Ringtone halts orchestra performance

2012-01-13 09:03
New York - It's the dreaded sound at any live performance - a ringing cellphone.

That's what happened on Tuesday at Lincoln Centre's Avery Fisher Hall during the final movement of Gustav Mahler's Ninth Symphony by the New York Philharmonic.

Maestro Alan Gilbert stopped the orchestra until the phone was silenced.

The Wall Street Journal reports that when an iPhone's distinctive "Marimba" ringtone initially went off, Gilbert turned his head to signal his displeasure. But the ringing from the first row persisted and minutes went by.

Gilbert asked that the offending noise be turned off and finally stopped the orchestra until it was.

The Philharmonic said it was the first time the music director had ever interrupted a performance due to a mobile phone or other disruption.


  • Eugene - 2012-01-13 09:51

    If I were him I'd have been strongly tempted to walk out. The cellphone has introduced whole new vistas of rudeness to society.

      savyra - 2012-01-13 10:20

      Oh, so well said.

  • moby.quest - 2012-01-13 09:53

    Well Done Maestro! Really well done! I bet that iPhone user felt like a proper dimwit!

  • Peter - 2012-01-13 10:25

    Surely there should be signal scramblers in the building like in London's West End.

      raath - 2012-11-16 10:23

      Signal scrambling interferes with the sound equipment. People should rather learn manners and switch their phones OFF (no silent) during a performance. You are there to appreciate the music, not take phone calls.

  • sadiemy - 2012-01-13 15:26

    They should ban the patron from any future events at the venue

  • bounca363 - 2012-01-13 17:03

    Give this man a bells

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