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How Matthias Goerne stopped a photographer in his audience

March 31, 2016 by norman lebrecht

76 comments.


This happened last night in Paris, at the Cité de la Musique. An audience member tells us:

Matthias Goerne and Markus Hinterhäuser came on stage to perform Schubert’s Winterreise.

Barely had they begun the second verse of Gute Nacht when Goerne was disturbed by a person in the first row of seats, right in front of him, taking photos without discretion, not even silencing the device or disabling the red light.

In the sweetest of tones, Goerne addressed the photographer in English:

‘Excuse me, excuse me. There was announcement that you cannot make any kind of photos. You have to leave now.’

There was a short pause, then he said: ‘Get out.’

All but the last two words were spoken quietly, with a most courteous tone, and even those final two were softly uttered, though the tone had hardened noticeably.

The photographer left the hall to loud applause – for the singer.

winterreise_c_festival_daix-en-provence_2014_cp.bergerartcomart_0161
photo (c) Winterreise – Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 2014 – Patrick Berger / ArtcomArt


Comments (76)

  1. Richard says:

    Matthias Goerne, was certainly justified in asking the man to stop what he was doing, but not ordering the man to “get out!” As a lawyer, Mr. Goerne had no right to deny the man the concert that the man had paid a ticket to attend, irrespective of what the man did. Only law enforcement have the right to remove him from the premises, due to a legal reason. Even if taking photos is not allowed, it is not substantial grounds to have the concert goer removed or be thrown out. He only had the right to request the man to stop what he was doing that was disturbing and distracting and also forbidden. Legally speaking the man should have put the camera away, apologised and remained in his seat and refuse to leave. If Mr. Goerne would not sing because of that, then Mr. Goerne would be legally wrong. The man that was thrown out should take legal action against Mr. Goerne for being told to leave for having taken some photos.
    I have a close associate who has dealt with Mr. Goerne on two occasions and I know, although this may not be related to this case, that Matthias Goerne is known as a rather unstable person and frequently has rude and extremely inconsiderate outbursts even when unprovoked.
    Sadly, this attitude between an artist and his “fans” in the audience only give classical music a justifiably bad name. In a world where young people see the image as a central part of their life, brutal and totalitarian attitudes and orders to an audience member will only help to alienate the ever dwindling audience who gravitate towards classical music.

    1. Frank says:

      Well said. Stories like this about Goerne filter out to the “rest of the world” and only give classical music a bad name.

    2. Paul says:

      Richard: You are completely wrong. The owners and operators of the theater are not running a public space. They are free to kick out whoever they wish, and are perfectly within the law to empower the performers to do the same. A ticket is a contract, and the buyer has to hold up his end by not being a dick and following the rules.

      Is it my right to go to a movie theater and start espousing my political views while the titles roll and tell everyone else they should just “get used to it”? No.

      1. Thomas G. says:

        You say that the owners of the hall have the right to refuse to serve or seat, or throw out whoever they want. That may be true in the United States, where I have read that restaurants can refuse to serve gay patrons, if homosexuality is against their religious convictions. Up until the 60’s they also used to refuse to serve and throw out black patrons from restaurants or shops. Fortunately, in more civilised and just countries, you can not simply order a person out for a small infraction, especially if they already have paid for a service or a concert. They need to pose a threat or a danger, or interfere with other patrons use of the service provided. In this case, in France, it is the responsibility of the hall’s management to deal with this and not the artist. Mr. Goerne should have only asked the man to stop, waited until the disturbing action ceased and continue.

        1. Gregory Brent Lyons says:

          Emotion is central to the artist’s expression. Matthias Goerne is an artist and has ultimate authority on who attends his performance. “Get out” is what he needed to say and what the rest of the audience appreciated. Quibbles are worth what’s paid for them.

          1. Anon says:

            “Matthias Goerne is an artist and has ultimate authority on who attends his performance.”

            Nonsense. He has no direct control over who chooses to buy a ticket and attends, nor should he have.

    3. Sixtus says:

      Legally speaking, what would the conventional wording on the back of a ticket forbidding photography have to say in order for the hall to have solid legal grounds for the removal of an audience member for taking photos. Also, if the description of the event is accurate, he was “ordered” to leave, not forced to leave accompanied by security. He could have stayed, but he left voluntarily. Furthermore “irrespective of what the man did” seems an open invitation to all kinds of disorder. Should we stop sliding down the slippery slope only when when weapons are drawn?

    4. Milka says:

      One wonders if someone here is looking for a client….The idiot with the camera knew
      where he was and the protocols of attending a song recital , he, one can suppose just
      didn’t wander in from nowhere.One can interpret the closing comments as just
      cheap shots in trying to make brownie points with those who will explain
      this away as a photo taking society and Mr. Goerne must get used to it. It all can be explained in one word “manners”.

      1. Kyle says:

        In response to Richard:

        1.) Your second sentence implies that Mr. Goerne is a lawyer. I assume it was your intention to let readers know you are a lawyer. My following points are based on that assumption.
        2.) You make no specific reference to French law or legal institutions. Are your legal assertions based on a specific familiarity with French law?
        3.) Why would a lawyer such as yourself ever flirt with libel as you do in writing “[…] I know […] Mr. Goerne is known as a rather unstable person […]”?
        4.) You indicate a number of time that you are writing from a legal perspective. Is it actually your legal advice or rather your personal opinion that “The man that was thrown out should take legal action against Mr. Goerne”? I would expect a disinterested third party speaking from a legal perspective to state something more along the lines of “the man may have grounds for legal action against Mr. Goerne.”

        1. Thomas G. says:

          He should have just told the guy to please not take any photographs and put the camera away. If the concert goer would refuse and actually continue, then that would be grounds to tell him to leave or better, ask the hall to have him removed. It is not the performer’s role to act as policeman while on stage. Usually, a warning or request needs to be given before taking any action, especially telling a concert goer to get out. Mathias Goerne needs to have a more Meditteranean and human character. It appears from this that he still behaves like he was living in his former East Germany.
          I totally understand understand the issue and distraction that this causes for a performer, but these things happen and what is important, is how one deals with this. Mr. Goerne chose the “old-school” way of disciplining, humiliating and punishing a concert goer directly from the stage. That is not his role. He should have only asked him to please stop. So, it is the performer who decides who can hear the concert and who can’t?
          I agree that the classical music world is so unbearably uptight and frustrated and particularly in a place like Paris, where culture is still kept and maintained like in a mausoleum, with all of its funereal trappings and codes.
          Mr. Goerne clearly lacks lightness of being and flexibility and obviously wants to uphold some sort of Teutonic control of the audience. Yes, the man behaved like an idiot and broke the rules, but perhaps this was his first, and probably last, classical music concert. For a person who attends pop concerts, taking photos of the performer is normal and acceptable. How does one know that when attending a classical concert you need to obey strict rules and risk severe punishment and ejection if you dare to break any of them? Better not to attend and lose, yet another potential classical music concert goer.

          1. Catherine says:

            Well said.

          2. EricB says:

            “but perhaps this was his first, and probably last, classical music concert.”

            Oh, poor thing ! Well, his last, hopefully, for us, the majority of us concertgoers who have paid to hear music performed at its best, or at least till he gets a sense that his shooting was inappropriate.

            “For a person who attends pop concerts, taking photos of the performer is normal and acceptable. How does one know that when attending a classical concert you need to obey strict rules and risk severe punishment and ejection if you dare to break any of them ?”
            See, it all has to do with basic intelligence and respect. How can one explain that to you… hum : it’s not a matter of “basic rules”, such as clapping or not between movements, which can be considered, justifiably, as subjective. No, here, if someone, sitting in the 1st or 2nd row can’t grasp on his own that he’s a nuisance, breaking the concentration of an artist, as well as the concentration of a 2000+ audience, he’s just hopeless. And NO ONE will regret his not coming again to another classical concert.

    5. Eric Shanes says:

      We live in an age of inanity and of complete and growing disrespect for art. Nobody with half a brain or a trace of artistic sensibility should WANT to take a photo, eat, drink alcohol, telephone, talk, sleep, fart, make love or do anything except SIT STILL and LISTEN during a musical performance, or indeed during any type of artistic event unless it is in the spirit of the thing to do so (with is not occasionally unknown). If you DO want to do those things, then stay at home and watch television. The singer was quite right to do as he did and anybody who argues otherwise is either a complete philistine or a lawyer (although many of the latter do respect works of art and the performances thereof, but not in this case, as their comments prove).

      1. Catherine says:

        You know what? I play classical music for a living and your “vision” makes ME want to stay home and watch television instead. One can’t possibly imagine why we’re receding further and further into irrelevance.

    6. Jaybuyer says:

      Richard, it was not quite April 1st when you wrote this 😂

  2. Chris says:

    Matthias Goerne did it again… Similar incident took place some time ago when he was performing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, only that it was an official photographer…

    1. EricB says:

      “Mathias Goerne did it again”

      He “did it again” only because he was being exposed AGAIN to another rude, disrespectful audience member, who didn’t give a sh… about the “NO picture nor recording” announcement.

      Whether the previous one was an “official” photographer or not makes no difference to the annoyance and perturbance to both the artist and the audience.

  3. Frank says:

    If this account is accurate, MR. Goerne sounds like he’s been taking lessons from Kyung-Wha Chung on how to embarrass audiences.

    No wonder classical music is struggling to reach young people. We live in a photo-taking, device-addicted society now. Musicians like Goerne had better get used to it.

    1. EricB says:

      “No wonder classical music is struggling to reach young people.”

      No wonder our “young people” have no education anymore about what’s considered rude or not…
      Kudos to Matthias Goerne on this one, and to the clapping audience.

      “We live in a photo-taking, device-addicted society now. Musicians like Goerne had better get used to it.”
      Nope, it’s all the more reasons for our “addicted society” to be educated to more respect rather than less.
      If you were yourself a performer needing concentration to give the best of yourself to the 2000 audience that paid to hear you, you’d probably react differently.

      1. Cindicus says:

        Very well put erichb!!!

    2. Eddie Mars says:

      100% wrong, Frank.

      Maybe it doesn’t bother you people take photos at your ball games. But trying bringing your camera into a classical concert and snapping away – and we will have you thrown out, and your camera impounded until authorised persons have deleted every illicit image you’ve taken.

      1. Frank says:

        But why should a classical concert be so different than a ball game? In the 18th and 19th centuries, recitals were similar to today’s rock concerts or even sporting events in terms of audience etiquette. The whole hushed, funereal atmosphere is a 20th-century invention and we’re now seeing the fruits of that: many young people don’t find it very much fun.

        Goerne needs to learn what century he’s living in and next time and simply ignore it. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks.

        1. EricB says:

          “That’s why he gets paid the big bucks.”

          Nope. He’s “paid the big bucks” to deliver the best of his art to a XXIst century audience who has learned to respect art and those who deliver it (except for you, of course).

          I’m just appaled by the level of argumentation to defend the undefendable !

        2. NYMike says:

          In that case, maybe we should have late-Beethoven string quartets in noisy bars, no doubt adding to the appreciation of these works.

        3. Eddie Mars says:

          “The big bucks”

          That’s the only level on which an ignorant slob like you can deal with art, Frank

          1. Frank says:

            This Eddie Mars character seems to have a real chip on his shoulder. I suspect *he* was the person photographing Goerne in the audience and is now trying to turn the tables by attacking other commenters.

            Nevertheless, I happen to think that Georne was acting like a pompous brat by shaming an audience member and yes — he does get paid the big bucks.

        4. John says:

          Frank, I wasn’t around in the 18th or 19th centuries. Apparently you were, so I bow to your knowledge of these events.

          Listen, if you want a mosh pit, weed, dancing and drinking at the recitals you attend, just as they apparently had for the concerts you heard Mozart, Handel and Beethoven performing in, my best wishes to you on finding one of those in this unenlightened 21st century.

          Me? I’d prefer to sit quietly and listen to the music, experiencing it in a way that I can really absorb what the performer is imparting to me. Music is a sound art, and speaking for myself, I would find a mosh pit, drinking and partying during Dichterliebe or Die Schone Mullerin to be quite distracting. Maybe not weed, though the singer might not like the smoke from several hundred of us sharing joints going into his throat and lungs. Most singers I know would definitely not appreciate that, unenlightened hods that they are.

          1. Catherine says:

            A performer can’t “impart” anything – music is a non-semantic expression. What you experience from it you contribute entirely yourself. All aesthetic meaning is wholly subjective.

        5. Patrick says:

          I am afraid Frank that your comments are rather disturbing. If you perhaps understand what Winterreise is about, you should also realise that singing this work demands huge levels of concentration from the performers. If some idiot disturbs your concentration by taking totally unnecessary snaps it causes all sorts of difficulty. After all, the artists are endeavouring to create an atmosphere with a cycle of songs that tell a story – the songs are in the main key related and also related in atmosphere. If , for instance members of the audience begin to applaud between songs, the experience is a musical disaster. At a performance of Winterise most of the audience do not want anything to disturb the atmosphere. If there are others in attendance they need to learn to observe the protocol. Have respect for the artists and the others who have paid their hard earned cash to experience one of the great works of western civilisation.

    3. Eddie Mars says:

      [Musicians like Goerne had better get used to it.]

      Shove it up your bell-end, Frank.

      1. EricB says:

        I didn’t dare, but that was my thinking, exactly ! 😉

    4. J. says:

      “No wonder classical music is struggling to reach young people”

      Young people can have pop music (=monkey business).

  4. Nicholas Riddle says:

    Actually, I completely disagree on the legal point. The audience member had bought a ticket based on certain conditions, one of which is to obey the rules of the hall. That is either an explicit term or an implied term. By disobeying the clearly expressed rule about photography during the performance, he breached the terms of his contract to attend the performance, and it was perfectly legitimate to ask him to leave.Perhaps that should have been done by the hall management rather than the performer, but it seems unlikely that the management would not have backed him. Indeed Goerne has the right to expect the hall management to keep him safe from such intrusions, and that would also be an implied term of his contract with them. So, they would really be obliged to consider this as a priority if an audience member behaved so badly. Either way, I think this was handled legally correctly.

    1. Eddie Mars says:

      100% agreed, on three counts:

      1) The Hall’s regulations forbid unauthorised photography. End of.

      2) The enjoyment of the recital would be spoilt for many patrons by the noise made by the camera. (Clearly this is part of the rationale for (1), but it also stands as a separate issue)

      3) The permission of the artistes had not been sought prior to the attempts to photograph them. This is not only incredible rudeness, but also has a contractual liability aspect which might be actionable in law. There needs to be a clear and enforceable description of what use is to be made of these images – whether or not direct or indirect financial gain is involved. The artistes were liable to considerable disturbance during their performance, which might very conceivably have distracted them, and thus inhibited their opportunity to perform professionally.

    2. Saxon Broken says:

      If the photographer had been allowed to continue I would have sued the hall and Goerne personally on the basis that they had breached my contract with them by allowing photography. I bought my ticket on the basis there would not be any.

  5. Bill Gross says:

    “Rich Says” in which we learn that Shakespeare was correct.
    “Frank Says” sounds like he embraces the behavior of one lout of the enjoyment of the majority of the audience.

  6. cherrera says:

    Lesson learned: Take the photo at the end of the concert!

  7. cherrera says:

    Under French privacy laws, some would argue, Mr. Goerne had more than just the right to demand the photographer to stop taking his picture, he had the right to demand the photographer to delete the pictures he took.

  8. Bennie says:

    BTW What were the ushers doing? It should never be the artist’s job to deal with misbehaving audience.

    Some stories for all those prima donna artists to hear, before deciding to humiliate anybody in public:

    1) Jan Lisiecki was performing an encore in Philadelphia, when an cell phone rang after the first few notes. He stopped, smiled, then told the audience something like ‘that’s all you are going to hear tonight’. The audience laughed and applauded loudly. Then he started the encore again, only to hear another cell phone rang. He ignored it and played on beautifully.

    (Lisiecki is brilliant)

    2) An pre-teen girl — sitting in the front row facing cello’s 3rd stand — was sound asleep and quietly snoring, barely 10 minutes into a concert by Berlin Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall. Various musicians and Sir Rattle simply smiled whenever they looked at her during the performance. (She woke up only at the end of the concert).

    3) Yannick Nezet Seguin was ready to start a piece with Philadelphia Orchestra when a cell phone started to play some Indian music. He signaled the orchestra to not start, then waited. The Indian music continued for another 10 seconds. Then he turned around and looked at the audience, but didn’t utter a word. The Indian music continued for another 15 seconds, then stopped. He started the piece as if nothing has happened.

    (in this case, it appeared that somebody activated the MP3 player accidentally)

    1. Tristan Jakob-Hoff says:

      If musicians were to get upset at audience members falling asleep ten minutes into a concert and snoring quietly throughout, the Wigmore Hall would go out of business. . .

    2. greg says:

      AN pre-teen girl? Sir Rattle?!

  9. Brian says:

    When I read the headline, I thought: OK, this is either a Paris or a Cologne story. Dreadful, restless, uncouth audiences.

    What is it with Paris audiences in particular? And what is it with the staff? Two Sundays ago, I was sitting in the last row of the stalls (Dude conducting Mahler 3) when I noticed a lady close behind me taking photos with her smartphone. I made eye contact, willing her to stop and listen to the bloody music. She then continued to take photographs, only to annoy and disturb me further by flashing some kind of badge a minute later: “Philharmonie de Paris”.

    This, by the way, was after they had let in about 30 latecomers during the first movement. 30 people chatting, taking off jackets, some taking a last swig from a plastic bottle before settling down, others opening and closing bags (with noisy zippers and velcro) etc.

    At Salle Pleyel a few years ago, I noticed staff fiddling with their phones during concerts.

    Will that rare magic we sometimes experience at classical concerts ever be possible again?

    1. John Kelly says:

      Not in Paris by the sound of it. And I thought NY was bad………………sheesh.

  10. Eddie Mars says:

    Vladimir Ponkin, conducting a performance of Alban Berg’s LULU in Moscow, became aware of a patron talking noisily on their mobile phone in Row 4. Ponkin stepped out of the pit and into the auditorium (it was easily possible in that auditorium), and walked up to the oblivious listener. (The orchestra kept going). Ponkin took the phone from the lady, and returned with it to the pit, to conduct the rest of Act II. Furious attempts by the lady to have her phone returned to her were rejected until the end of the entire performance. I witnessed this all personally, and can vouch for its veracity.

    1. Dave T says:

      An orchestra doing Lulu without a conductor? Now that’s something.

      1. EricB says:

        Yep, has to be a VERY good orchestra !! Ha ha ha !

      2. Eddie Mars says:

        For about 50 seconds :)) You can climb out of the pit into Row 1 in about 10 seconds.

  11. Sid Smith says:

    Good riddance to the snapper. Never mind the legal position. How about things like manners and consideration for audience members around, not to mention a bit of respect for the artist? That kind of behaviour is indefensible.

  12. CDH says:

    It is a behaviour issue with the young — they are so used to living at one remove, through screens of one sort or another, that they cannot fathom living in the moment (nor do they see why they have to adhere to such “old-fashioned” mores as manners). At the concerts they do go to –rock, etc.– they watch the people they have forked out serious coin for on large screens, and they stand with their phones raised, in hope (deletable pictures makes a mockery of yet another former art form, photography, where the artist actually had to see the subject to attempt a picture). Rubbish photos will illustrate their bragging tales of “being there” while there will never be any discussion of what the artist was actually like on the night. Live music, to be listened to sitting down and shutting up, classical or their preferred rock, is outside their comprehension. And in the same way I can tune out something dull on the radio, they tune out instructions before concerts about phones, etc. It is honestly beyond them.

    Addictions used to be something to be treated, and eschewed. Why is this addiction to a technological tool encouraged and permitted? It needs intervention.

  13. EricB says:

    I think Christie on several occasions threw a few phoners out of the hall (Garnier, and Philharmonie, maybe….). It seems that no matter how often these things happen, you’ll ALWAYS have (new ?) audience members to educate…

    A couple days ago, at a Saint-Matthew by Gardiner at the Paris Philharmonie, JUST after the announcement about “turning your mobiles off”, one cell phone rang while Gardiner was explaining the need for silence BEFORE and AFTER the music.
    (Sigh…)

    1. Brian says:

      Yes, EricB, and Mr Christie couldn’t believe his eyes when he returned to the stage for Act II of Il re pastore (in the Philharmonie de Paris on March 18th): all those stragglers clambering into their seats, with the artists patiently waiting. Embarrassing, if you ask me.

  14. Matthias says:

    Winterreise is such a intimate and delicate piece, this should be considered too.

  15. George says:

    Awful behavior on the part of Goerne. Unfortunately the classical music world is one where the ‘artistes’ are allowed to show this kind of stuck up behavior. As another commenter said, it’s time he develop a thicker skin.

    1. Eddie Mars says:

      And what has a know-nothing slob like you ever achieved in the world of the arts, George?

      No, don’t tell me – you bought a sandwich for $14 in the intermission.

      What would an intellectual 0 like you know about Winterreise? About the texts of the songs? About the poet’s journey? About the world of the song recital?

      Nothing, Big fat nothing, that’s what you know, George. With your biiiiiiiiiiiiig mouth and your asinine sense of “entitlement” – you’ve bought a ticket, so for you it’s Access All Areas, and you can sneak into the soloist’s dressing-room to take a picture of his ass, right, George?

  16. Mathieu says:

    From a French lawyer:

    Goerne had no legal right to ask the rude gentleman to leave, only hall management would have been empowered to do so. (And there would habe been no need for them to call law enforcement). However, Goerne did not coerce him into leaving the hall, he did so on his own volition. Goerne did not act as a representative of hall management. So there would be no cause of action here I think.

    Now from a nonlegal POW: both parties acted like d&cks in this case. Obviously the patron should not have been taking pictures in the first pmace. And it was fine for Goerne to ask him to stop. It should habe been enough, too. Unless the photographer had gone on and on taking pictures in spite of having been asked not to do so, there was absolutely no need to ask him to leave the hall. Goerne had no right, legal or not, to demand that he do so.

  17. Douglas Nasrawi says:

    Herr Goerne should be fined

    1. Eddie Mars says:

      You need a slap in the face.

      1. Emil Archambault says:

        Such manners, Mr Mars!

    2. MWnyc says:

      Well, Douglas, you’re a singer. If you were singing a recital, and you saw an audience member in the front row taking photos while you were singing, how would you handle it?

  18. Sam McElroy says:

    There is much talk on this thread about alienating the younger audience.

    First of all, if you have ever sung a Winterreise, you will know that, with 24 intense songs to deliver in one of the most profoundly psychological works of the 19 century, there is absolutely no place whatsoever for cameras or phones. The singer sees everything in front of him. He is looking into a dark space, so every door opening, every flash, every quick cheque of the silent phone, they all provide a distraction away from the abstract world he is trying to create for the audience. Isn’t that what they paid for, after all?

    I’m all for – in some recitals and concerts – the artists providing a “get your phones out and film” moment. Maybe a song or two, or an encore. It allows people the recorded memory they have come to expect, for better or worse, and it provides a great marketing opportunity to force multiply your audience through the new lust for sharing. But these moments should be specified, and can absolutely not be applied to a work as deeply intimate, even spiritual, as Winterreise.

    Finally, I object to the notion that music must be “fun” in order to attract young audiences. I was attracted to classical music, and Schubert in particular, at 15 years old, not because it was “fun” but because it was the very opposite. I had rugby and discos and the back of the bike shed for fun. Schubert’s music was serious, and intensely elevating in its seriousness, in its quest to understand our, the “wanderer’s” journey through life. I don’t believe those existential questions are any less relevant in today’s gadget era, and I am quite sure that there are hoards of youngsters cerebral enough to understand the distinction between a phones on and a phones off moment.

    Good on you, MG.

    1. Grumpy says:

      At last. Snap (except for the rugby, sadly, and the bike sheds). Thank you.

    2. I agree with Mr McElroy that such works as Winterreise are so profound that they request all our concentration and the artists’ full dedication etc.
      However in the world of professional artists there also other priorities. For example I know very well that Herr Goerne **during the Pause** (not before) of one of his Song Recitals in Athens years ago (Schumann) demanded to hand over to him his payment check in order to get out and sing the 2nd part. He got it, put it in his pocket and then enered the stage and sang in deep emotion the Lieder. My illusions were over.

      1. EricB says:

        So what ? What does this “cell phone” affair have to do with your broken illusions ? Did you think artists were living with just love and fresh water ?
        What you describe is sometimes part of business practices, and this is specified in the contract. So he only requested the programmer’s part of the contract to be executed so he could do his. Nothing scandalous nor exceptional in that !

        1. Hold your horses. I did not write or even imply that he should sing for free.

          On the other hand, his contract was not stipulating the check to be handed over during the Pause but only *after* the recital’s end. So his request was beyond any contractual obligation – he just threatened not to complete the recital if his check was not handed over to him earlier than agreed. Nice?

          1. Eddie Mars says:

            In many countries it is a tradition to pay the performers at the interval – not to keep them waiting after the show, or pay them their money in front of well-wishers who might come to their dressing-room. There is nothing suspect in this.

            Moreoever, against the collapsing financial system in Greece at the time mentioned, when banks were going bankrupt, and ATMs were switched off and locked.

  19. I thought you were talking contracts, not traditions.

    1. EricB says:

      And I thought we were talking about what happened a couple of days ago at the Paris Philharmonie, not some years ago in Greece, which has no relevance whatsoever.

      1. The discussion was about Goerne, not Paris.

  20. Mara Miller says:

    Eddie Mars wins this thread.

  21. Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

    “Get out!” This is indeed the only appropriate response. A shorter one in German: “Raus!”. Even more apt.

  22. John says:

    The rules were stated. He was within his rights. He was thinking on the fly and what he did was probably less of a distraction than leaving the stage, calling the house manager, raising the lights, going into the house to locate the miscreant and then eject him.

    And you know, the rest of the people there seemed to completely approve. Bravo, Matthias!

  23. debussyste says:

    They is the legal point of view of course but, above all, the public MUST respect the artists !!

  24. Thomas Moser says:

    It is obvious from the postings here, that interest in classical music is not dwindling. For those who find Goerne´s reaction to be overdone or not within the legal framework, I can only offer the comment that Mr. Goerne was performing a song cycle. Its is not just a string of unrelated songs. The concentration and tension the artist needed to move from one song to the next was brutally broken by an audience member. I find Goerne´s reaction well within acceptable limits. The audience paid for entrance to an evening of music, not a photo shoot.

  25. G. Adams says:

    As a performer, I have been bothered by boors such as the photographer in the article, but as a professional, I have to rise above that. What is unbearable is a boor that interrupts the communication between a musical artist and the audience

    The legalistic and libertarian commenters will probably never understand this. They do not know the difference between artistry and entertainment. They are the subhumans who start applauding as soon as they recognize the piece, drowning out what they want to listen to.

    No, classical music will not die out for holding audience members to the standards which the *rest* of the audience knows are right, but it may die out if artists lower themselves and their art to the level of mindless beasts.


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