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03 February 2006


David Ryshpan

I suppose McGill students are quite lucky to have two solid professional orchestras (the OSM and the Orchestre Metropolitain) at our disposal, in addition to the McGill symphony, and a smattering of new music associations. Student tickets abound too - which I would argue needs to happen for jazz at this rate as well.


The OSM also has (had?) a generous selection of $10 same-day tickets which -- unlike Boston -- didn't require you to line up for hours in the freezing cold. (I would often just stop by the box office at Place Des Arts 15 minutes before the performance began, and was rarely denied.) They were usually very good seats, too -- no upper-tier nosebleeds where you can barely hear the details.

The problem with student tickets (which I fully support, of course) is that for musicians, the finances don't get any easier once you're graduated...

Birdland is far from my favorite NYC venue, but one very good thing they do offer is discount (sometimes comp'd, depending who's working the door) admission for AFM members.

But you know what I'd really like? Affordably-priced all-new orchestral programs. Let the blue-hair set pay $300 apiece to hear the latest wunderkind barrel through yet another Mozart piano concerto -- but price the current stuff at a level where people are willing to take a chance, where people will go just to slake their curiosity.

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