Cell Phone Ringing Halt Pianist's Performance

from the accompanyment? dept

Unlike the “Spring Cellphony” we discussed earlier this summer, not all classical musicians like to be accompanied by ringing mobile phones. A Hungarian pianist apparently broke off a performance to “cool down” after too many cell phones were ringing and watches beeping while he was playing. He also apparently claimed that too many people were coughing and sneezing during the performance.

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Comments on “Cell Phone Ringing Halt Pianist's Performance”

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tss says:

what a cry baby

Why is it that performing “artists”, golfers, and tennis players are such big baby’s? The key word is “performer”, not high priestess of snobbery. Other sports encourage noise, but attempt to hit a stationary ball with a club, or try and focus your attention on a fuzzy ball hit to you by a maximum of two players and hold the phone – “they” have to concentrate. People, it’s not a high level chess tourney. If your focus is that weak, get a new hobby. In the case of the weak minded piano player, I doubt that the cell phones (ok that’s a tad rude), wheezing, chit chat, etc put out more decibels then the piano right in front of him. Once again, concentrate or get out of the biz!

Eric Hirschorn says:

Re: Yeah, really [was: what a cry baby]

Your argument is also true for the audience — control is everything! I made an awful grimace at a wonderful soprano, singing in a production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, after some strong-minded fellow’s cellphone went off, right in the middle of an aria. Since I was sitting center orchestra 10 rows back from the stage, she could hardly fail to notice my look of utter rage. I believe she did a double take at my facial expression, which she probably, mistakenly, thought was meant for her. I was impressed that it didn’t really affect her performance; not even a Jedi mind trick would have affected that diva.

But testing is so important! National standards would not be amiss. As to such strong mindedness as you obviously possess: I bet nothing will ever phase you — an ox wouldn’t stand a chance against your brain…

Duffman says:

Re: Re: Yeah, really [was: what a cry baby]

I think he went a little overboard with coughing and sneezing – most of the time, it’s a natural reaction (especially given the weather described). It can’t usually be helped, and has been part of listening to music since there was music.

However, I think that having a mobile phone on is rude. If your life is THAT important, don’t attend the performance. I greatly detest when I hear a cell phone go off during a movie or a musical performance, even more when the person just lets it ring, and even more when they answer! I agree with the last poster – if the audience expects a little constraint from the musician, they should be ready to give it themselves – after all, they’re there to see him/her, not the reverse!

msykes says:

Re: Re: Re: Golf/Talk != Phone/Piano

I think for me there is a big difference between a bit of chit chat during a sports performance vs. a cell phone during a piano performance. I tend to accept cell phones going off in movies just because I expect 16 year old kids to be generally rude and ignorant, but it’s simply a matter of courtesy and respect that a cell phone should be turned off during a musical performance.

On the other hand, the guy definitely was a baby, nothing says primadonna (sp?) like needing a cool down period, give me a break! When I am concentrating on something, you could plug the phone directly into my ear and it wouldn’t matter that much.


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