The critic Paul Pelkonen informs us that an elderly woman suffered apparent cardiac arrest at the start of the second half of a New York Philharmonic matinee concert on Friday. There has been no external corroboration of the death. UPDATE: The New York Philhamonic says it cannot comment ‘out of respect for the person’s family’.
Here is Paul’s eyewitness account:
When she collapsed, the orchestra was already seated to play the second half of the program, awaiting the arrival of the concertmaster and Mr. Kahane. She was on the west side (house left) of Avery Fisher Hall in the Orchestra seating, when she fell to the floor at the end of the row. An usher was quick to summon the house manager and a little later, Lincoln Center Security.
An unidentified party administered CPR, helped and relieved by two strong men who aided with the gruelling task of heart massage. They administered chest compressions and rescue breaths, working steadily until EMTs arrived with a wheeled stretcher. The young men helped the woman onto the stretcher, and continued compressions as she was wheeled out. She was pale and from my point of view across the auditorium, unresponsive. The lights then lowered and the concert proceeded as planned.