the air conditioning.

In many cases the orchestra’s male personnel looks no better, dressed in various shades of black, no jackets, no ties, rubber-soled, unpolished shoes. The ladies 99% of the time look great, by the way. The truth is that most male musicians are visually-oriented beings for whom how one looks is nowhere as important as how one sounds.

But, for most of us out there who shelled out a few hard-earned dollars for tickets and/or parking to come to see as well as hear your concert, it would be good to have something nice to look at during your hour-long Mahler symphony.

Here are some nice outfits you can pick up on sale on… You’ll look good and even sound better.


Rafael de Acha