The New York Times has a great interview with the culprit behind Tuesday night's debacle during the New York Philharmonic's performance. "The unmistakably jarring sound of an iPhone marimba ring interrupted the soft and spiritual final measures of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9," and it was so bad that conductor Alan Gilbert had to stop the performance. Even after he did that, the ringing kept going and going and going, prompting angry shouts from the audience.
Speaking on background, he said:
The man, called Patron X by the Philharmonic, said he was a lifelong classical music lover and 20-year subscriber to the orchestra who was friendly with several of its members. He said he himself was often irked by coughs, badly timed applause — and cellphone rings. “Then God, there was I. Holy smokes,” he said.
“It was just awful to have any role in something like that, that is so disturbing and disrespectful not only to the conductor but to all the musicians and not least to the audience, which was so into this concert,” he said by telephone.
“I hope the people at that performance and members of the orchestra can certainly forgive me for this whole event. I apologize to the whole audience.”
How did it happen? Well, his company replaced his Blackberry with an iPhone the preceding day. He silenced said iPhone but an alarm on the iPhone went off. Even if your sound is off on your iPhone, alarms still ring.
He was identified by the Philharmonic via his front-row seat and they spoke with him. He asked to apologize to Mr. Gilbert.
It does remind me of the time that the mother of my brother's good friend took them to the local symphony. As they were about 8- to 10-years-old at the time, they weren't exactly thrilled to be there. That, and we lived in a very rural place where the music couldn't have been too good. My brother's friend was trying to say something to my brother but he couldn't hear. So he said it louder, "This! Is! Terrible!" he said, just as the music stopped. The mother shot both of the boys a look of horror. I know it's awful, but we still laugh about it.