My love of classical music began as young boy and has only grown over the years. I collected tapes and CDs of my favourite composers and orchestras and listened to them on a regular basis growing up. I can say, though, that having the opportunity to listen to live classical music is a different experience all together.
I went to my first live classical music concert when I was 14 years old, to see a production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. It was during the Christmas season, so I was already in a good mood, but when I heard that opening chord and listed to the orchestra play those beautiful notes, I was transfixed, and knew that I was in for the experience of a lifetime.
I had gone with my grandmother who had been to many live classical music performances, so it was probably old hat for her. She did look over at me on multiple occasions, however, and I knew that she could tell that I was really enjoying myself.
When the concert was over, we went out to eat and she asked me what I thought. I told her that I had never seen anything like it, and that I wanted to go to as many live performances as possible. She laughed and said that it does have a tendency to get into your blood.
A few months later, I had the pleasure of attending a Beethoven review live, where movements from a few of his symphonies were performed, as well as a couple of his better known works like Moonlight Sonata.
Once again, I was completely mesmerized by the experience. I had always enjoyed playing classical music at home, but nothing compared to the live classical music that I had gotten to experience at our local concert hall. I knew that it would be something I would enjoy for the rest of my life.
I attended my first opera when I was in my mid-20s. It was Tosca, my favourite opera of all, and it absolutely blew me away. Although I had the recording of the opera with Placido Domingo in the role of Cavaradossi, it was not nearly as breathtaking as seeing it live and hearing those wonderful arias performed right in front of me.
I have since been to see six other operas and will go to two more this year alone. Live classical music is like nothing I have ever experienced and is something that will be a part of my life for as long as I live. I would urge anyone that is a classical music fan but has never attended a live performance to do so, because it will strengthen and solidify your love of classical music forever.