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Boston Symphony Hall seating question

Old Jan 27th, 2010, 05:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 75
Boston Symphony Hall seating question


This would be my first concert at the Boston Symphony Hall. It's my understanding that the hall has great acoustics as long as you're not sitting where there's an overhang. Because I've always wanted to see Itzhak Perlman play, I'd like to "see" him as well as hear him.

So with that in mind, I'd appreciate any thoughts about which of these three choices you would pick. The 3rd choice is $20 cheaper, but is appealing because the seat in the second row. I'm only 5'3", so wondering if I'd see anything from the 1st choice in the Orchestra section.

1. Orchestra section - row N, last seat on the left hand side, aisle seat 34.
2. Balcony 1 - row C on left side (center of left side), seat 30
3. Balcony 2 - row B on left side (center of left side), aisle seat 32

Thanks for any thoughts.
Beth1096 is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2010, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Hi Beth,

I go to Symphony Hall about twice a month to see the BSO. Here are my thoughts:

N34 is not the best, as the side overhang is over that seat. But you should be able to see the stage, but the orchestra level slopes up gradually; so if a tall person sits in front of you, it can be difficult to see pass that head.

So, I'd go with either the 1st balcony or 2nd balcony seat. If price/cost is an issue, I can tell you that celebrity series office sells "jump seats" which they do NOT offer online. These are seats in Row C on the sides of 2nd balcony. They used to be usher seats but now they are sold to public too, but since they don't have much padding and have very limited leg room, they aren't sold online. I bought those seats for the Berlin Philharmonic concert last fall, and my 5'8" DH survived. FWIW, acoustics is great up there.
yk is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2010, 07:04 PM
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Personally, I hate those jumpseats, but you can see pretty well from those. I find them very uncomfortable.

I think the accoustics will be better from the balcony seats. As yk said, the overhang does get you a bit from the extreme side of the orchestra. Also, because Perlman is sitting, I think he's easier to see from above. I would think the best combination of view and accoustics are from those 1st balcony seats. I know I have often sat in that general area and I think those are good seats.

That said, I'm sure you will be happy with the sound from any of the seats. It really is the most wonderful place to hear live, classical music.
china_cat is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2010, 07:19 PM
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Yes, those jump seats are very uncomfortable, that's why they don't sell them over the internet as they can't verbally warn buyers about those seats. If I sit at the jump seats, I usually end up standing up for part of the concert (I'm only 5'2" and I can barely fit my legs). If you get the jump seats closest to the stage, you'll get a great view - much better than from 1st or 2nd balcony.

Enjoy the concert, whichever seat you decide to get!
yk is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2010, 10:07 AM
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yk & china_cat, thanks so much for your replies. Your comments are really helpful. Thanks for the info on the jump seats & I'll definitely keep that in mind for the future. BTW, do call up and request the jump seats, or do you have to buy them in person?

For any other concert I wouldn't be so picky. But for this concert I'd really like decent seats. I think I'm pass on the Orchestra section based on your comments because somehow I always manage to get a really tall person in front of me. At this point I'm leaning toward the 1st Balcony section.

Again, thanks so much!
Beth1096 is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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BTW, do call up and request the jump seats, or do you have to buy them in person?

I'm not sure if they sell them over the phone; I bought mine in person at their office in Park Plaza.

Bring along your opera glasses and enjoy the concert!
yk is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2010, 03:12 PM
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Thanks for your answer, yk.

Haven't lived here long (moved just outside of Boston) so finding out about these things is great. Always nice to save a little.

Thanks again.
Beth1096 is offline  
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