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The agony of being financially responsible

Posted By: Sibylle

The agony of being financially responsible - 12/27/18 09:35 PM

Disclaimer: This post isn't all that serious. If you're only here for to-the-point pianistic conversation, it's probably not for you smile


So those who've read my lengthy intro, might remember that due to circumstances including the loss of a dear friend, I haven't been to any concerts or recitals at all in several years (something that would have been unthinkable to me before). And that I'm finally going to two piano recitals again in February and March respectively.

The second of these will be Evgeny Kissin in the Vienna Musikverein. I just looked up when they'll start selling tickets, and it turns out that members of the Musikverein (which translates to "music club" or "organisation" and has quite a history and tradition in Vienna) get to buy tickets a full week before the rest of us mortals.

What if they buy up all the good tickets? Or worse, what if they buy up ALL the tickets?? shocked

I'm seriously considering becoming a member and paying the extra 72 EUR per year just to prevent this. The problem is that I've already spent my entire travel budget up to and including June 2019 on my two upcoming trips to the continent, and I'm also going to apply for a mortgage soon - and my accounts should prove that I'm great at managing money, not "leaking" it all over the place.

So I could pay 72 and then potentially up to 138 for the ticket, or I could be reasonable and risk the wait.

Unless I quickly make 200 bucks. I'm getting rather old for selling my body, but maybe a body part would do? Or I could, I don't know, sing until someone pays me to stop? A lottery win might be handy, too, and where are the 90-year-old millionaires one could get married to, when one needs them.

Oh the agony.

Please, talk me out of this reckless spending.*


*read: Please explain to me why it would be completely reasonable and even wise to spend the money.
Posted By: dolce sfogato

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/27/18 11:38 PM

In the Musikverein there is always place for visiting non-members, I am not a member and I have never had any trouble getting a ticket, funding the ticket is a problem however...
Posted By: David-G

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/27/18 11:59 PM

Sibylle,

A little belatedly, welcome to the Forum.

The circumstances of your proposed Vienna trip, being one of your first since your friend's death, clearly make it of great importance to you. I think it is excellent that you now feel able to go to a concert again. Since Chopin is your favourite composer and Kissin one of your favourite pianists, it seems essential that you should go for this very special occasion. And if becoming a member is going to avoid possible disappointment, then I would be entirely encouraging about this.

I don't know what the ticket prices are at the Musikverein, but 138 EUR sounds a very expensive ticket by London prices! But in my experience (and I buy a lot of tickets for concerts and opera!) one of the main reasons for becoming a member in such circumstances is to make it easier/possible to get cheaper tickets. You might well find that there are still expensive tickets available at the time of general booking, but the advance booking for members will give you a good chance of getting something more economical.

You are of course on a slippery slope, and there will be all sorts of temptations! If you are going all the way to Vienna for a concert, you won't want to be over-economical in choice of seating. And again, it would be a great pity to go all that way and not stay for an extra day or two! I know, because I have just had a similar experience myself. I could not resist the temptation of Berlioz's "Les Troyens" at the Vienna State Opera in November, with Joyce DiDonato as Dido and Anna Katerina Antonacci as Cassandra (both stunning singers and great actresses). I decided on a mid-price ticket and staying for three nights. I do these operatic trips to Europe rather rarely, but when I do I don't skimp overmuch.

Have you found somewhere to stay in Vienna? I can recommend the "Motel One" near the Hauptbahnhof. It's basically a "budget hotel" but is quite stylish and very comfortable, in a surprisingly quiet area given it's next to the main station, and the breakfast is excellent!

And one thing you really really ought to try to do, if you have any interest in historic pianos, is to visit the collection of historic musical instruments at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Room after room after room of interesting and beautiful historic pianos, and oil portraits of Graf, Streicher, Beethoven, the young Schubert... I also visited the Mozart apartment. I know that Mozart is a bit early for you musically, but if you have any interest in him the apartment is well worth a visit. Even though it looks more like a museum than a residence.

Well, regarding your mortgage, I am not sure that I have talked sense. But I do think that one needs to treat oneself occasionally.

Based on my experience when I lost my parents, I think that you may find that going to a concert without your friend will bring back memories, even after seven years, which are particularly poignant. But that's just how life is. I am sure that your friend would be glad that you are going, and applaud your courage.
Posted By: Furtwangler

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/28/18 02:07 AM

Sibylle

I can offer little in the way of advice other than to strongly encourage you to go and to applaud this wonderful step in your life.

Kissin performed here recently and I went - in fact, I went "for free" - as I often volunteer to usher at the concert hall and thus get in free. His performance was extraordinary, as expected. And he performed 5 encores - the audience simply would not let him leave!

He played Beethoven and Rachmaninoff here.

Have fun!

And do you live in Dublin???
Posted By: benjamink

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/28/18 03:06 AM

I saw Kissin perform a solo recital several years ago in Chicago when I was living in the midwest. I ended up waiting until the last minute to purchase tickets due to being busy and forgetting to purchase. Ultimately it worked out for the best; all of the regular seats had sold out, and when I called a few days before the concert, they just decided to open up stage seating. So I ended up sitting on stage about five feet away from Kissin for the concert. It was definitely a memorable experience.
Posted By: Sibylle

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/28/18 07:23 AM

Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
In the Musikverein there is always place for visiting non-members, I am not a member and I have never had any trouble getting a ticket, funding the ticket is a problem however...

Oh I know, I never had any trouble there either - like I said, I'm not that serious, I'm just being silly and excited and agonising over every little thing with all the mental maturity of a 12-year-old wink

Originally Posted by David-G
I don't know what the ticket prices are at the Musikverein, but 138 EUR sounds a very expensive ticket by London prices!

I admit those are the absolutely most expensive ones, but if I want to sit "at his feet", that's the category I'd be looking at haha! I'll probably be a little more reasonable and try to stay below 100.

Thank you for the welcome smile And yes, there's a lot of emotion connected to both of these trips, maybe even more to the first one (which is Pogorelich in Nürnberg in February - 31 years ago, my then-teacher gave me the ticket to my very first Pogorelich recital for my 18th birthday, it was a memorable evening and basically changed my life). But we also saw Kissin together a few times, once in Vienna while I lived there and she came visiting. We even ran into him after the concert in a cafe!

I should have mentioned that I used to live in Vienna for several years, and after I moved away I visited at least once a year - until about 10 years ago, when things happened in my own life (my mum died, and my dad is old and rather senile, so I spent my annual leave on visiting him, mostly; plus, I had some financial commitments to take care of). Not having been in Vienna for so long is almost unbelievable to me! I could have definitely found a friend to stay with in Vienna, but didn't want the awkwardness of having to pick one and everyone scrambling to offer, so I booked a hotel, the "Donauwalzer", before telling them about my visit. I'll go and see Figaro in the State Opera as well, but got cheaper tickets there (since the seats in the State Opera pretty much all have a good view - at least most of them).

Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Kissin performed here recently and I went - in fact, I went "for free" - as I often volunteer to usher at the concert hall and thus get in free.

What a great way of getting to see concerts!
I'm beyond excited about recovering this - the most important - part of my life. I spent some years in an undiagnosed, light depression where I isolated myself and pretty much lived in my flat, apart from going to the soul-eating job I had at the time. The last three years have been blissful healing, rediscovering joy, friends, passions, and now this is the last step and I'm practically jumping up and down with excitement smile

I live in the middle of absolutely nowhere in the West of Ireland. It's beyond beautiful, but very far away from the types of concerts and recitals I used to go to all the time.

Originally Posted by benjamink
So I ended up sitting on stage about five feet away from Kissin for the concert. It was definitely a memorable experience.

Brilliant! Similar thing happened to me one time, many years ago, I could swear it was in the Musikverein too, where they sold "rest" tickets on the evening of the recital and I ended up in the front row. Woohoo!

I used to see Kissin live at least once a year, and I'm so happy that after all these years I'll finally be there again. I think I'll sleep on the decision of whether or not to join the Musikverein for another night or two. It might be an appropriate step for me in any case, as one of my future plans is to become location independent (if I ever manage to live off my freelance coaching so I can give up my job) and spend 4-5 months a year in Vienna, the rest of the time here.
Posted By: Azariah

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/28/18 03:29 PM

I sell a lot of stuff on eBay to pay for more reckless e penditures.
Posted By: Furtwangler

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/28/18 05:20 PM

Yes - I have the schedule in front of me of the upcoming concerts.

If I have the energy - I have 12 of them marked as the ones that I want to attend while ushering. Imagine.

That is in addition to a couple of other performances for which I am fully prepared to pay!

Full schedule in early 2019!
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/28/18 09:03 PM

You can give yourself the odd treat!

I saw Grigory Sokolov in Brussels in April, and I'm going to see Martha Argerich in Berlin in February -if she doesn't cancel. Cheap flights are a great way to see our idols. I don't know how long these cheap flights will last so I'm just making hay while the sun shines, and as a fellow Irish resident, you'll know the sun don't shine here too often... grin

Sorry for being such an enabler...
Posted By: BruceD

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/28/18 09:19 PM

€72 is a lot to pay for an annual membership to the Vienna Musikverein for an out-of-country user, unless that membership is regularly used; it's half the price of the coveted ticket. Treating ourselves - even to an unforgettable event - only has lasting value if it doesn't compromise other living expenses and make us regret the impulse.

I think that only the OP can balance obligations, present and future, against a personal treat and how much that treat may impact the future bottom line.

Regards,
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/28/18 09:25 PM

Originally Posted by Sibylle
Please, talk me out of this reckless spending.*

I'm bad at talking myself out of anything. Right now, I'm trying my darnest to talk myself out of "needing" a Kawai Novus NV10... LOL. Depending on the day of the week, I'm either prevailing on that front or losing. I hope the day I actually place an order for my new replacement piano, I will be prevailing! frown

Good luck! Stay strong! Or if you end up being weak, at least enjoy the concert! grin
Posted By: DFSRN

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/28/18 10:36 PM

I have been a Dave Ramsey listener for over 20 years, he is a financial talk show host, you can find him on Iheart Radio and on the Internet. He has the book total Money make-over, good reading. If your asking to be reckless, you already have your answer, you shouldn't buy the tickets. According to Dave, a mortgage should not be more than 25% of take home pay and no more than 15 years. You will save tons of money on the interest.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/29/18 02:03 AM

I would just go and enjoy the show. Just buy ONLY what you can afford.
Posted By: Sibylle

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/29/18 09:32 AM

Originally Posted by DFSRN
I have been a Dave Ramsey listener for over 20 years, he is a financial talk show host, you can find him on Iheart Radio and on the Internet. He has the book total Money make-over, good reading. If your asking to be reckless, you already have your answer, you shouldn't buy the tickets. According to Dave, a mortgage should not be more than 25% of take home pay and no more than 15 years. You will save tons of money on the interest.

I'm a coach and teach this stuff myself wink Not just Dave Ramsey, but about 45 other "money gurus" are part of my course. Btw, Ramsey's teachings mostly only apply to one country, as the conditions and prerequisites for mortgages vary dramatically from one country to the next. But again, like I said, my post wasn't all that serious. I'm not going to go broke from an extra 72 EUR, I'm just having a bit of fun here.
Posted By: Sibylle

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/29/18 09:35 AM

Originally Posted by BruceD
€72 is a lot to pay for an annual membership to the Vienna Musikverein for an out-of-country user, unless that membership is regularly used; it's half the price of the coveted ticket. Treating ourselves - even to an unforgettable event - only has lasting value if it doesn't compromise other living expenses and make us regret the impulse.

I think that only the OP can balance obligations, present and future, against a personal treat and how much that treat may impact the future bottom line.

Regards,

D'you know, I actually think it's very little to support such a worthy institution. It works out to 6 EUR per month. Less than a Netflix sub. I've been considering doing this for years, maybe now's the time to take the jump. If I ever manage to spend 4-5 months a year in Vienna, as I'm planning to, from that time on it'll be truly worth it as it also gives you 10% off regular ticket prices.

But I'd mostly join because this is one institution I wholeheartedly *want* to support smile
Posted By: Sibylle

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/29/18 09:37 AM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I'm bad at talking myself out of anything. Right now, I'm trying my darnest to talk myself out of "needing" a Kawai Novus NV10... LOL. Depending on the day of the week, I'm either prevailing on that front or losing. I hope the day I actually place an order for my new replacement piano, I will be prevailing! frown

Good luck! Stay strong! Or if you end up being weak, at least enjoy the concert! grin

Yeah, I don't think I can help there, I'm always going to tell you to buy the exact piano you really, truly want, and dang the cost wink

Originally Posted by NobleHouse
I would just go and enjoy the show. Just buy ONLY what you can afford.

I'll try and be good! Promise! Hehehe wink
Posted By: DFSRN

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/29/18 07:26 PM

Thanks, I did not know Dave only applied to the U.S.
Posted By: DFSRN

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/29/18 07:29 PM

I agree, if you can afford to support the arts it is well worth it. I give to non-profit art organizations such as theater and music. You have to have a passion and cannot support everything. I believe arts is important for both children and adults.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/29/18 07:39 PM

Originally Posted by Sibylle
I'm always going to tell you to buy the exact piano you really, truly want, and dang the cost wink

Wait. Are you the latest PW incarnation of Perri Knize? wink grin
Posted By: Sibylle

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/29/18 10:58 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Sibylle
I'm always going to tell you to buy the exact piano you really, truly want, and dang the cost wink

Wait. Are you the latest PW incarnation of Perri Knize? wink grin

Mwahahahaha!
Posted By: Sibylle

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/31/18 11:36 AM

Update! I've decided to do it smile

Not so much because of this particular recital, because as those of you who know the venue as well as I do have pointed out, it's practically never sold out within the first week or two. No, the reason I'm doing this is that it's something I've been considering for years, starting at the time when I lived in Vienna. I spend money on a lot of stupid things, so here's 6 bucks a month for something I'm really 100% behind. And as a bonus, I'll get access to presales tickets and 10% off. I don't think I'll regret this.

Now the only thing remaining is to upgrade my fairly crappy seat for the Pogorelich recital in Nürnberg. The agency's closed for the holidays, and guess who's going to swoop down on them like an eagle with an attitude at 8am sharp on Wednesday? grin

Heck, other women buy shoes.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/31/18 12:19 PM

Originally Posted by Sibylle
Update! I've decided to do it smile

Not so much because of this particular recital, because as those of you who know the venue as well as I do have pointed out, it's practically never sold out within the first week or two. No, the reason I'm doing this is that it's something I've been considering for years, starting at the time when I lived in Vienna. I spend money on a lot of stupid things, so here's 6 bucks a month for something I'm really 100% behind. And as a bonus, I'll get access to presales tickets and 10% off. I don't think I'll regret this.

Now the only thing remaining is to upgrade my fairly crappy seat for the Pogorelich recital in Nürnberg. The agency's closed for the holidays, and guess who's going to swoop down on them like an eagle with an attitude at 8am sharp on Wednesday? grin

Heck, other women buy shoes.


grin
Posted By: David-G

Re: The agony of being financially responsible - 12/31/18 12:32 PM

Originally Posted by Sibylle
Update! I've decided to do it smile

Not so much because of this particular recital, because as those of you who know the venue as well as I do have pointed out, it's practically never sold out within the first week or two. No, the reason I'm doing this is that it's something I've been considering for years, starting at the time when I lived in Vienna. I spend money on a lot of stupid things, so here's 6 bucks a month for something I'm really 100% behind. And as a bonus, I'll get access to presales tickets and 10% off. I don't think I'll regret this.

Now the only thing remaining is to upgrade my fairly crappy seat for the Pogorelich recital in Nürnberg. The agency's closed for the holidays, and guess who's going to swoop down on them like an eagle with an attitude at 8am sharp on Wednesday? grin

Heck, other women buy shoes.

Well done!
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