What happens when America’s best violinist performs in the Washington, DC subway system? Does he draw a huge audience of listeners who stuff his Stradivarius’ case with donations? Is he noticed?
The Washington Post decided to find out in this feature story:
Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your decision change if he’s really bad? What if he’s really good? Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn’t you? What’s the moral mathematics of the moment?
My favorite part of the story: that children were drawn to the music the most. It’s good to hear that kids have great taste.