This post is written by Tim Simeone, Visitor Center Receptionist for Experience Columbus. You can follow him on Twitter @TimSimeone .

What instrument did Mozart’s father play? I won tickets to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra by answering that question on Twitter. I confess, I Googled the answer. Nevertheless, my Friday night plans were made. My wife’s friends were in town so I called up my mother-in-law. We grabbed a bite at De Novo before the show.

De Novo

De Novo is a perfect spot to eat before a show at the Ohio Theatre. We walked over after our delicious meal. I had the Lamb Belly - thick noodles, with a rich white sauce and a perfectly poached egg. My mother-in-law had the scallops which were delicious and we each had a salad, all pictured below. The restaurant is beautiful with giant art, suspended branches, and jazz to add to the already perfect atmosphere.

De Novo

De Novo

Certainly my experience, being a symphony rookie, was different than someone who knows the music and all its complexities. So as I describe my experience please understand, my only experience with classical music is from Looney Tunes and accidentally landing on the classical station when searching for NPR on the radio. This is sad I agree, but my experience at the Columbus Symphony was so wonderful, I will definitely be returning for future shows.

The show was title Mozart and Brahms, featuring Yossif Ivanov a 23 year-old violinist. He and his surrounding orchestra were incredible. They all played a challenging score with such ease. At times the orchestra would be loud and powerful and then it would get so soft that I thought it had stopped and what I thought was silence was a single violinist easing and inviting me back in. Thinking of going? Here are some tips if you yourself are a symphony rookie:

  • Dress up - Thankfully I came from work so I was already dressed
  • Don’t clap until you hear other people clapping – There was a moment when I thought they had finished a piece, well they hadn’t and I clapped once and turned red in the face. Follow the lead of those around you.
  • Take off your jacket before the show –There is nothing worse than having to wrestle out of your blazer when sitting in a theatre seat.
  • Bring a lozenge and unwrap it before the show – Someone eight rows over was unwrapping candy during the show, it sounded like a raccoon trying to open a holiday fruit basket. Little noises can be distracting.

Follow the symphony at @C_S_O.

Columbus Symphony

If you wanted to make a weekend of this trip, both the Ohio Theatre and De Novo are within walking distance of the Sheraton Columbus on Capitol Square and The Westin Great Southern.