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Fight breaks out at Boston Pops concert

May 10, 2007 at 5:30 PM

Hi folks, Anyone have the whole story about the fight that transpired last night at a Boston Pops concert??? There was a small bit about it in our Omaha paper, but it didn't say much. Keith Lockhart even had to stop the performance briefly while the two men involved were escorted from the balcony. Goodness, what is this about?? A fight at a Symphony concert---I have never heard of such a thing. I would love more information, and comments. Thanks! Molly

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    From Mischa S.
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 6:13 PM
    Here you can find more about it - they played Bruckner 4th, btw... Hooliganism in classical music - a dream becomes true! :)
    From Pauline Lerner
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 6:17 PM
    I searched Google news and couldn't find out why the guys were fighting, but I did find a nifty video of the fight at
    One of the guys fighting had his shirt ripped off. The conductor kept his cool really well in the best "the show must go on" manner.
    From Raphael Klayman
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 6:58 PM
    Well, of course there is the (in)famous precendent of the Rite of Spring premier. But I get the feeling here that it was something personal between two people. Perhaps they were arguing about whether or not to use a shoulder rest! ;-)
    From Laurie Niles
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 6:55 PM
    OMG! Molly, I'm glad you brought this to our attention. LOL! What on earth were they fighting over? Maybe one was a violin fan, and the other was a viola fan...rooting for opposing teams and unable to be gentlemanly about it. Or not?

    I'm cracking up, that it made the Weird-Herald (my old employer). You have to tell me if they write an editorial, I just feel it in my bones, that they just might...

    From Laurie Niles
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 7:03 PM
    Raphael, I didn't think about the shoulder rest possibility, but that is a white-hot bone of contention in the classical world. A definite possibility.
    From Corwin Slack
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 7:31 PM
    My bet is that one of them wouldn't quit talking during the music and the other one asked him to be quiet and he flared.
    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 7:55 PM
    Awesome! If only it had been at a real BSO concert--then overnight classical music would become the new, hot, edgy Big Thing. Everybody loves a scandal.

    (I guess Levine falling off the podium wasn't enough...)

    From Jim W. Miller
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 8:18 PM
    It was two 20 year olds there to see a rock act. One of them spilled beer on the other's gf. That's all.
    From Ihnsouk Guim
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 9:13 PM
    Sorry, Jim. according to Reuters one told the other to be quiet. I guess he didn't expect it will lead to an even greater disturbance.

    It is a pretty well heeled audience that Boston Pops draws. Boston Pops is Boston Symphony minus principals, again according to reuters.


    From Marty Dalton
    Posted on May 10, 2007 at 10:31 PM
    I didn't know The Who was playing with the Boston Pops!
    From Neil Cameron
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 12:35 AM
    More the Who's Who, Marty.

    Betcha one of 'em was drunk...

    I know I would be. :)


    From David Russell
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 1:22 AM
    I sent this story to the Cleveland Pops conductor Carl Topilow with the question: "Why didn't WE think of this great publicity machine!" ;-)
    From Albert Justice
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 1:35 AM
    So this shoulder rest thing is not built in?
    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 8:59 AM
    This is terrible, and the whole idea that one would get publicity with such nonsense. Is there anything else that goes on in people's mind but going along with the stupid corporate media machine!?
    Ah yes, the art of brainwashing, and that's exactly why everyone has such dirty brains.
    From David Russell
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 10:19 AM
    Once upon a time there was a thing called humor(rhymes with rumor). It was sometimes used in awkward or difficult situations in order to diffuse them. Sometimes, it was used to help lighten a serious situation and produce laughter(an involuntary response involving the respiratory system, as well as the vocal chords and diaphragm. Its said to be "the best medicine"...especially for dirty brains)
    Might we try reviving the concept? :-)
    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 1:00 PM
    Mr. Russell:
    You're just trying to avoid the issue, the issue is that you immediately associate violence with publicity, yes, I understand you have a problem with someone who puts things on the line. No, I completely don't have a lack of humor in my life that I have to try to find it in such places as using violence as a publicity stunt for a Symphony Orchestra. What really is funny is the kind of idiots you would get coming to the concerts and where that would lead the orchestra. It's also VERY funny where you think humor is lacking, how you would restore itm and what you would accomplish with such a publicity stunt.
    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 1:22 PM
    I think the whole incident is very disturbing. This is not something I chose to laugh about. Maybe Joshua Bell's managers know how to play games with how to mesmerize people with such media nonsense but I find it disgusting and repulsive and such behavior needs serious attention that society (and certainly America) is not supplying. People are so completely incapable of relating to what emotions are that they are mesmerized when people have become so desensitized and incapable of expressing themselves that they become violent. Music as an art is supposed to supply the place for people to get in touch with emotions and instead something like this happens at a concert!?

    I'm really not interested in laughing at these people while I would make money from them coming to a concert, I think they really need help and music is supposed to supply that!

    From Jim W. Miller
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 1:49 PM
    One time the late Jim Varney was riding around with a friend of mine. They saw an alcoholic, peaceful as could be sleeping on the sidewalk. Jim said "You know what his problem is? He doesn't know how to relax."
    From Natasha Marsalli
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 4:34 PM
    At one concert I went to, a very drunk man yelled "WAIT a second!" as the conductor came down for the first beat of the last mov. of Beethoven's Fifth...he continued to be loud and rowdy until the conductor cut off the orchestra (it was AMAZING....they all stopped immediately) until the ushers took him out....
    From Igor Yuzefovich
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 5:20 PM

    Seems to be the explanation for it.

    From David Russell
    Posted on May 11, 2007 at 10:00 PM

    Come on, now. Surely you can understand that my comment was not a serious suggestion, but a statement intended to poke fun at all the press this silly story is getting. I don't think violence is funny, nor do I condone the behavior. People have not been behaving themselves for a long time, though. I just think its funny that the mainstream press thinks concertgoers are some other kind of being other than human. I think all the publicity is silly.
    That was the intent of my "joke". This story is really making the rounds. You would have thought it was the premier of "Sacre du Printemps"!( Hmmm...its happened before...)
    By the way, I can appreciate a good straight, hard-hitting opinion as long as its fair. If its unfair, I may or may not speak up about it. However, one thing is for sure ...I probably won't get into a fistfight over it in a concert or anywhere else...


    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 12:24 AM
    Cripes, Roelof, who are you calling "brainwashed"? Maybe you need an explanation of this particular instance of absurdist humor: the humor comes from the incongruous juxtaposition of "two drunk guys get in a fight" and "symphony concert." When you hear "two drunk guys in a fight" you picture a seedy bar, or a football game, or a stag party. When you hear "symphony concert", you picture starched suits, serious faces, evening gowns on the ladies and monocled critics loftily scribbling diatribes in their leather-bound notebooks. (yes, I know those are stereotypes, but humor and satire are built on skillful use of stereotypes, so don't get your knickers in a twist.) Throw the two images together and the resulting collision will be so unexpected, so off-the-left-field-wall, so ABSURD that it will, in fact, be humorous.

    (Egad, I'm giving an academic lecture on humor. More absurdist collisions anyone!?)

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 3:19 AM
    I simply really don't see anything funny about two people getting into a fight at a Symphony concert, in fact it wasn't two people it was one person who was attacked because he simply came there to listen to music and wanted someone to respect that. And yes I am talking about brainwashing. That the whole media circus gets into geer and everyone knows there was a fight but thinks it's between two people when it was one person being attacked by another, and it's supposed to be funny to poke fun of it as a publicity stunt or make it out to be a contrast of styled between Jeffy Springer and a Viennese Waltz. and YES I call that brain washing when it comes out all distorted in the media to begin with. I can see why you would want to poke fun of it being in the media at all, but I think things like that need closer more careful attention and that it points out a whole lack in society.
    And I really don't make jokes out of violence. It isn't funny!
    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 3:30 AM
    David Russell, sorry, I can understand that you would want to poke fun of something like this. I didn't even really understand that (I, um actually thought you were like sort of half serious!?), Who knows, it wouldn't be the first time and I'm glad you weren't. I, on the other hand, am so tired of all the disturbing things on TV and other media that my first reaction isn't to laugh at it at all.

    And Laura I wasn't really calling anyone specific brainwashed, I was talking about what the media circus does to people's interests and how they use that to sell sensationalism.
    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 3:48 AM
    If you're going to talk about the media brainwashing people, at least pick a better topic--manufacturing acceptance of torture, for example, or tacitly enabling a war to be launched on false pretenses. Sorry if this makes me a reactionary, but I don't see what Big Problems in Our Society are pointed out by a stupid fight at a pops concert and the fact that a lot of people find the whole grotesque spectacle somewhat amusing.

    Take a dose of Jaroslav Hasek (he wrote "The Good Soldier Svejk") and try not to take absolutely *everything* so seriously...

    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 3:52 AM
    Just noticed your other comment--FYI my name is not "Laura". If you can't remember "Maura" then be so kind as to call me by my Hungarian name, "Mara", which is apparently a lot easier to spell. ;-)
    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 3:52 AM
    Sorry about the remark about Joshua Bell's manager by the way.
    Since, in his youth, he had to sit on a motorcycle and be photographed (and never rode a motorcycle in his life), I am on the other hand glad they didn't book him a fight with OJ Simpson or have him be on survivor, fear factor, the Jerry Springer Show or start rumors that he is having a child with Hillary Clinton.
    From Jim W. Miller
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 3:58 AM
    The lengths some people will go to to claim some moral high ground is unbelieveable.
    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 3:59 AM

    Jim, for the record, I'm not trying to claim any "moral high ground" here.

    From Jim W. Miller
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 4:01 AM
    For the record, I didn't mean you.
    From Jim W. Miller
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 4:02 AM
    I'm talking about the guy who'd write a letter to the editor about man's inhumanity to man over the slapstick scenes in a Marx Bros. movie.
    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 4:05 AM
    That's what I suspected, just wanted to be sure (it was a bit ambiguous, at least to me).
    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 3:58 AM
    Mara, I find those things incredibly disturbing too, But I think that a whole population of people who are constantly bombarded with stupid stories about violence get so like inundated that it means anything that they fail to see how they are being lied to.

    It's exactly the whole "climate" of such things which disturbs me and I can't really find humor in them anymore. Call me jaded but that's the way I have become.

    That something like that gets in the media, that it could even be a publicity stunt and that any people would get their jollies out of it from any side to me is sick.

    "Fight breaks out at Symphony concert"

    "Old lady beats up young College Jock."

    "George Bush (or Bill Clinton) save last flower of spring from being trampled by crowd of hyenas invading city."

    And in the mean time no one knows what is really going on in Iraq, they don't know what is really going on in Africa, South America, what's in their food, their water, their air etc.

    But the know WHO the bad guy is!

    I'm glad we're on the same track about the recents wars. I guess I respond differently.

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 4:12 AM
    I guess I was refering more to the way the media distracts people in order to brain wash them.....
    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 4:19 AM
    I think it's an order of magnitude thing. I'm not outraged by the lack of outrage over the Boston Pops fight because it's such a minor thing. Now, if I ever heard anyone make a joke about Liviu Librescu, the professor at Virginia Tech who saved his students' lives by paying with his own, I'd blow my top. A sick joke about Liviu *would* be evidence of some sort of twisted desensitization to tragedy and violence, and I would be pretty outraged. But two guys fighting at a concert? Big deal.

    I wholeheartedly agree about the media distracting people from real issues though--good God, if I see one more "Breaking News!!!" segment about what celebrity was spotted making out with what other celebrity at a party, I am going to vomit. Or run off to Transylvania, either one.

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 4:28 AM
    Mara, just to let you know. I'm not really outraged, it's just disturbing like so many things because nothing to me is really dealt with.

    I would say that the music actually (as an organism) functions to let the guy who got violent find out who he is so that he doesn't get insulted when someone simply tries to point out that he might get something out of listening to the music.

    I was at a concert of Sarah Chang and there were two people behind me talking (this is a social thing folks, where are the martinis). I had so enough of it that I turned around got right int he guys face and asked him "Are you scared of the music or something that you have to talk through it?" They stopped talking but then as soon as I moved over (I could see Sarah better) they started again (as if you know like everyone talks as soon as the music starts and if someone actually is bothered by this they are just difficult).

    I would think that non violence and the music itself would solve the whole problem in Boston but with the media making a sensation out of anything that has that adernaline rush (and heh you get in the paper when you attack someone at a symphony concert), and the whole rest of the circus

    Tada, it's a circus and I find it disturbing rather than funny.

    If I would articulately go along and list all the levels where the problem isn't dealt with (and I don't think putting someone in jail (where they would truly learn how to intimidate people helps): I guess it's better to laugh or pray about it.

    I'll check out that writer:

    By the way, there is a Hungarian bus driver here in the city who lived down the street from Kodaly as a boy and also was a friend of Louis Armstrong

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 4:40 AM
    What I'm saying is that, if music was really honored for what it is in society, we wouldn't have such problems in society as this incidentin Boston.

    I truly think music and art have the ability to get a person in touch with who they really are to such a degree.

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 4:42 AM
    Mara, no need to see the latest Hollywood gossip. It was me and he (name withheld)

    well I can't tell you that already

    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 4:43 AM
    Some interesting food for thought in there--I'm getting fragments of a philosophical response floating around in my head, something like, music isn't a pill to fix someone's soul, more like an expression of the minds/souls of our great geniuses, which ordinary mortals can strive towards its example, or something....but the specifics are even more poorly worked-out than my grammar, so I'll let my brain stew in it for a while and see if I can think of anything good.

    Go sing this to that Hungarian bus driver for me--if he was Kodaly's neighbor (which is awesome, btw) he'll recognize it. :)

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 5:08 AM
    Mara, now this is getting to be funny!

    "minds/souls of our great geniuses, which ordinary mortals can strive towards its example, or something"

    Don't you know the greatest Geniuses are the biggest fools and jerks (there you have the "mortals" already) because all they did is find out that (heh you walk in there were everyone says you're crazy to try and things work by themselves).., sort of perhaps works like that if you know what I mean.

    There's yet to be any great genius who created their own brain. Instead it was evolution, something we are all part of. Some people just go (and in the beginning were maybe forced or sort of fell into after being thrown out of "society" or simply couldn't fit) into those spaces of the brain where others are scared to go and are biased against.

    And there's no going back...

    There biggest addiction which is not addicting

    You might find a God but realize "he's" not perfect!?

    I think that's a good line anyhow
    "Maybe there is a God but I don't think he's perfect."

    Anyways, thanks for the song and it really makes me laugh about "geniuse."

    People have said this to me that I'm a genius (people say lots of things blah blah blah) and in the end I have to say that there is a part of me that people would call crazy which instead really needs careful attention and for God's sake the space to find out what it itself is doing and all about. Those are things the brain does by itself though:

    Um, when allowed to

    Do you know Unigenite (Unique in latin I think is related to genius)

    Jesu Christus Unigenite from Mozart's mass in C minor?

    And Wolfgang left out right where the stuff about the crucifixion starts.

    I also believe Unigenite is something which deserves to be mortal and have a full life on the earth rather than being made to feel so alienated that it makes alliances with how to get out of here.

    "Great Geniuses" huh

    I hear the Bassoons already and it seems to be rather dusty but there's a nice scene on the other side of the window and in his room looking out, it's a nice Genius with soft cheeks

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 5:34 AM
    Mara, it's just I find the whole idea of Genius in contrast to mortal and ordinary kind of funny (and I'm not trying to insult your sincerity). I find Genius to be the simplest things which the brain (or consciousness) does by itself, but you have to be truly sensitive to it. and open minded

    Everyone is a Genius, we are all Unique.

    Certainly if anyone ever called me a Genius and it is at all applicable it MUST be true.

    You Must be patient
    You Must believe it


    I sure write a lot....

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 5:38 AM
    MUST must must

    M U S T

    TS um


    Ts tS Muum

    um TS!

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 5:41 AM
    Um um ts ts
    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 5:43 AM
    Well gosh, I'm glad my half-formed opinions were so funny. Franz Liszt said some interesting things about the concept of "genius", if you're interested.

    Anyway, I'm going to go listen to A kilenc csodaszarvas (also known as Cantata Profana) to clear my head, and then I'm going to bed. Cheers.

    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 5:46 AM
    Oh, but just to clear up any potential misunderstanding, my use of the word "mortal" in opposition to "genius" was not meant to imply that geniuses are superhuman or immortal, I was using a figure of speech. You know the phrase "us ordinary mortals", used jokingly, sarcastically, metaphorically?
    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 5:57 AM
    Good Night...

    I just think it's kind of funny, like when people talk about God like he's some kind of poof up there

    The word has just become funny to me:

    I might liken it to blessed are those who try to smell those poor little flowers (the little stinking things being the geniuses)

    Now it's really time for bed!!!

    sniff sniff

    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 2:49 PM
    Did I mention God?

    I wouldn't describe "geniuses" like Bach, Brahms, Bartok, Liszt, Chopin etc. as "little stinking things".

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 6:01 PM
    Mara, forget it, you don't get my joke or my sense of humor.

    Little "stinky" flowers are incredibly beautiful things, humans (or societal clones rather) on the other hand are more interested in the smell of burning flesh they are going to eat or new cars.

    And I'm not going to go on about this any further. I don't spend hours making sarcastic jokes about really disturbing things on internet blogs and then being resentful that someone actually goes deeper with the issue. It seems that when people aren't making apathetic humor more important than really looking at what is going on that they are then labeled as having a personality disorder.

    I never said you mentioned God I used it as a comparison...

    Good DAY!

    From Roelof Bijkerk
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 6:48 PM
    To go back on topic

    To me, this whole incident expresses a whole rift there is in society, where there is violence and reoccurring incidents where people get violent or are mesmerized with violence for the most petty reasons. This goes along with the whole new craze in Big Time wrestling or the success of the Jerry Springer show. To me, such incidents point out an incredible lack in society, that it is not able to deal with the simplest parts of the human condition or the need for identity or self worth. Music (or art, or an open mindedness which allows for understanding of what a person is trying to express rather than their awkwardness in trying to express it) all these things would help change the climate in society and would prevent people from getting violent.
    I myself really think it would be helpful if there was a more integral response than just laughing it all off (or perhaps it's necessary to laugh at it because it's so ridiculous that one doesn't know how to respond and then laughing at it helps the mind to make something out of it). But I do think it's a little shadow of many things that need attention.

    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 7:53 PM
    Well exCUUUUUSE me. I don't spend hours typing incoherent diatribes full of incomprehensible philosophical ramblings, call human beings "societal clones" and then blame everything on the person I was trying to discuss things with, either.

    Good DAY to you too, sir.

    From Maura Gerety
    Posted on May 12, 2007 at 7:57 PM
    Oh, and I'm not "apathetic." I just don't think this trivial incident at the Boston Pops is worth getting worked up into a self-righteous fit over.
    From molly moriarty
    Posted on May 14, 2007 at 1:23 PM
    Hey folks, Thanks for all the great thoughts and comments.
    Laurie, I thought you would get a kick out of the World Hearld picking up on this. I will check and see about editorials---you're right, there should be some.

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