First-Timers

Going to an SSO concert can be a hugely enriching and rewarding experience – whether you’re with family, friends or loved ones, or simply by yourself in search of some quality personal time. Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about classical music. Come with an open mind and allow the conductor and musicians to take you on a journey.

We all began somewhere, and even for experienced concert-goers, a whole lifetime is not enough to learn everything. That's why we keep going. The first step is the most important. Come with an open mind and heart. A concert is not just about listening to music, it's also about the experience of sitting in a grand concert hall, being part of a unique community, making and meeting friends - and even shaking the hand or taking a photo with some of the greatest artistes in the world.

Programme Booklet A programme booklet or flyer, with notes on the music and performers, is available for most concerts. The digital version is usually published online a day or two before the concert. This can be found on the webpage of the event. Tip: if you access the page via mobile, it will be near the top.

The physical booklet, if available, will be made available at the venue. This is free of charge. You can drop us a donation to help defray the costs of printing.

We apologise if programme booklets run out - please look for the QR code at the concert or visit the event webpage for the digital version. The SSO is on a mission to go green and your support is much appreciated.

Pre-Concert Talks Our free Pre-Concert Talks are helmed by music specialists, and take place before the performance, for many of our concerts. Find the current list of Pre-Concert Talks at our Concert Extras page.

Social Media Channels We often feature artiste interviews, rehearsal clips and other music features on our social media channels. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube!

Dress codes are not enforced at SSO concerts. Most patrons turn up in business attire or smart casual outfits – which means no shorts, singlets or slippers. Formal dress can be worn to special gala performances.

Recordings and photography of any kind are not permitted when musicians are actively performing. However, non-flash photography is allowed during bows and applause - so long as the musicians are not performing.

Our rules are much more relaxed for Babies' Proms and Concerts for Children. You are welcome to use non-flash photography at such concerts, at any time.

It is never too early for the young ones to start enjoying classical music! However we do ask that they do not talk loudly, fidget or distract other audience members. Younger children under 7 years of age are not admitted into the concert hall, except for selected performances such as Babies’ Proms and Concerts for Children. In fact, for these children's concerts, our rules are much more relaxed. Please see the Admission Advice and Rules on each event for details.

We seek everyone's understanding that we will request parents/guardians to take disruptive children out of the hall. If you're not certain of your child's behaviour, we recommend sitting near the aisles or the back of the hall. Exposing children to classical music is important to us, and we would certainly do our best to help you

SSO concerts begin promptly at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the concert begins, to ensure you have ample time to find your seat. If you are collecting tickets from the venue, we recommend arriving at least 30 minutes before the concert begins.

Latecomers will not be admitted until a suitable break in the programme. This may be after the first piece of music is finished, or it could be during the intermission. This is determined by the nature of the programme, and at the discretion of the musicians performing.

Patrons who leave the hall before or during a performance cannot be reseated until the performance of that particular piece of music is over.

Coughing, talking and noise can cause disturbance to the performers on stage and interfere with audience enjoyment. If you are in the middle of the concert and start to cough or need to open a plastic bag, please try to muffle the sound. TIP: wait for a loud moment in the music to do so!

Mobile phones and alarm watches must be silenced during a performance, and you should check again after the intermission that these are turned off.

The audience normally applauds when the Concertmaster comes on stage, and then again when the conductor and soloist(s) enter. After that, you may applaud at the end of each work, or when the conductor turns to you and bows, to show your appreciation.

Some longer works may have several sections known as movements, separated by a brief, silent pause: usually the audience applauds only at the end of the entire work. If you are unsure, you can wait for the conductor to turn to the audience, or check the concert programme to see how many movements there are.

It is a great pleasure to us to arrange the opportunity to meet the peformers, including guest artistes. Meet the artistes and offer your personal compliments at the autograph session. Autograph sessions are indicated on the event's page and a list is available on our Concert Extras page.

Please wait patiently in line and be considerate to those waiting by keeping your conversation with the artistes brief. Photographs may be allowed at the discretion of the artistes and SSO management.

Priority Queues. For certain autograph sessions, a priority queue is available for attendees bearing artiste merchandise (such as CD recordings). Please check with our staff if you have brought or purchased artiste merchandise.

The SSO cart is located outside Door 1 (Level 1) at the Esplanade Concert Hall and Door 1 (Level 2) at the Victoria Concert Hall. A wide range of SSO recordings, artiste CDs and other attractive SSO memorabilia such as tote bags and umbrellas, is available for purchase. We are open before and after most performances, and during intermission.

Payment is only by cash or PayNow.