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New York Philharmonic Performance Interrupted By Cell Phone

   13 members have voted

  1. 1. Did Alan Gilbert do the right thing by stopping the music for a cell phone?

    • Yes, absolutely.
      10
    • No. Trudge onward!
      2
    • Maybe.
      0
    • I don't know/No Opinion
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17 posts in this topic

On Tuesday a very rare thing happened: conductor Alan Gilbert of the New York Philharmonic put down his baton and stopped the music after a patron's cell phone kept ringing in a performance of Mahler 9.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/12/ringing-cellphone-disrupts-new-york-philharmonic-performance/

The story is also available in many different news outlets.

What do you think of the situation? Did Gilbert to the right thing? Should there be more measures to limit technological devices in the hall? Share your thoughts.

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What Allan Gilbert did was absolutely right. He was just demanding respect for himself, the NYPO... and Mahler!!!!!!!!

I only wish it had been the Sixth Symphony instead of the Ninth. Thus he could have used one of the hammerschlags on the cell phone and the other one(s) on its owner.

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It irks me to no end when things like this happen in performances. I think he should have had the man thrown out....I mean seriously. You come to a freaking concert and don't turn off your phone???????

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Oh yes, if it would have been the 6th, conductor says to percussionist, "come on man, go and use the hammer with him" haha

was in the 9th Adagio ? that's a mortal sin

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There's no need to get self-righteous and overreact, guys. I thought what the conductor did was a little overkill. It's a pretty trivial thing to discuss either way.

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As usual, there's more than one side to a story. If his story can be trusted, he had put the phone in silent mode. The technology's design and user experience are at least partly to blame here (as well as the man's unfamiliarity with a new device). I mean, who would expect a device in "silent" mode to be capable of making sound?

Of course, after you learn about those kind of quirks, you realize that just being muted isn't enough. Of course, I turn mine fully off when I'm at the symphony.

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As usual, there's more than one side to a story. If his story can be trusted, he had put the phone in silent mode. The technology's design and user experience are at least partly to blame here (as well as the man's unfamiliarity with a new device). I mean, who would expect a device in "silent" mode to be capable of making sound?

Of course, after you learn about those kind of quirks, you realize that just being muted isn't enough. Of course, I turn mine fully off when I'm at the symphony.

For precisely this reason, at times like this, and even when I'm in a rehearsal, I leave my phone locked in the glove compartment of my car. Something like this happened to me once: I had set my phone to silent during a service at church, and inexplicably the alarm went off. Turns out that the device was designed to override the silent setting when the alarm clock kicks in - most inconvenient in my case, but I can see why it does it. Since you never know when something like that is going to happen, whether the device itself does it for some reason, or you accidentally hit a button while it's in your pocket, or whatever, maybe it's best to just leave the phone somewhere else if you can.

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Yup, same. I have voicemail precisely for when the 'phone's off. Unless the message is that my house is on fire or I am about to be assassinated, I can reasonably assume that responding to your call can wait until I have finished rehearsal/concert/driving/meeting/swimming/other concern. This story is almost certainly going to be filed under 'examples of classical music being pretentious and elitist' by those who love to hate it, despite the conductor being completely right to protest. Silence from an audience is considered to be as much a part of a modern concert as the opposite is at a sports match.

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The right to use a cell phone has to be earned, imo. Earned by, for example, not using it while you're out eating with someone, not using it whilst in a conversation and making sure it is completely off when it should be, like in a concert, be it a concert by aunt Mary and uncle James on the piano in the local bar, or the New York Philharmonic...

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This is interesting and all, but it's not that it's the only such precedent in history. Can't help but mention Franz Liszt who stopped playing when Nicholas I of Russia started talking with his adjutants. (Needless to say, he became a persona non grata in Saint-Petersburg since then! :nod:)

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I wonder what Cage would say :)

Probably that it was just a 'slightly different' version of Mahler's - one that most people didn't knew. Or perhaps he'd take pride on the fact that a Mahler performance was interrupted by the sudden performance of one of his own works...

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I guess it raises interesting questions...what about fireworks during the 1812 Overture? Surely just another external noise not originally scored by the composer...I'm only playing Devil's advocate :)

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I guess it raises interesting questions...what about fireworks during the 1812 Overture? Surely just another external noise not originally scored by the composer...I'm only playing Devil's advocate :)

He did score cannon shots. And I think he did allow for the use of fireworks, despite not "scoring" them.

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