An incident at the Toronto Symphony on Wednesday seems likely to end up in court.
A man was removed from a performance of Carmina Burana after persistently directing abuse at a person in an adjacent seat. The offender was white and middle-aged. The victim was Aisha Ahmad, who describes herself as ‘British-born Canadian Muslim. PhD. Security specialist. Professor. Boxer.’
Professor Ahmad lectures on international security at the University of Toronto.
She added: ‘As the people around centred their aggression on me, I felt too uncomfortable to stay, so I got up and left.’
The orchestra tells us that hall staff intervened at intermission and removed the disrupter. He has been banned for life from attending Toronto Symphony concerts.
We understand that Toronto Police are investigating the incident with a view to prosecution.
The TSO has issued this statement:
The TSO has zero tolerance for abusive, violent and disrespectful behaviour. We regret this happened and take this situation very seriously. The offender was ejected from the hall and is no longer welcome at the TSO. The matter has been turned over to the Police.
-Was sitting with friend. We were told not to take flash photography, so I turned off flash to take one picture before the show started. /2
– Man behind me chopped me in the neck, said “put that away”. I replied “you have no right to touch me; that’s assault.” /2
– He then called me a “child” and a “bitch”. The other older people in the area then turned in support of him.
– As the people around centred their aggression on me, I felt too uncomfortable to stay, so I got up and left.
It sounds like a dispute on concert etiquette raged out of control.
More here on Musical Toronto.