Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to book a ticket to Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. Where in the concert hall should I prefer to sit?

The concert hall is structured as many others: A relatively large seating area in front of the stage. And then there are two floors of balconies all around the hall (even behind the stage).

Any recommendations, tips and tricks would be appreciated.

share|improve this question
What are your goals here? Josh's answer focuses on the visuals but I would have assumed you were interested in acoustics. – Matthew Read Oct 17 '11 at 17:03
Hmm, good point. If some comments could be made about acoustics as well, that would be great too. I have ordered my ticket (see my answer to Josh's reply), but such comments would be great for future reference. – Enchilada Oct 17 '11 at 17:49
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would imagine you'd be visually and aurally happiest somewhere two-thirds to the back of the orchestra, somewhere a little left of center, or first balcony, also left of center, or perhaps even closer to behind the pianist. Usually you wouldn't want to sit in the exact middle, or you won't see much of the pianist's hands, but neither do you want to sit directly behind the pianist on the balconies, as their head and shoulders will block the keyboard and you won't see their expression.

I recommended two-thirds of the way back because of the slant of most concert halls I've been in… depending on the height of the stage, this might not be optimal. However, I think anywhere behind the halfway point in orchestra, or balconies as long as your somewhere left of center, will make you happy. His Concerto No. 2 is fantastic, and you'll enjoy it regardless.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. I found a front seat on the 2nd floor balcony, slightly left of the center. It's probably not as good as the 1st floor (the 1st floor is more expensive than the 2nd floor for some reasons), but I hope it works out fine. – Enchilada Oct 17 '11 at 16:29
I think you'll be happy with that… the front of the balcony in most halls is some of the best acoustics. I answered based on (in my opinion) the best combination of acoustics and visuals, not exclusively one or the other, so I think you'll find it a good balance. Enjoy! – Josh Fields Oct 18 '11 at 14:09

Just out of curiosity, who is playing? The Rach 2 is wonderful. Supposedly, the piano sounds better from the rear. It's obviously visually more entertaining from the front. Either way, I'm sure it'll be great!

share|improve this answer
This is not an answer to the question; it should be included as a comment. – Babu Oct 29 '11 at 20:13
It's chit-chatty, but the bit about the piano sounding better from the rear qualifies it as actual info. Should probably be edited to be more on-topic. – intuited Nov 28 '11 at 14:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.