Ringtone gaffe silences orchestra

A top orchestra stopped playing during a performance interrupted by a ringtone from an audience member’s mobile phone.

A top orchestra stopped playing during a performance interrupted by a ringtone from an audience member’s mobile phone.

The incident happened on Tuesday night at Lincoln Centre’s Avery Fisher Hall during the final movement of Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony by the New York Philharmonic.

Music Director Alan Gilbert stopped the orchestra until the phone was silenced.

When the iPhone’s ringtone initially went off, the conductor turned his head to signal his displeasure.

But the ringing from the first row persisted.

Gilbert asked that the offending noise be turned off and finally stopped the orchestra until it was.

Betsy Vorce, speaking for Lincoln Centre, said an announcement is made before every performance telling audience members to turn off their phones.

If a device does go off, ushers are directed to discreetly ask the owner to turn it off.

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