Eckart Preu Wants Summermusik Audiences to ‘Feel Free to Boo’

Eckart Preu Wants Summermusik Audiences to ‘Feel Free to Boo’
Movers & Makers | 07.28.17

Eckart Preu wants his audiences to know it’s OK to boo. Really.

Though it admittedly is not the reaction performers prefer, an audience that boos is offering a genuine response. That’s key for Preu, who takes over this season as the fifth music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

As a student in the late days of the German Democratic Republic – communist East Germany – booing was one of the few ways people could show dissatisfaction, Preu said over lunch in Cincinnati earlier this year. It was a liberating experience, the Erfurt native said, and one he finds surprisingly rare in the United States.

For a country that prides itself on individual expression, he said, “that pioneer spirit has disappeared a little bit” in the concert hall. “We lost all of that to civility.”