Should a musician ever shout at an audience member?

Should a musician ever shout at an audience member?


norman lebrecht

September 29, 2019

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!’




  • Michael says:

    Hard to say with the scant information provided. Was the music going on at the time or did the “yelling” happen between movements? Did Ms. Mutter actually yell or is thatvdescription overblown? I would have no problem with the soloist telling someone to stop. It seems like it is within their right. Provided this happened between movents, that is.

    • Harold Tucker says:

      She did not yell. It sounded like a normal conversational tone.

    • Dick Waller says:

      I believe the soloist had a perfect right to stop in mid-movement. A fine artist should not have to deal with a distraction of this sort while they are performing. Especially if it is a great work such as the Beethoven Violin Concerto.

  • Artist says:

    Let us be clear for a moment:
    When you buy a ticket to a concert, it enables you to:
    – Listen to the concert
    – applaud or boo after it

    It does not enable you to:
    – Take part in the performance (in ANY way, acoustically nor visually)
    – Record any video or audio, ever!

    After every concert I give, I find some video snippets on social media platforms…it is simply not right and also not fair.
    This is a matter of protection for artists!

    And YES, shouting at these disrespectful people is absolutely ok.

    • piano lover says:

      Protection for the artist indeed.
      I attended a Daniel Barenboim concert in feb 2010 in Brussels:the concert hall staff was walking in between seats to check if you had recording devices…

    • Artist says:

      Having the offender hushed and removed could be ok, but it is absolutely not ok for the artist to do it. Given your points above I clearly don’t want to give you and your pseudo artistic work any credit.

  • John says:

    I’m a musician – this kind of behavior from the soloist is appalling. Classical music remains one of the most small-c conservative fields in the world. If we do not even attempt to engage with culture, and chase away any hints of modernity, this great art for which devote our lives will certainly be gone within the next generation. We are literally fiddling while the audience dies and funding burns.

  • Illio says:

    Well, the artist in question is well known for speaking her mind. Would you expect any less from her?

  • A. Nonymous says:

    I wonder why the author didn’t acknowledge the fact that 1) the audience member yelled back and 2) this kind of behavior is not only rude and distracting but also illegal. This sounds like more of a defense of this kind of behavior by the audience than an actual write-up about the incident itself.

  • Vienna calling says:


  • Adam Stern says:

    It works both ways.

    Many years ago, at the Hollywood Bowl, Michael Tilson Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic were performing Beethoven’s First Symphony. About seven or eight bars into the delicate beginning of the slow movement, a member of the audience shouted out, “Why don’t you play loud enough for us to hear you?”

    To his credit, Tilson Thomas stopped conducting, turned to the audience, gave a short and (admirably) controlled impromptu speech about the skill and hard work it took for the Philharmonic to play so softly and beautifully, and started the movement again. There were no more interruptions.

  • Nostrdamus says:

    Presumably, the situation is that a guest artist destroyed the evening as a worthwhile artistic experience for every other person in the audience – and consequently damaged the orchestra’s relationship with its supporters. This is therefore an act of vandalism with respect to the art that the artist professes to be promoting. So no, it is not on at all, there is always a better way to address such issues.

    • Cyril Ignatius Kendrick says:

      She, they went back to the beginning of the movement. And afterwards, she did an encore. There was no vandalism. Is was an excellent performance. The crowd was on their feet.

    • Molly says:

      We were at the performance and it was appalling that the person with the cell phone argued with the soloist! The performance was not ruined and the audience applauded when the person with the cell phone was removed! The soloist and the Symphony repeated the movement from the start! It was a beautiful performance enjoyed by the solid out audience! All are warned at the beginning of the concert NO CELL PHONES no RECORDING!

    • Saxon Broken says:

      People pointing their phones at the stage is annoying and distracting for other people in the audience. It actually ruins my enjoyment of the concert when I am near people doing this (even if the person is only checking their phone for messages).

  • MusicBear88 says:

    Why the feigned secrecy? “Cincinnati Beethoven violin” yields quick results…

  • Musician says:

    Mutter did something similar when she was performing with my orchestra in Europe. However, on that occasion, she waited for the first tutti passage and wagged her finger at the audience member while shaking her head. Another person in the audience asked me after the performance what the head shaking and finger wagging was about. In her defense, it is irksome (to put it mildly) that people think a concert ticket also entitles them to a free video to share as they please.

  • Zarathustra says:

    It would have been more graceful had she left the stage and told staff to remove the lady recording her performance (even in the middle of a movement, I would understand such move – being filmed and knowing your performance is going to be thrown out on the internet for many to watch for free must be unnerving); but can’t really blame her for shouting. Respect is something that’s lacking on all fronts these days.

  • Nick2 says:

    About three decades ago I was at a recital being given by Rostropovich in the packed Taipei National Concert Hall whose audience included a good number of VIPs. Roughly 20 minutes in from the start, Rostropovich was emoting when his eyes drifted to the top of the stage above him. Immediately he stopped playing, spoke to his pianist Lambert Orkis whereupon they both walked offstage. The audience had no clue what was going on.

    After the promoter had raced backstage, he learned that Rostropovich had noticed a microphone very high above the stage. The promoter informed him it was merely the backstage relay mic. This was not acceptable to the maestro who pointed out that his contract stipulated no microphones. After almost ten minutes, a mechanical ladder was rolled on to the stage and technicians removed the offensive instrument. Soon after, the artists returned and restarted the movement.

    I thought the entire episode quite ridiculous. All the major concert halls in which Rostropovich regularly performed must surely have had relay mics which are essentially cuing devices. Besides, the sound quality from their elevated positions is usually pretty basic! On the other hand, being aware of the contract details the promoter might have had the courtesy to point out the microphone prior to the rehearsal and explain its function.

    • Mick the Knife says:

      A contract is a contract and if he put in “no mics”, it must have been important to him. They should have put in “except the relay mic” if it was so necessary.

    • piano lover says:

      S.Richter gave a recital in Barbican on the 29-03-1989.He looked up noticing the cameras..but went on playing,although he was not fond of these items.
      S.Richter:music above all
      M.Rostro…and many others:my ego first.

  • Nonbarihunk says:

    It is absolutely outrageous that a member of the public thinks they have the right to record someone’s performance without asking. I have seen it happen even at rehearsals and know it is very off putting.
    In a case when the soloist or singer may not be having a very good evening it is often used on social media to denigrate the artist in question.
    All mobile phones and electronic equipment should be turned off before the performance starts.

    • The View from America says:

      And in case audience members are clueless, these stipulations are clearly spelled out in the program booklets that are given out for each concert. That the audience member in question failed to read them — or can’t understand, read or speak English — is no excuse whatsoever.

    • Edgar says:

      Mobile phones and electronic equipment must not merely be turned off, but are best left at home, or, if that is impossible, shall be required to deposit, for a fee, at a coat check like counter when entering the concert hall. The device can then be returned after the concert is over, together with the fee.

      I also can think of technology in the hall which automatically disables any and all devices once these are inside it.

      It is quite simple, really: if one cannot survive without one’s device, then one better not go to a concert. Instead, one can use the device to download the app of the broadcaster providing transmission from the concert hall.

      • Bruce says:

        There exists a pouch (I forget the name of it, but it was developed for high schools) where you put your phone inside: the pouch locks, and the phone won’t work. You get to keep your phone with you, but can’t use it. At the end of the school day (or concert), you take your phone back to the designated location and they unlock the pouch.

        A brilliant idea, IMHO. Not sure how easy it would be to enforce among concertgoers though.

  • Paul Brownsey says:

    “Shouting from the stage is a no-no. It breaks the essential concert illusion.”

    There is no essential concert illusion.

    It is good to have such a vigorous demonstration that the music is being produced by human beings.

  • john Borstlap says:

    Indeed performers should refrain from adding more to the sounds they make than are written in the score. It’s like the sudden appeance of a gorilla at a wedding party.

    As far as yelling is concerned, some singers yell at the audience through their entire recital, but nobody protests.

  • Michael says:

    It would have been even more disruptive to leave the stage and alert Management and wait for a representative to handle the situation. How long of a delay would that have caused? At least 5 minutes? To wait until the performance was over would not work either, because by that time the audience member may have already uploaded the file to the cloud or YouTube. That’s all it takes. She took the appropriate action, and to blame the artist here is ridiculous. This shows you what a backwards society we are living in! And I also like the fact that the offending person was called out in public, as it serves this person right for knowingly breaking the rules!

    • Edgar says:

      If I were the soloist, I’d stop playing and smile at the offending audience member for as long as necessary until that person shuts off and puts away the device. Then I’d invite the conductor to proceed with the third movement. I know, Beethoven VC’s second movement goes right into the third by means of a nice short phrase – too bad, though. I’d move into the third movement without further ado, and, when finished, take a bow, thank the colleagues in the orchestra, and leave the stage.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    K. Zimmerman is famous for outbursts and leaving the platform when he sees what he thinks are recordings being made.

    ==the soloist’s name, which we’ll withold for the sake of discretion.

    GIYF (Google is your Friend) and it took just a second to find out.

  • Patrick says:

    She stopped in the middle of the 2nd movement. This way the whole performance is damaged and the entire audience suffers. Not worth stopping. This was the only camera she saw. Does anyone really believe there weren’t others unseen? Filming is absolutely wrong, yes, but if you want to ensure you’re never secretly recorded in performance, don’t perform in public. An amateur video with poor sound. Not entirely a victimless crime, but hardly worth stopping in the middle of the movement.

    • Bruce says:

      The lesson here, as any schoolchild should know, is “don’t get caught.” In my Galway story below [yet to be approved], the person recording was sitting in one of the front rows holding a recorder (not a phone but like a Zoom or something – this was ~10 years ago) up above his head.

      Surely famous artists know they’re going to be recorded — and a quick YouTube search will tell them they already have been. They know they can’t stop it, but they can do whatever’s in their power to keep it discreet.

      • a friend of Peter Gelb says:

        Bruce should apply for a management position at the Met. Just think how he brilliantly he would deal with allegations against Levine or Domingo…

        “Surely famous opera singers know they’re going to have to give sexual favours to conductors and superstar tenors to advance their career. They know they can’t stop it, but they can do whatever’s in their power to keep it discreet.”

  • CSO Violin Solo says:

    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!

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Thank you for supplying more detail.

    • Nijinsky says:

      This article says that the person with the cell phone wasn’t arguing with Ms. Mutter at all, and had gotten up to apologize and was bowing in respect. And that’s from eye witnesses that were close enough to actually hear what was being said.

      It says that:

      “The person with the phone stood up and was extremely embarrassed and was immediately apologizing in broken English, bowing in respect, and went out by choice crying.

      “This is from a first-hand account from a friend sitting three seats away from the young woman. She was not arguing. I agree people are glued to their phone too much but don’t misrepresent what actually happened.”

      Another concertgoer also defended the young audience member, saying on Facebook: “The young woman didn’t argue back. My student was in the same row and was one of the few people within earshot.

      “The woman was standing up to apologize, saying how she was sorry and how much she respected Mutter.”

      I also read somewhere else that the lady with the cell phone showed the president of the symphony that she had erased all the footage she had taken.

      This really has gotten out of hand; and had this lady known beforehand that out of respect towards Anne she shouldn’t do what she did, she certainly wouldn’t have. I remember that Anne had made someone in China recording a concert she gave leave; that was discussed here I think, and it was remarked that whoever it was probably knew nothing about concert etiquette, and that it made Anne look bad.

      I’m not condoning someone taking footage with a cell phone, but you can’t assume they are doing that for uncaring reasons.

      • Bruce says:

        Ignorance of the rules is no excuse. “No recording” is universally printed in all program books (on each concert page, not just once at the front) and on all tickets. Often, an announcement is also made over loudspeakers before the start of the concert as well. It’s usually on the organization’s website too, for that matter. Even if English is not your first language, it’s difficult to remain ignorant of this rule.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Often times I have to nicely ask people near me to stop recording or playing with their phones during concerts. The point is that it annoys and distracts other concert-goers, not just the musicians on the stage.

    • Nijinsky says:

      Well Anne Sophie has spoken out about it in today’s Strad:

      ‘The first movement is over, and I’m trying to concentrate and stay calm,’ Mutter told the New York Times. ‘Then she takes out a second phone, and a power bank. I continued the second movement, but it’s already boiling in me. I’m totally out of the flow.’

  • Bruce says:

    We had James Galway stop in mid-phrase and tell someone in the audience to stop recording. But he was apologetic about it (somewhat), saying it bothered him personally, he didn’t talk about laws or copyrights or anything. Mainly I think he counted on the person’s embarrassment at being singled out in front of 1600 people. Anyway, the person put away his recorder, and the orchestra started again, ~8 bars before the flute entrance. The performance went fine.

    Interestingly, people my age (mid-40s at the time) totally agreed with him and thought he’d handled it gracefully, but my students (teens to 20s) thought he’d made a huge scene for no reason.

  • Giordo says:

    You have absolutely no right to film the musician or any other artist performing his craft without permission. So many people think that buying a concert ticket entitles them to film the artist and take as many pictures as possible when this is not and will never be the case. The fact that the audience member yelled back and refused to leave is enough to assume this is an entitled and inexperienced spectator.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    Did anybody film the reprimand of the original filmer ? That would be fun to see 😉

    • SVM says:

      Much as I respect Dr Cavett, this is an inappropriate remark. The *only* acceptable use for a 2nd illegal film of this event would be as court evidence to sue the “original filmer” and obtain a warrant to seize all his/her electronic devices, hard drives, and other storage media.

    • Cyril Ignatius Kendrick says:

      Doubtful. The audience applauded the violinist’s complaint to the violator and her general statement.

    • Don Fatale says:

      Yes dammit, why didn’t anyone think to film the scene! 🙂

  • MacroV says:

    I’m less concerned about copyright issues and such – nobody is making money off this video – but the “in your face” part is the key. If someone wants to video from the back of the orchestra section where the soloist won’t notice, I don’t have a big problem with it. But from the front row? No way. Plus every orchestra makes very clear – no photos, videos, recording, etc.. I think Mutter was absolutely right here.

    • Daphnis says:

      The point is not whether anyone is making money off this video. The point is that illegally pirated videos that are made easily accessible for free completely undermine the laws of intellectual property and destroy performers’ rights to be justly compensated for their efforts and achievements through the legal sales of recordings and videos. Simply capitalism: people will not pay for that which they can get for free. This is not simply discourteous or a misunderstanding of the rights of concert attendance, it is illegal.

    • SVM says:

      If the video is uploaded to Youtube, then Google is making money from it (advertising revenue). Similar principle for other content-sharing sites.

    • david hilton says:

      Actually copyright is not just about money and economic interests of performers. It protects the ‘moral rights’ of performers to authorise or not the fixation of their performances and gives them a right to protear against perceived damage to their honour or reputation entirely apart from whether any money is made by anybody out of the copyright infringement. Berne Convention, art. 6bis.

    • Daphnis says:

      The point is not whether anyone is making money off this video. The point is that illegally pirated videos, which are made easily accessible for free, blatantly violate the laws of intellectual property. They destroy performers’ rights to be justly compensated for their efforts and achievements through the legal sales of recordings and videos. Simple capitalism: people will not pay for that which they can get for free. This is not simply a misunderstanding of concert etiquette, it is illegal. The concert was interrupted by the person doing the recording, not by Anne-Sophie Mutter.

    • Grabenassel says:

      Canˋt agree more – there have been illegal recordings from the beginning era of „portable taperecorders“ – it is said, that almost every recital of Horowitz since the 60s has been recorded in some way, but this has been done secretely, so in a way admitting the fact that it is illegal. But today people just shamelessly videos from the front rows – Mutters reaction is absolutely ok. BTW it should be the business of the concert-hall staff to prevent any filming (…..i know itˋs almost impossible…..)

    • Feurich says:

      The person filming also distracts everyone around them. It is hugely distracting. So from the back of the orchestra or elsewhere it should not be permitted.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Are there ushers positioned at strategic spots in the concert hall that monitor this behavior, perhaps? If someone working the hall had witnessed this, potentially, they could have quietly removed the wrongdoer between movements or immediately at the conclusion of that piece. It is unnerving for a soloist or even a front row musician to have the need to act upon seeing this invasion for whatever purposes they may have. On the flip side, have you ever attended pop events? When top celebrity artists take to the stages of Madison Square Garden, or the like, cell phones are all lit up. Videos are shared like crazy on social media. It does not make it right. Perhaps if it were me, I would have played through the piece and, upon going off stage first time, alerted the staff to take action. Once confiscated, it would be up to the staff how to proceed, be it to make sure none of the recordings were shared or posted etc. My job is to play, and the business can be handled immediately after. What can that person do with it anyway to make money? If you think about it, if that person shares it, the video can only spur interest for the viewer(s) to have the desire to go out and buy the artist’s recordings. Consider the video-taker a free publicity tool. It’s a crazy way of looking at it, but in the end, that could be all it is. If the video taker intruded with their seated neighbors, then would it be fair game for those seated next to that person to take action quietly, perhaps staring that person down or quietly telling him/her to stop? Chances are, they would stop. The music is the heart of the matter for the soloist and the orchestra. They work so hard to create that performance. They shouldn’t have to interrupt that moment. True, it is unnerving to see if someone is doing that, and from what we have read by witnesses, the soloist handled it the way she felt appropriate. She is a world class artist and nobody can tell someone how to react at the moment when the adrenalin is flowing and you’re in a ‘live’ performance mentality. I still stay faithful to the idea that ushers or other appointed staff can monitor quietly to catch the culprit. Of course, going to an extreme, if every seat had a ticket holder’s name attached to it in a computer, and their address was included either email or mailing, if there was a fine of, say, $500 for recording illegally, I bet you would never see it happen again. Like a speeding ticket by mail. Always boils down to ‘if they can get away with it’.

  • Tamino says:

    Second mov. Beethoven Vl concerto? Woodwinds introduction???
    Are you sure this wasn‘t Sibelius?

  • Shannon Johnson says:

    I think it’s necessary to speak up, but it can be done with some level of charity–as a teaching moment perhaps–since audiences are often not very well educated on appropriate behavior. But then again, a good public shaming probably makes for a stronger lesson!

    I disagree with the idea that one should wait and confiscate video later, because an illuminated video (usually cell phone) screen held up to tape a performance is horribly distracting both to the musicians and to everyone sitting behind the video taping person.

    Ugh. I hate that people are too ignorant, selfish, and social media addicted, to enjoy a beautiful concert.

  • Dominic says:

    Why are soloists (who have exacted their craft enough to be hired to perform with big time orchestras) so paranoid about people recording them? Do they not like their own playing? Then why are they there to begin with? You are simply never going to catch everybody recording you at a concert. Heck, the local radio station is often doing it.

    • Daphnis says:

      There are laws governing the right of a performer to be paid more for archivable recordings than for a one-off live event. This is not about what people may think makes sense to them personally, it is part of a contractual agreement between presenters and performers. Local radio stations have negotiated mutually agreeable arrangements (e.g., a donation to the relevant pension fund) that allow them to record the concerts, not surreptitiously but with the performers’ prior understanding, in a manner that respects the sound quality of the performance by using professional equipment.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Also, radio recording the concert does not usually distract the people in the audience. To be honest, I don’t really notice the BBC televising the proms. But I do notice a blue light from a phone lighting up the concert hall.

  • Cyril Ignatius Kendrick says:

    I was in the audience. She didn’t shout. She spoke her complaint to the person who was violating protocol and explained what was wrong with recording thus way. Momentarily, the violated was escorted from the concert hall. Annie-Soohie Mutter turned and spike with the conductor, and the music was rescued from the beginning of the movement. It was a highly successful performance. And I’m glad the violinist defended the integrity of classical music concert hall performance.

  • SVM says:

    It can be a difficult judgement call to determine the threshold at which “the essential concert illusion” has been broken. But if a soloist or conductor feels that it *has* been broken by unacceptable and/or disruptive behaviour from the audience, he/she has every right to stand up for his/her rights vocally.

    If you decide to make an illegal recording, you have forfeited any right to avoid “public embarrassment”. Enforcing the rules retrospectively and discreetly, as Lebrecht proposes, just does not work. Numerous times, I have seen stewards/ushers attempt to enforce the rules, only for the offenders to continue breaking them the moment the steward/usher has gone. For this reason, I take the view that performers can and should stand up for themselves openly and vocally. Several of the other comments have observed how widespread illegal recording has become; this means that “public embarrassment” is a proportionate and necessary remedy.

  • M McAlpine says:

    I have been in other venues (other than concerts) where it has been made quite clear that recording and photography is illegal while the meeting is going on and anyone found doing so will be asked for their phone/camera and it will be wiped. It is a disgrace that people do this sort of thing. Maybe the soloist could have done things differently but don’t blame her – blame the ignoramus who was recording.

  • Edgar says:

    “I don’t think it’s fair to ask this question without any facts!”

    Please change the click bait headline, Norman, as the question mark has become obsolete.

  • Stephanie says:

    Public humiliation like this is never okay. I do not care how good she thinks she is. This behavior was immature and rude to say the absolute least. I guarantee you other great performers witnessed being illegally recorded and we’re decent enough people to handle it in a mature fashion. Since when does being good at something give you the right to publicly humiliate someone?

  • Roger says:

    Doesn’t matter what we think.
    Everyone knows that.
    Generally, recording a live performance for your use is against the rules. Period.
    Leave your damn iPhone at home and watch and listen.
    Think you’re in a Seinfeld episode?
    Want a recording? Buy it. Or get it on Youtube.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Heaven forbid that someone would want a recording of a live performance – such a crime! Since Ms. Mutter has the power of DG behind her (and has recorded darn near everything), I guess she wouldn’t want competing recordings to detract from those sales.

  • Patrick says:

    Yet, without these scoundrels, we would never have….

  • John Scullion says:

    The soloist should stop playing or singing go to the stage manager offstage and have secutity deal with it and start again.

  • Ludwig's Van says:

    As a 40-year resident of Manhattan and an avid concert goer, I’ve observed the gradual deterioration in the comportment of concert audiences. Adult Attention deficit disorder is on the rise, and people just don’t know how to sit still and listen anymore. They text, check their emails, read Facebook, rattle their programs, dig endlessly into their purses, unwrap candies, talk (in full voice), take photos & videos – at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Met Opera. And of course woe betide you if you complain to them – they look at you with contempt and disdain. It’s gotten to a point where I dread going to concerts. Yes, if an artist is bothered by an audience member, they have every right to say something- they worked for months & years honing their craft, and they have a right to expect your full attention. The ushers do their best but can’t possibly catch every offender, so it’s appropriate for the artist to let the audience know when they are being compromised.

  • Sardonic Violinist says:

    Bush League. If you’re going to do something like that you don’t sit in the fucking first row. Sit your ass about 10 rows back, wear a heavy jacket. I’ve recorded tons of soloists, for my own educational purposes.

    No regerts.

  • Karl says:

    At all the concerts I attend they tell us to turn off our phones and electronic devises. When people don’t it’s the ushers’ job to enforce the rule. This case is due to incompetence by the ushers.

  • Elvira says:

    The best solution is to announce the public to turn off any phones or recording devices before the concert.
    If this is illegal the public will understand and stick to the rules.

  • DrewStansen says:

    I’m totally with Mutter on this one. In addition, I believe it is time that the perpetrators, be photographed, named and shamed.

  • Cincinnati Symphony fan says:

    Adding to “CSO Violin Soloist’s” comments above, as an audience member sitting in the orchestra section Saturday night, it took mere minutes once the Larghetto started over again for the incident to be forgotten thanks to ASM and all of the members of the Cincinnati Symphony’s committed performance of the 2nd and 3rd movements of the concerto.

    A couple of comments: some audience members mentioned at intermission that ASM seemed distracted prior to the stoppage and that she was trying to get the attention of the conductor. I didn’t notice this. Also, though it seemed interminable, CSO President Jonathan Martin was sitting nearby and the whole incident took very little time, perhaps a minute or so. Yes, it was bizarre, and post-concert discussions with musicians of different generations were not in agreement about the appropriateness of the stoppage.

  • Want to find content on the internet for thriving industries. Yup…it’s all there. It’s a great marketing tool. Imagine getting younger people to watch classical players do their thing to continue to get excited about the future of classical music. Yet, classical musicians fight it in every way possible. Pathetic, ridiculous, misguided and plain dumb. Someone above even said that they get furious when they find their “unathorized videos” online.

    Get with the times everyone. Evolve or die. Oh wait…how many full time orchestras are left. Yeah…y’all are good with dying.

  • Trevor in NZ says:

    I can’t believe that so many of you are against the performer. I say good on her. I also can’t believe that the offender argued the point with the performer for several minutes. I think we are obsessed with individul rights these days and this is just another example. And as for the precious audience having their enjoyment interupted – she did start again at the beginning of the slow movement and the reviewer said she played perhaps even more finely the second time. Any performance is a one-time experience shared by the audience and the performers. Sometimes it’s coughing, sometimes a truck/train goes past, whatever, you accept these glitches but it must have been galling for the rest of the audience that this person interupted it in this way. Reportedly, they di boo as we was arguing and they did applaud when she was led out. They will certainly remember it!

  • Don Fatale says:

    Firstly, in answer to the question posed. The musician shouldn’t have to police the audience, but I don’t blame s/he for doing it. The ushers should be doing their job.

    The selfishness of people using phones – for all manner of activities but especially filming – ruins the concert experience for many. It’s a serious problem in many halls and opera houses.

    I favour draconian measures. I’d like to see a member of the management walk onto stage before EVERY concert starts and explain the penalty for filming is to be escorted from the venue. The speaker could also make general announcements about upcoming events. Sure, why not! But please, no rambling about tonight’s music or performers, we have a program for that!

  • Dropped Stitch says:

    In general, I would like to see better-trained ushers who are on the look-out for these behaviors and who are trained to deal with them discreetly and professionally, with a process in place to bring in the house manager as necessary. The performers on stage should not have to deal with this at all, ever; that’s as much a part of the problem here as the rude, illegal recording.

    I used to sing in a small choir that performed in a lovely, resonant church…. mostly unaccompanied early music. There was one lady who came to every concert – yay! but she always brought her knitting. Always. This was not subtle knitting, but KNITTING with large arm gestures and clacking needles and the occasional dropped (and retrieved) ball of yarn. It was slightly comical but hugely distracting, especially during very quiet music or in that special pause after a quiet ending when you want hear nothing but your impression of the ending and you hear CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK or you hear someone couting stitches. In addition to the distrations, her knitting made us feel like background music.

  • miles away says:

    As a sound engineer, I would say A-S-M was dead on.
    Kick the person’s a..s out of the concert hall and start the whole piece again.

    Recording people’s music without permission even/or specially on, some crappy smartphone is grossly disrespectful!
    If WE have to observe this kind of protocol, I have no idea why the general public should have this new word “entitlement”.

    Clear, they only think of themselves.
    What a loser!

  • Potrzebie says:

    I have been a classical music Public Radio host for more than 30 years. I don’t think I’ve been in a concert hall, EVER, that didn’t have a notice posted (most in multi-lingual format) forbidding recording, photography, etc. Not only have I witnessed constant flaunting of these very clear rules, but I have also sat in close proximity to audience members who insist on talking through an entire performance and being completely incensed when called out, thus ruining what I hoped would be a pleasant evening. As much as I would like to go to concerts more often, it’s this lack of respect that keeps me home or listening to recordings sans idiots. I don’t know what the remedy is, or if there even is one, but I do not blame artists one bit for reacting.

    • Brian says:

      I always sit in the last row in case i nod off it has happened in the past
      At least the soloist cannot here me.
      When you get to my age over 40 it does occur . But the wife will wake me up.