At last night’s Cincinnati Symphony concert, a person in the front row was seen making a recording of the performance of Beethoven’s violin concerto.
The distinguished soloist proceeded to call out at the young woman to stop.
That’s all the detail we have at the moment – apart from the soloist’s name, which we’ll withold for the sake of discretion. This is about an attitude more than it’s about an individual.
The question is: should she have shouted?
A whisper in the wings to an usher between movements would have resulted in the quiet confiscation of the recording at the end of the performance with no public embarrassment to anyone.
Shouting from the stage is a no-no. It breaks the essential concert illusion.
I have seen it many times, and each time it has been the only thing I took away from the concert.
I once saw Philharmonia players yelling at a man next to me who snored gently through a Mozart concerto. I saw a famous pianist complain because audience members were more unsettled by building noises on London’s South Bank than by the sounds emerging from his piano. I have seen a conductor bark at an audience to settle down.
This should never happen, right?
But it still does.
UPDATE: A member of the orchestra observed the incident at close hand: ‘This occurred during the second movement of the Beethoven violin concerto. Anne-Sophie Mutter said that she could not perform while watching someone illegally film her entire performance from feet away (not an exaggeration). The individual filming did talk back, though English was not their first language and there was some confusion. They would not put down their phone or leave (even after the audience booed). The president of the Cincinnati Symphony eventually stepped in to escort this person out. After all of this ASM told the audience that they could enjoy the beautiful introduction by the winds a second time.
I don’t think it’s fair to ask this question without any facts!’