Here’s a post from the always entertaining Holly Mulcahy on orchestra etiquette through the centuries:
Whether you are the person sheepishly turning off the ringing cell phone during the quiet movement, or the annoyed and indignant person sitting next to the offender, there’s no denying there are certain rules and etiquette for orchestral concerts.
While playing the Verdi Requiem last month, I heard a cell phone go off. The offender was seated pretty close to my position on the stage and I caught a glimpse of the incensed woman seated next to the tuneful cell phone’s owner. The woman’s very direct, and frankly, well practiced insistent look said more than words. And then I caught the slightest glimmer of a self-satisfying smirk on the woman’s face as the offender frantically silenced his phone. Despite the fact that I felt sorry for the man, he was warned in print and with an announcement before the concert.
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