Just got back from the CINCINNATI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA concert. Intermission started at 9:20 and was supposed to run 20 minutes. That lasted longer as there was a long line of fans waiting to tell Anne Sophie Mutter how much they loved her. We love her too but could not contemplate getting home well past midnight after a concert that started at 8 pm.

So we left before the Brahms.

The BIG NON-MUSICAL EVENT OF THE EVENING became the moment when Mutter had begun the Adagio movement of the Beethoven violin concerto and spotted a woman sitting in the first row of seats recording the concert with a cellphone.


Mutter stopped playing and addressed the culprit, who then started arguing back. We could not hear the words but could certainly “get” the body language of the violinist that clearly read: “THAT WAY OUT! EITHER YOU GO OR I GO!”

Finally, Jonathan Martin, President of the Symphony approached and summarily ushered out the guilty one.

Mutter then earned one of several ovations from the Music Hall audience. I ran into a fellow reviewer and asked if this was a first for her as it was for me.

It was.

I pray that more such punishments take place.

Rafael de Acha    http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com


  1. I was the Bass soloist for the Beethoven 9th with Dayton Philharmonic several years ago. Before the start of the final movement, in that special quiet moment before the orchestral introduction to Ode to Joy, it happened! Neal Gittleman had just raised his baton to ready the orchestra, when that harsh, distinctive ringing of a cell phone pierced the magical moment. A collective gasp went up from the back of the chorus to the top of the balcony. Neal took a long, deep breath, lowered his arms, turned toward the still ringing phone – second balcony near the front of the house – looked up deliberately, and folded his arms, glaring at the culprit without a word (yet still screaming expletives we all heard psychically!) until the noise was silenced.

    With that unexpected boost of energy, we went on to deliver a very exciting final movement! But, I’d much rather that cell phone ring not have been the stimulus!

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    1. Well… Got one for you… We were doing a play (I forget which play…… it’s been so long…) at our own NEW THEATRE in Coral Gables, FL., when a dreaded cellphone went off… Our house manager walked down the aisle to deal with the culprit (I forget where I was…. maybe up in the control booth on the second floor….) It was our DENTIST’S WIFE (!!!!!!!!), an overextended, stressed out soccer mom dealing with one of her two teenaged boys who had done something wrong…… She actually conducted a conversation with one of the truants DURING THE PLAY while the actors on stage tried to carry on…… The audience wanted to kill her… She defiantly continued…. At intermission we asked her to leave… The following week I had to go in for a dental cleaning and she was as always at the front desk… Nothing was mentioned as if nothing had happened… I think shortly thereafter we changed dentists for fear of a Marathon Man payback…


  2. Rafi,

    What a horror! If this happens again at any concert then they’ll have to check cell phones.



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