It gets so quiet during the second movement of the Brahms Symphony No. 2, you could almost hear a pin drop.The conductor is a pro, though, never missed a beat (pun intended):
Or a sneeze. Or a fist hitting a face.
Such was the case Thursday night at Orchestra Hall in a ruckus the Chicago Symphony Orchestra officially described as “an incident” between “two patrons.” But shocked concert-goers and police called it a fist fight in one of the boxes — where the elite typically sit and expect a more refined experience.
Just as the second movement was drawing to a gentle close — with Music Director Riccardo Muti at the podium — a man in his 30s, according to police, started punching a 67-year-old man inside one of the boxes.
The concert never stopped, but Muti shot a glance over his left shoulder toward the box where the punches were thrown. One concert-goer described the look as “dagger eyes.”My daughter spent the weekend conducting two bands and an orchestra in a music festival, but no fights in the audience. She did have two kids fight during a rehearsal a couple of weeks ago, but they held it together for the show.
Robinson said Muti merely paused longer than would be expected and then continued on to the third movement — after getting a signal from someone up in the box.
“Mind you, he never stopped conducting,” Robinson said. “He very gracefully, without missing a beat — literally — he brought [the second movement] to a very quiet and subdued close, while still looking over his left shoulder.”