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A discordant phone call

The curse of the mobile phone hit a concert given by one of the world's most presitigous orchestras.

The phone, belonging to a member of the audience, went off just at the point where the New York Philharmonic was reaching the denoument of Mahler's Ninth Symphony - just a few bars from the end of the piece and one of it's quietest and most poignant moments.

Instead of ignoring the noise, conductor Alan Gilbert brought the orchestra to a halt and turned to look at the phone's owner, who was sat in the front row of the stalls.  Clearly unable to turn off the phone quickly, the conductor impatiently asked the audience menber: "Are you finished?" before stating, "fine, we'll wait!" to an accompanyment of jeers from other members of the audience.

Eventually the phone was turned off and the conductor then apologised to the audience, stating that the interruption was "so egregious" that he couldn't ignore it.  Clearly angered by the incident, Mr Gilbert then turned to the orchestra and started the final movement of the Mahler piece again.

Tags: And finally, N America

Published 23rd January, 2012

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