A new trend is emerging in performance around the world – random acts of classical music. Maybe you’ve heard of flash mobs, where hundreds of people suddenly appear in a public place to perform a random and pointless act for a few brief minutes, and then dissipate. This idea is catching on in the musical world, as witnessed by mini “flash concerts” in Philadelphia, Northern England, and Italy, among others.
NPR notes, “Over the past year, an increasing number of classical musicians have been launching into unannounced performances in marketplaces and transit hubs — and videos of these impromptu concerts have reached a wide audience on the internet.”
Here’s the YouTube video of the opera group in the Reading Terminal Market:
What’s the point of this? Musicians may find enjoyment in surprising people in public places, but it probably goes deeper than that. By performing in a place where people don’t expect it – like the Philadelphia market – they are bringing their music to people who normally wouldn’t hear it. And maybe by doing that, they can spark an interest that some listeners may pursue later. Most of the time these “flash concerts” don’t involve any profit – music for the sake of music!
You can read the full NPR article here, which has videos of the flash performances in England and Italy.