Cell phone disruptions at concerts are so, well, last month. (And after all, Alan Gilbert’s stopping the New York Philharmonic for a patron’s cell phone alarm was merely the most recent iteration of an ongoing theme.) Even variations on the Nokia ring tone are passe; the violist Lukas Kmit, whose improvised coda on the ubiquitous phrase went all over YouTube in January (see below), was echoing something I heard Nigel Kennedy do at a house party in Switzerland a good twelve years ago, back when that Nokia ring tone was one of the ONLY ring tones.
In any case, on Friday, an NSO patron decided to disturb the concert the old-fashioned way: on foot, and with her voice, with no electronic enhancement whatsoever. At the end of the first movement of the Beethoven Third, a woman began talking to herself at the back of the auditorium, rose, and began making her way down the aisle toward Christoph Eschenbach on the podium. According to an eyewitness, it took a number of ushers to corral her and escort her away. A Kennedy Center spokesperson said that the patron in question had wanted to say something to the Maestro. The ushers helped her find a taxi to get home.
Get that woman a cell phone.
Above, the violist Lukas Kmit became a YouTube hero for his quick-thinking impromptu on the Nokia ring tone. Too bad YouTube was unclear on just what that instrument was that he’s playing. Edited to replace now-defunct video with one that works.