Friday, January 30, 2009

"Violence at Carnegie Hall"

Can anybody fill me in on what went on at last night's Peter Eötvös extravaganza at Zankel Hall? [UPDATE: Bruce Hodges has an almost completely different version of the evening's events here (via AR). Rashomon!] Once again, our friend Matt was there, and it sounds like total mayhem. I've edited our conversation down to a monologue, so if this makes no sense or gets the facts wrong, blame me:
Between the first and second pieces someone's phone goes off loudly and obnoxiously. Some queen in the front row yells—"REALLY?" It goes off again. The queen yells, "TURN IT OFF!" It goes off again. The usher confiscates the phone from a poor old deaf woman in the balcony who, everyone can see, can't turn it off, and aforementioned vicious queen yells, "ANYONE ELSE??" (To which another heckler responds, "SHUT UP!") The usher exits with the phone, and the audience claps. The second piece passes uninterrupted, but midway through the third piece, there is a thud at the back door—a scuffle breaks out—someone yells, "You can't go in!" I'm thinking, "WTF—violence at Carnegie Hall."
[DSJ: "hahahahahahaha, there was a Kagel piece like that."]
Someone in a thick coat tromps down the stairs of Zankel, the usher tells them to shhhhh, and she goes to the front of the auditorium—I think she's going onstage, but instead she sits next to the loudmouthed queen! She then GETS UP mid-piece, again, and moves one seat closer to said queen. The piece finishes, and this woman, drunk, STANDS TO ACCEPT THE APPLAUSE!
Sounds like Carnegie wasn't expecting the throng of rowdy drunks that shows up to Eötvös concerts. People, when you program music by the European avant-garde, you've got to be prepared: you're courting the city's worst riff-raff. Did anyone else witness this? Better yet, do you know any of the parties in question? Leave a comment, or email me at the address to the right.



Blogger Unknown said...

This sounds better than the Rite of Spring premiere.

January 30, 2009 at 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daniel, thanks for the link. Your account may be more accurate than mine, given that I was a bit back in the hall. I spoke with Jeremy Geffen yesterday (the moderator), who was just shaking his head. He'd never seen anything like it.

PS, I've added your interesting blog to my blogroll.

February 1, 2009 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a shame the Eötvös concert was interrupted by such nonsense. I heard him conduct the New World Chamber Orchestra in Miami several years ago in a program of Stravinsky, Boulez, and Eötvös. It was a beautiful program: stunningly conducted and performed.

February 3, 2009 at 5:51 PM  

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