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I have questions in this passage.

"What I have noticed is that once you premiere a new piece that people will always want the tried and true staples: Tchaikovsky, Brooke, Brahms, Mendelssohn. It takes a little more encouragement for them to try a new piece."

  1. Do the names of the composers is referred to 'a new piece'? If it is right, why did writer use the colon at the end of the sentence?

  2. Does the word 'them' refer to those composers listed? or any players who play pieces from those composers?

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  1. No. The listed composers are being called "tried and true staples".

    tried and true
    proved good, desirable, or feasible : shown or known to be worthy

    In other words, these composers and their works have proven themselves to be very good and worthy of an audience.

    This is the closest definition I could find of staple that is appropriate here

    staple
    a main constituent; integral part

    In other words, among the list of great composers, these composers are important and must not be excluded.

    So "tried and true staples" means that these composers have proven themselves to be great. People have been listening to these composers for years and it is widely agreed that they are great. Their works aren't "new". A "new piece" means a new work, a new show from possibly a new or unknown artist.

  2. "for them to try a new piece"
    Them refers to the people who are listening to the "new piece". In this instance, try has the meaning

    try
    to do or use (something) in order to find out if you like it

    Since there isn't much or any opinion on new pieces, people will be skeptical about the quality of the new piece. Hence, they will be hesitant to see it, and so the will need "encouragement" to try and see how they like it.

  • What does staples mean here? – Cardinal Jun 19 '16 at 8:26
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    I have updated my answer. Please ask if it is still unclear. – Em. Jun 19 '16 at 8:38
  • @JBL you can also up-vote an answer, if you think it is helpful – Cardinal Jun 19 '16 at 9:51

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