Man bites dog, punches concertgoer in the face

November 25, 2016 by norman lebrecht


Only the second half of the headline is true, but it is every bit as uncommon as the first.

The case is being heard today in a Baden-Baden court of a man who punched a concertgoer in the face.

Details are skimpy, but it is reported that a ticket holder at the Festpielhaus rose during the encores and began clapping rhythmically. The man behind him asked him to sit down.

Words were exchanged, then blows. The man behind took one in the face.

Be careful out there.


fight orchestra

(unrelated image)

Comments (12)

  1. Andreas B. says:

    ‘concertmaster’ would be ‘Konzertmeister’ in German.

    the linked article simply is reporting fisticuffs between two members of the audience (‘Konzertbesucher’ is more or less synonymous with ‘Zuschauer’).

    Not so uncommon, then …

    1. norman lebrecht says:

      Ah, I am so used to seeing Konzertmeister, I misread Konzertbesucher…. I’ll change it.

      1. Max Grimm says:

        On the note of change….“The man behind took one in the face.” is incorrect.
        It was ‘the man behind’ who took his fist and delivered it squarely into the face of the man in front of him.

        1. Cyril Blair says:

          Well at least it wasn’t the case that the man facing him took one in the behind.

      2. Max Grimm says:

        My last comment doesn’t seem to have gone through.
        I wondered if you had missed Bernard Haitink being announced as the recipient of the 2016 Edison Klassiek Oeuvreprijs some days ago?
        Here are some sources with the news…

  2. John Borstlap says:

    The Baden-Badeners are famous for their passionate love for classical music.

    1. Peter says:

      Particularly the many new ones from Russia.

  3. David Boxwell says:

    Coughing and cell phones in Mahler’s 9th can also provoke this kind of response, at least in the enraged imagination.

  4. Greg says:

    Brings back a memory long buried, Norman 😉

  5. Anon says:

    Which reminds me, what ever happened with that incident where John Elliot hit a player? He just got away with it?

    1. Max Grimm says:

      It appears nothing ever happened. ‘Jiggy’ apparently presented the trumpet player in question with a written apology and the sun shone brightly in London’s musical skies yet again.

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