Cell phone offender at New York Philharmonic gives his side of story
As some people suspected all along, it was an alarm on that now infamous iPhone, which forced the orchestra's music director, Alan Gilbert, to take the widely applauded, extraordinary step of stopping the performance of Mahler's profound Ninth Symphony on Tuesday until the offending device was silenced.
But the owner, "called Patron X by the Philharmonic," said that ...
Patron X, a long time Philharmonic subscriber in a front-row seat (I wonder if he will ask to change his location now), has chatted with and apologized to Gilbert. In the Times story, the unidentified man says "he had not slept in two days" and feels "horrible" about the whole thing.
I'm not sure how many folks who were calling for expulsions and even executions (I heard from some pretty mean folks) will be satisfied by all of this. It does point up human frailty, of course, and that usually provokes sympathy from those of us known to be similarly mortal. I'm guilty, too, of jumping to conclusions, having gone through so many performances marred by unmistakable audience rudeness.
Seems like we now have to worry about "smart" phones that are also wicked, fooling us into thinking we have control, when, all along, they can overrule our wishes. I'm glad I still use an obsolete cell phone.
Maybe those pre-concert announcements about telling people to turn off everything will have to add warnings about hidden alarms. We may need to delay all performances a few minutes while newly trained ushers roam the aisles helping patrons figure out the inner, potentially dangerous workings of their assorted hand-held devices.