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  Classical music presenters are always looking for new ways to boost attendance at their concerts. Well, the search is over – turns out all you need is skydivers and a soccer team. On Monday night, I played the American and Spanish national anthems with some colleagues from the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra in front of over 23,000 people, the largest audience for a string quartet performance in history.* We were …

In concerts, pieces are performed straight through, with (one hopes) little evidence of the challenges the players faced in putting it together. Many audience members have not had the chance to watch a group rehearse, and I think that’s a shame, for a couple of reasons. I’ve heard many audience members use words like “magical” and “mysterious” to describe an ensemble at work, and though that’s flattering, it’s also a little misleading. Though a …