90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tweeting (While Listening) To The Orchestra

Jennifer Nissenbaum of Ohio is a longtime classical music fan who usually just sits back and enjoys the music.

But when “Tweet seats” became available at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for $10, Nissenbaum bought one and settled in for an evening of Tweeting.

Cincinnati’s orchestra isn’t alone in in embracing Twitter. The Carolina Ballet has, too. So has the Outdoor Shakespeare Festival in St Louis.

NPR pointed out that Cincinnati fans who recently followed the #mozmah hashtag for a performance of music by Mozart and Maher got historical information on the pieces, and warnings about upcoming crescendos.


  • Jennifer Nissenbaum, concert-goer and Tweeter

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Ed

    I think that’s awful!!!    

  • Nicky McCatty

    I like this idea. It’s a digital immediacy version of Lenny’s Young Pepole’s Concerts. 

  • TheophilusEast

    There will always be people who cannot wait.
    Lose yourself in the conductor, the music the ambiance. That’s why you go to a concert.
    A caller had to know immediately if she “thought” she just heard Frera Jaqua.
    She immediately tweeted from the “Tweet Seats

    As Dorothy Parker once wrote at the end of her New Yorker Review:
    “Constant Weeder Frowed up”.  Jim , Avalon

  • D392781

    Let’s face it,  tweeting during a concert is NOT about the music.  Trying to find out more information about a piece is laudable, but the questions obviously could be tweeted after the concert.  Tweeting is all about letting people know what YOU think and what YOU feel (RIGHT NOW!) as if it were important.  The modern social media are driven by people’s need to be noticed, and by the mutual agreement among the users to give each other an audience.

  • Celarth

    If you want to attend a concert, do that. if you want to tweet, stay home and listen to your ipod.

  • Wellwhateverfor

    A few years ago I got to go on a whale watching trip with some students from overseas.  We were lucky and there were a lot of whales out that day.  However, I’m not sure if any of those kids saw a whale with a naked eye.  Their faces were pressed to their cameras the whole time.  This is not unlike the idea of tweeting during performances.  Certainly there is information that you can get during if needed, but how engaged are you really if you are busy texting your impressions and those of others?  I realize progress is inevitable, but it still makes me concerned for our next generation that they cannot function in the world without their cellphones in hand.  (I am a secondary teacher and know this addiction all too well.)

  • Jean

    I went to see the South Pacific last week and was extremely annoyed by two young women that were sitting next to me that were tweeting during the entire performance.  There was also a young man immediately in front of me that had his phone on and it was creating a strobe effect in between the seats. 

    Please do not encourage tweeting in close proximity to others.  If  I can refrain from talking during performances and movies tweeters should be able to refrain from tweeting. 

  • Orangeya

    The experience is certainly not for everyone, but allowing the beauty of orchestral music to be embraced by younger and more tech-focused audiences is mandatory for the continued growth of the art.  If we can’t get the audience to let go of their cell phones, find a way to encourage full appreciation of the history, the musical elements, and the performers through a shared experience.    

    Also, at the CSO at least, Tweet Seats are separate from the rest of the audience, in the back of the theater and all seated together, not integrated among everyone else.

  • Susan_klock

    As someone who does not have a cell phone (yes, there are some of us) I was really disgusted to hear about tweeting at concerts. A concert, especially a classical music concert, is one place you can enjoy a beautiful HUMAN experience and get away from Technology.!!

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 22 2 Comments

Remains Of Clovis Boy Reburied In Montana

DNA from the boy buried 12,600 years ago shows his people were ancestors of many of today's native peoples.

July 22 Comment

After Malaysia Airlines Crash, A Closer Look At Planning Flight Paths

Retired pilot John Ransom discusses how to factor in war zones, and how the decision is made to close an airspace.

July 21 Comment

Boxing Attracts More Than Would-Be Fighters

At the Ring Boxing Club, boxers range in age, are both men and women, and include an award-winning author.

July 21 Comment

Why Hot Cars Are So Deadly

An average of 38 kids die in a hot car every year in the U.S. We look at the science of why cars get so hot so fast, and why children are more vulnerable.