Savage Night at the Philharmonic


Tuesday night’s New York Philharmonic performance of the Mahler Ninth was stopped dead by an unusual instrument–the iPhone. An iPhone (using the marimba ring-tone) went off repeatedly in the fourth movement of Mahler’s final completed symphony…. [New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert] asked the man, sitting in front of the concert-master: “Are you finished?” The man didn’t respond.

“Fine, we’ll wait,” Mr. Gilbert said.

The Avery Fisher Hall audience, ripped in an untimely fashion from Mahler’s complicated sound-world, reacted with “seething rage.” Someone shouted “Thousand dollar fine.” This was followed by cries of “Get out!” and “Kick him out!”

They should have ripped the aging master-of-the-world limb from limb.