Applause occurs at different times throughout a classical music performance.
Typically, audiences applaud after the entire piece is completed. That means that the audience is quiet during the short breaks between movements (movements are italicized under the piece title on each concert page in the program book). However, sometimes audience members applaud after the first movement, hopefully because they are enjoying the beautiful music. Because of this “clapping rule” though, they might feel strange or awkward because no one else is clapping and then spend the rest of the piece thinking about it, which certainly is not enjoyable.
Our Music Director Michael Sachs has said that he wants everyone to have a wonderful experience when listening to classical music. If you feel moved to clap, then please know the musicians are delighted to hear your enthusiasm. If you would like to wait until the end, then please do that, too. Although clapping between movements is not proper etiquette at concerts halls in large cities, it’s most important to us at Strings that you feel comfortable to express yourself in the pavilion.
If you’re at an outdoor stage concert or non-classical performances in the Pavilion, feel free to applaud after every song or solo that you enjoy.