Concert disruption: woman evicted for shouting 'boring'

Concert disruption: woman evicted for shouting 'boring'


norman lebrecht

November 30, 2011

A minor incident, perhaps another sign of the times.

During a symphony concert in Bainbridge, Washington, a woman was hustled out of the performing arts centre after she shouted ‘boring’.

It appears her daughter was playing in the orchestra and she had some professional rivalry with the new conductor. Small town stuff.

Details are scanty. Read more (not much) here.



  • Oh, how many times would I have liked to have cried “boring” – in films, concerts and at people who bang on about their tedious holidays. A Dutch pilot once tried some idiotic chat-up on me in a crowded bar in Amsterdam. After listening patiently for severalminutes, I cried YOU ARE BORING ME as loudly as I could. I have felt very satisified about the incident ever since.

  • Jacob says:

    Only boring people are never bored.

    • Doug says:

      …and only sheep mindlessly consume whatever is thrown in front of them….and smile….and worship the farmer and call him a rock star.

      • Janey says:

        Feel free not to “mindlessly consume.” But be quiet about it. Leave when there is an appropriate moment. Write a letter. Go to the stage door and complain. You have no right to disrupt others whose opinions may be different than yours. Refusing to be “a sheep” doesn’t give you the right to be rude.

    • Charles says:

      On the contrary! Only boring people get bored!

  • Margaret Aagesen Hughes says:

    Death in Venice 1980 ish. Film club at college. Lots of Mahler. More Mahler. And more. Plenty of Dirk Bogarde but not enough. Lots of rugby players in theatre. One breaks the ice by muttering, “God, I’m bored….” Then similar on all sides…. Haven’t listened to Mahler 5 without a smile ever since. Sorry, Norman!

  • Paul Mann says:

    Not enjoying something doesn’t entitle you to ruin the experience for everyone else. Concert halls shouldn’t be treated as places of worship, but in the absence of better conventions they do depend on people showing a certain amount of mutual respect. If you’re bored, or unhappy, or you think you could do it better yourself, then just leave. Quietly. The rest of the hall doesn’t need to know what you think.

  • Clyde McConnell says:

    This report from Bainbridge, Washington, together with yesterday’s report of the death of Ken Russell, puts me in mind of a story I heard second hand decades ago, about a screening of Russell’s “Mahler”, probably in London. The account may be apocryphal, but it is certainly plausible. Some way into the film, an older man in the audience rose to his feet, shouted “What a load of rubbish!” and walked out.

  • Kit says:

    In such circumstances, counter-heckling sometimes saves the day. When friends were heckling at a dissonant performance of works by Charles Ruggles in 1974, Charles Ives got up & shouted: “Hey, shut up you sissies. Why don’t you use your ears like men!”

    I was once at a Jonathan Harvey concert sitting a few seats down from a serial hacking cougher who seemed oblivious to the way he was destroying the piece; as he got up and walked past us my friend tripped him and said “thanks for ruining the concert!”, then the cougher lunged at my friend’s throat and we had to fight him off. Everyone came up to my friend afterwards and thanked him for doing exactly what they felt like doing. The review the next day said “it’s not every concert that ends in fisticuffs.”

  • Fred Child says:

    The young American conductor Wesley Schulz was making his debut as Music Director of the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra. The program was mostly light, short works. Brahms Academic Festival Ovt, a 7-minute piece by Eric Whitacre, Bizet’s Carmen Suite No.1, Sibelius’ Andante Festivo, and Rachmaninoff’s Caprice bohémien. (Program info here: The concert began at 7:30, the police arrived just before 8:30. So…maybe the call went out during the Bizet? Here’s the original story from the local paper:

    • Thanks very much for this information.

      • Fred Child says:

        I had hoped to get more on this from the conductor (for whom I presume this was somewhat traumatic), but he plainly stated that he’s unable to offer comment on the situation. Perhaps there are legal proceedings underway? (And: thanks Mr. Lebrecht for the timely information offered by your blog.)

        Fred Child, host of APM’s Performance Today

  • Andrew says:

    WIsh I could shout “BORING” at some conductors from within the orchestra!