This conductor is pants

This conductor is pants


norman lebrecht

October 23, 2019

Our video analysts have now subjected to frame by frame scrutiny the incident in which conductor Muhai Tang lost his trousers during a brilliant concert with the La Scala orchestra in Milan.

Muhai Tang, 70, has had a hitherto upstanding career with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Flanders (1991-95), the Queensland Symphony (1991-2001), Finnish National Opera (2003-06) and Belgrade Philharmonic (2010-15).

The concert, marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese revolution, was built around the Butterfly Lovers concerto and a seventh symphony by the Chinese composer,  Ye Xiaogang.

We are unable to identify which piece of music it was that brought the pants down.

All we can see is that Tang, for some reason, got down from his podium to conduct at floor level when the waistband gave way.

The players, who are delivering a consistent forte, keep their eyes firmly on the score – all apart from the second concertmaster who, after a look of shock and horror, leans forward to turn a page and almost corpses in a fit of giggles.

Do not practice this at home.

UPDATE: Hang on, it looks like he’s a bit accident prone.


  • Alexander says:

    The music that really bring ants in pants … awesome 😉

  • Patrick says:

    Just what we need these days….another conductor who can’t keep his pants on.

  • Gustavo says:

    Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pants


    Der Hosenkavalier

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    No big problem. That happened with Brahms too.

  • A similar (almost) accident happened to Brahms when conducting at the premiere of his violin concerto in Leipzig in 1879. Instead of listening to the music, the audience watched in horror the pants sagging down with each phrase and being hurried-up by hand. Listeners took with them an impression of continued tension without resolution, but not created by the music.

  • cym says:

    I saw a similar incident in a all-Stravinsky program, where the conductor had his pants on fire-bird !!

  • Brian says:

    Ha, poor guy. And you can see why people like Anne Sophie Mutter get huffy about audience members filming. Every mishap is preserved for Youtube’s enjoyment.

  • Bostin'Symph says:

    It makes a change from bringing the house down.

  • cym says:

    That was a ‘short’ version of Pictures of an Exhibitionist …

  • Ben Heide says:

    OMG this is not his first blooper. He also slipped on stage during a gala and took out the soloist.

  • ketzel says:

    Why is the Chinese Revolution being celebrated in Italy? Corrupt and insulting.

    • Peter Scaargard says:

      Because it is not. It is China’s 70th anniversary from the founding of the new republic in 1949. Idiots don’t even know the dates of the Cultural Revolution and they think it’s been 70 years since that…

  • Save the MET says:

    A compelling argument for a pair of braces.

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    This goes far in justifying the belt-tightening policies of many orchestras.

  • Mao says:

    I find this such a fitting homage to a corrupt and murderous regime on the 70th anniversary of it’s founding. This is the best way to moon all the bloodthirsty apparatchiks and their toadying foreign friends in the audience. Bravo Maestro!

  • cym says:

    I hope Chinese conductor, Muhai Tang, won’t suffer from a slipped disc after his fall …

  • Violin accordion says:

    Echoes of #billclintonmeetsnamjunepaik.
    (On YT)

  • Mick the knife says:

    This guy can’t catch a break but there is almost artistry in his take down of that women. It looks like something you would see in WWE.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Were they playing “Donald, where’s yer trousers?”

    Their performance really brought the pants down!!

  • Norman Krieger says:

    My teacher Adele Marcus told me that she was in attendance at Horowitz’s debut at Carnegie Hall in 1928. She said when Horowitz came crashing in with the opening chords of the Tchaikovsky piano concerto no.1 Sir Thomas Beecham’s suspenders snapped and he not only struggled to keep up with Horowitz but was holding his pants up as well. I believe they were both making their debuts at Carnegie that day.

    • cym says:

      I thought that Horowitz’ wife ( Wanda, daughter of Toscanini) was the one wearing the pants in their lives ; She should have save Beecham’s suspenders’ mishap !

    • John Borstlap says:

      Beecham’s suspenders must have had a very sensitive musical perception. There are also reports of people’s glasses bursting at the premiere of the piece.

  • Steve says:

    Back in 1969 the Lamplighters in San Francisco were doing a final dress rehearsal of The Gondoliers. The Duke, speaking to his daughter Casilda, gave his line, “And now, my love, prepare for a magnificent surprise.”

    AND HIS PANTS FELL DOWN. (snickers from the cast)

    “It is my agreeable duty to reveal to you a secret which should make you the happiest young lady in Venice!”
    ……”A secret, which for state reasons, it has been necessary to preserve for twenty years.”

    AND HIS PANTS FELL DOWN AGAIN. (guffaws from the rest of the cast)

    Never to be forgotten and amused. Stuff hapens.