Just in: Students disrupt Chicago Symphony concert

Just in: Students disrupt Chicago Symphony concert


norman lebrecht

April 03, 2016

Our Chicago Classical Review colleagues tell us that about 100 student protesters entered Symphony Center last night in an attempt to disrupt the Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert.

Some of the demonstrators managed to enter the hall. Small groups of protestors advanced to the front of the terrace seating behind the stage and attempted to unfurl banners, but these efforts were unsuccessful. One side of the banner on stage right fell down before being abandoned and removed, showing the names of Sam Zell and Governor Bruce Rauner.

Several patrons blocked the protestors actions on stage left, wrestling with them for control of their banner. Before it could be unfurled it was yanked down firmly to the stage by CSO trumpeter John Hagstrom.

Full report here.

chicago symphony protest

UPDATE: ABC report here.


  • Greg Hlatky says:

    Good thing they didn’t cough, rattle a program, applaud at the wrong time or take a picture. That would have been damnable.

  • Nannerl says:

    The other banner read “Don’t close Illinois colleges” or something close to that.

  • Peter says:

    Great. so the young people think classical concerts are relevant. So relevant, that they chose to protest right there. I think that’s a good sign. It would have been sad, had they walked into a musical theater.

  • herrera says:

    OK, so instead of “Occupy Wall Street,” apparently, it was “Occupy Symphony Halls”?

    Since when did orchestra halls become the Bastilles of America, symbols of oppression and economic inequality?

    I was most impressed by the trumpeter who took the students on without combat pay.

    Brass players, they’ve got brass ones, some of them quite big ones. (What? I’m thinking of tubas.)

    • CS says:

      Just the comment I would expect from a member of the 1% who feels entitled. And, FYI, for over 90% of the population tickets to CSO are unaffordable. So, Mr. Herrera, yes, you are part of the population that has harvested all the economic gains of the last 20+ years leaving the “common man” nothing but your crumbles. About time we had a “Bastille Day”. And, FYI, I am part of the 1% too, but am glad to pay more to help greater income equality – I have only wondered why it has taken so long for the people to realize they are being shafted by the rich.

      • herrera says:

        I do enjoy shafting the poor.

      • Oscar says:

        Oh, do pray tell what you are doing, CS, to “help greater income equality” [sic].

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, the CSO sells student tickets for $20. Most of the tickets in the gallery (the highest balcony) are $39. And it plays free community concerts with its music director every year. Inform yourself before perpetuating dangerous and damaging stereotypes about classical music.

    • MWnyc says:

      Yes, they have solid brass bells.

  • Put Myself Through Grad School says:

    No class kiddos. Just because you go to a concert, doesn’t mean you’re rich. YOU got in. Or are you rich? Here’s an idea…get a job or two or three like the rest of us did to put ourselves through school. When you get a job you’re also contributing to the tax pool which will in turn help your schools. FYI, the rich help you more than you realize. All of that aside. Super NO CLASS. channel all that brain power and energy to actually HELP the problem instead of just complaining about it in completely inappropriate ways. Idiots.