It took all week, but the orchestra tracked down that child

Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society set off a global search after a kid shouted ‘wow’ at the end of Mozart’s Masonic Funeral on Sunday.

Finally, they found him.

The boy is nine years old. He has been named as Ronan Mattin. His grandfather Stephen took him to the concert.

The family say that Ronan is on the autism spectrum and ‘expresses himself differently from how other people do’.

A Skype meeting is being set up with the conductor, Harry Christophers.


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  • 1. In today’s world, one can’t have anonymity today even if one wanted to, even if the HHS hadn’t put out a world wide hunt for the kid, even if family members didn’t seek out the boy, even if the boy’s grandfather didn’t give an interview and consented to be photographed.

    2. There was no way that this nine year old autistic boy was going to understand, assert, enjoy his privacy.

    3. The striking thing about the grandfather’s interview was how persistently apologetic he was about his grandson’s reaction.

    4. Mind you, the HHS did this for its own PR, not for the boy’s musical education or well being.

    5. Everything we do, how we react, is coopted for corporate use and promotion.

    • Why is this news. Local ‘feel good’ story at most. We seem to be intent on turning children with Aspergers into beings we can worship,
      As if they have some special gifts, eg Greta.

      • Alan: if by Greta you mean Greta Thunberg then yes, she does have a special gift. Through a very simple but heartfelt action she has managed to shift a lot of attention towards addressing climate change, which is probably the probably the single biggest challenge facing us this century. Perhaps because of her condition she can see the relative importance of things more clearly than most of us and is perhaps less easily distracted by side issues (e.g. Brexit).

  • In this context autism will serve him well: after all this publicity, any neurotypical kid would have become too self conscious to have another spontaneous post concert reaction.

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