Is there any classical music concert in Jakarta? This question might be still a big enigma for this metropolitan city, the biggest in Indonesia. With 8.56 million people, it joins the top-15 most populated cities in the world. It is said to be the center of political, economical, and socio-cultural activities in Indonesia.
But in Jakarta, there is only a handful classical music concerts produced every single month. So let’s do a little mathematics…
We suppose there are three concerts in Jakarta every single week as there are in February. Here, only public concerts not internal and community ones are included in the count. All sorts of concerts are included opera, vocal concerts, orchestral concerts, chamber music concerts, choir concerts, solo instrumental concerts and even musicals. So there are 12 concerts respectively, including a matinee.
Jakarta has only one big-capacity hall, namely Balai Sarbini, with 1300 seats and a so-so accoustics. All other venues are smaller ones, 800-seated Graha Bhakti Budaya in Taman Ismail Marzuki, 600-seated Usmar Ismail Hall, 430-seated Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, 340-seated Dutch culture center hall Erasmus Huis, and a 300-seated Goethe Haus which belongs to the German culture center. These are the venues which are oftenly used by the artists.
Churches and hotel ballrooms are occasionally used, and eventhough those venues can hold up to 1000 seats, it is not that significant since concerts are held maybe only once a month if we are lucky enough to find one.
So, the capacity is averaged to 754. We assume that the concerts in the cultural venues have 70% attendance, so we suppose that each concerts has 527 people. As mentioned above we had 12 concerts a month which sums up to 6324 people, and added with one very successful concert in a hotel ballroom or a church, the counts increased to 7324 people watching concerts a month or 87888 people a year.
Compared to the citizen in Jakarta, it is only 1.02 percent of its citizen. And please keep in mind that during Jakarta Java Jazz Festival the audience exceed 60000 people in only 3 days.
In those countings, I left a couple of things unconsidered. Firstly, most of the concerts in Jakarta are done in Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, Erasmus Huis, and Goethe Haus which at its maxed capacity does not exceed 430 (compared to the 527 seats average).
Secondly, not every month can we meet an abundant concerts like this second month of the year. Here we suppose that concerts are done every other day. Sometimes we are extremely fortunate to find a concerts every week, because there are several times a year when we run across three or four weeks without any concerts at all.
Thirdly and the most important things, we do not count regulars, which comprised a decent number in the audience. These regulars might see 3 or more concerts a year.
At the end of the day that “1%” number shrinks. By the way, we only have about 5 orchestras in the city which performs once every 2 or 3 months, and no professional choir or opera company.
Still optimistic of the classical music life in Jakarta? Oh yes, I really do.
(note: professional means a full-time job in those company. Sorry for the bad English… just tried to write in other language)