Audience in uproar as Moscow concert starts 40 minutes late

The Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra is offering no explanation for starting a concert 40 minutes late and extending the interval to twice its normal length.

The concert was conducted by Yuri Bashmet.

All the orchestra will say is ‘Unfortunately, unlike in Europe, we don’t start concerts at exactly 1900’.

One audience member said most people around her were under the impression that the conductor had been overly well entertained and did not look fit for purpose.

Natalia Loseva added: ‘I don’t ever remember so much whistling and hooting in the academic hall.’

Bashmet, who has refused to comment, conducts the orchestra again on November 2. Or maybe later.


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  • I never had that experience in Moscow, but I do recall seeing Gergiev conduct Die Walkure where the intermissions lasted far longer than the standard 20-30 minutes, making an already-long evening nearly interminable. All I could think was “Thank Heaven for U.S. labor unions.”

  • I remember attending a concert in Saint-Petersburg with Gergiev conducting which started 20 minutes late without a word of explanation. The audience didn’t seem interested in the music (Mahler’s 10th symphony, first movement; Ravel’s G major piano concerto and the second suite of Daphnis et Chloé) as dozens of people were playing with their cell phones and phones rang constantly.
    So much for the sophistication of Russia’s classical concerts audience.

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