LONDON — The audience at St. John’s Notting Hill was a restless bunch. Some drooled and yelped while others slurped their drinks loudly. A few others grabbed each other to dance to the pieces by Beethoven, Dvorak and Vivaldi, and one even stealthily lifted a credit card out of another audience member’s handbag.
It certainly was not the usual staid affair that many expect from chamber music events, but that is the whole point behind Bach to Baby concerts, which are geared toward babies, toddlers, and their parents and caregivers.
“She just loves the music,” Anna Schmelcher, a German nanny, said of her 15-month-old charge, Josephine, whom she has taken to more than half a dozen concerts. “I am very into classical music and opera, and this is an opportunity for us to do something together that we both really enjoy.”
For people who spent their pre-child-rearing years attending operas, symphonies and concerts, having a baby can put a damper on accessing cultural events. Bach to Baby, created by the Chinese-Canadian concert pianist Miaomiao Yu in 2009, was set up to address this issue, giving parents the opportunity to enjoy quality music without stares and shushing. Bach to Baby’s other mission is to expose children to classical music (the group also holds concerts for other musical genres including opera, jazz and traditional folk) from an early age. Ms. Yu said babies as young as a few weeks old had attended shows.