Cincinnati Symphony Violinist Stops Her Performance to Ask an Audience Member to Stop Recording

Anne-Sophie Mutter

Anne-Sophie Mutter

A classical music concert this week in Cincinnati featuring world-renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter came to a sudden stop for a most unusual reason: a woman sitting in the front row was recording her with her phone and refused to stop.

Reportedly, the audience member was only a few steps from Mutter as she performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto and was literally in her face.  This caused Mutter to stop playing — along with the entire Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra — at which time she asked the woman to stop recording her.

Instead of complying, the audience member stood up and tried to start a conversation with Mutter. Though apparently, Mutter was in no mood to chat. She told the woman, in no uncertain terms, that if she did put away her phone, Mutter would end the performance and leave the stage.

Fortunately for the rest of the audience, who were watching all this in shock, Jonathan Martin, who is the president of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was only a couple rows behind the woman with the phone.  He at once stood up and rushed up to her, and he quickly escorted her out of the hall.

“Everyone expected her to put her phone back in her purse, but instead she stood up and started talking to the soloist,” Martin told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I was forced to go and defuse the situation or lose the performance and soloist — and perhaps the whole weekend.”

Martin insists that his orchestra company makes it clear that audience members are not allowed to record performances there.

He says that it clearly states this — not only on their website but also on various signs posted throughout the building. He adds that such restrictions are further included in the performers’ contracts.

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According to Martin, the audience member could not coherently explain her actions, though she did have kind words to say of Mutter, and she deleted the recording of Mutter in Martin’s presence. Martin says that he still does not quite understand why the woman did what she did.

As to the performance, as soon as the audience member left the hall, Mutter began playing once more, from the beginning of the concerto.

7 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Blobbo

    Morons like this should be screened out of cultural events. People with money are zeros compared to those with achievement and talent.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Sam

      A general statement about people with wealth? Brilliant. You should be screened out of public discussion.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Stan

        Nah, he shouldn’t. Blobbo’s point is spot on! We know the wealthy are self-elevated. This situation was just one example.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Peter Bogdanoff

      Who knows if she had wealth? It was only the Cincinnati Symphony, not the NY Phil. More likely she was really taken with the performance and meanwhile didn’t know the protocols.

      Classical music performance really does shoot itself in the foot by being so restrictive, trying to maintain exclusivity. On the other hand, the music doesn’t abide distractions for the most part, so you need a mostly silent and subdued audience. However you would think that a performer would want as much promotion of herself as possible.

      It could be that Mutter has no need for money, or promotion. Or hero worship.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Steveh

        Hey Peter, did you not read the article? :- “Martin insists that his orchestra company makes it clear that audience members are not allowed to record performances there.

        He says that it clearly states this — not only on their website but also on various signs posted throughout the building. He adds that such restrictions are further included in the performers’ contracts.”

        And please don’t give us that “musicians want exposure” bilge – “However you would think that a performer would want as much promotion of herself as possible.”

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Paul

          Why would anyone gives a s#$t if someone recorded it. Does Mutter really think there is some monetary value in a cell phone recording a classical performance of Music written by a guy who’s been dead for hundreds of years. The violinist didn’t write the piece. Her input is a small percentage compare to that of Beethoven. There have have been hundreds if not thousands of violinists who could play this piece as well as mutter and more will come in the future. Get over yourself

          Reply
          • Avatar
            John

            Its rude and distracting to the other audience members for someone to use their cell phone to record a performance. What about having some respect for the music, the performer and others in the audience?

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