Dumb Rule: Banning Smartphone Concert Pictures

Concert Series at The Frick Collection to Celebrate 75th Anniversary

And encores are already a free-for-all: From my experience, there is no effort to stop fans from rushing the stage and holding up their smartphones when a show is about to end. That leaves most of the concert for old-fashioned, artist-to-audience communication. Electro-junkies, of course, should be courteous to the fans around them: If youre going to tweet (as Im paid to do during concerts), hold the phone low and away so the glare doesnt bother your seatmates. If youre going to take a photo, do it fast and sit down. Overzealous security While artists are setting these rules, promoters and concert venues should be concerned that photo enforcers are unnecessarily antagonizing fans. Its one thing for security officers to keep the rowdies in check; its another for them to ruin your experience by hovering around and giving you the evil glare and threats of ejection (as I got when I admittedly broke the rules at Dylans show and tried three times to take pictures. I guess I did need a weatherman to know which way the wind was blowing). But at Steely Dan, a fan behind me who wasnt taking pictures kept getting inadvertently flashed in the eye by an overzealous security officer. He let loose with a string of expletives worthy of an audition for a Scorsese movie. His night was ruined. I can guarantee you what he thinks about when he thinks about Steely Dan. So, I would turn it around and ask performers: How does a smartphone irritate you any more than everything else you see at concerts drunks, chit-chatters, random projectiles, people yelling Free Bird for the millionth time? A concert, to a reasonable extent, is about freedom. Letting loose of your cares.

During its distinguished history, the concert program has been recognized for the special niche it fills in the highly competitive and rich world of music performance in New York. The Frick has been host to major soloists and ensembles such as legendary instrumentalists Gregor Piatigorsky, Artur Schnabel, Josef Szigeti, and Wanda Landowska; vocalists Kiri Te Kanawa, Peter Pears, Kathleen Battle, and Elisabeth Soderstrom; and the Budapest, Amadeus, Tokyo, and Guarneri quartets. In recent years, it has become prestigious for European musicians to make their New York debuts at the Frick, notable examples being Ian Bostridge, Matthias Goerne, Felicity Lott, Pieter Wispelway, Julian Rachlin, Kate Royal, Yevgeny Sudbin, the Jacques Thibaud Trio, the Carmina Quartet, and Fretwork. The Frick has also become an important venue for performances on period instruments such as Jordi Savall with Hesperion XX, Richard Egarr (harpsichord), Andrew Manze (violin), and the Quatuor Mosaiques. Highlights of the 2013-14 season include return performances in honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary: violinist Augustin Hadelich; cellist David Geringas; the early music ensemble Trio Settecento; and baritone Wolfgang Holzmair. Debuts this year include Russian pianist Anna Vinnitskaya (winner of the 2007 Queen Elizabeth Competition); renowned Swiss recorder player Maurice Steger; the award-winning Meccorre Quartett from Poland; acclaimed Swiss pianist Olivier Cave; and the internationally recognized Minguet Quartett from Austria. The Frick concert series also has a long history of reaching audiences far beyond those present for performances. Since 1939 the concerts have been broadcast on the Municipal Broadcasting System, American Public Radio, and WNYC Radio. Currently, concerts can be heard on WQXR/National Public Radio. Recent performances are posted on the station’s Web site for up to two years. In addition, since 2009, four concerts annually have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in the United Kingdom. For complete program information, visit www.frick.org/programs/concerts . 75TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON Il Pianoforte Italiano- Clementi, Dallapiccola, Pistoia, Scarlatti, and Bach transcriptions of Marcello and Vivaldi Miguet Quartett (debut) Haydn, Ligeti, Mendelssohn Trio Settecento: Rachel Barton Pine, violin; John Mark Rozendaal, cello; David Schrader, harpsichord 18th-Century Fiddle Music in the Scottish Tradition: Corelli, Mackintosh, McGibbon, Munro, Geminiani, Erskine, traditional tunes Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), the coke and steel industrialist, philanthropist, and art collector, left his New York residence and his remarkable collection of European paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts to the public “for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a gallery of art, [and] of encouraging and developing the study of fine arts and of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects.” Designed and built for Mr. Frick in 1913 and 1914 by Thomas Hastings of Carrere and Hastings, the mansion provides a grand domestic setting for the masterworks it contains and is reminiscent of the noble houses of Europe. Of special note are paintings from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century by masters such as Bellini, Constable, Corot, Fragonard, Gainsborough, Goya, El Greco, Holbein, Ingres, Manet, Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir, Titian, Turner, Velazquez, Vermeer, and Whistler.