Famous pianist and conductor Christian Zacharias was performing Haydn’s Piano Concerto with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra when one of the most offensive sounds to pass through a concert hall erupted in the middle of a concert.
Someone had left his cell phone on.
And it went off during the concert—twice.
Zacharias’s reaction—as well as many other members of the orchestra, going by their expressions—showed that this was not the first time musicians of this international scale had experienced such carelessness.
The cellphone rang for several moments, as if the attendee was not able to or did not care enough to immediately shut it off.
Afterward, in an interview, which you can watch below, Zacharias explained why he stopped and refused to play again until the cell phone had stopped ringing.
“Sometimes it’s just too much,” he said. “If you are in a big moment and the orchestra is playing and you hear faintly in the distance, something—you just go on. But if the music comes to this moment where it becomes more silent and more magic, and then this thing starts—and of course, it doesn’t stop—then, I say, no.”
In a short, one-minute interview clip, Zacharias talks about the plane on which music lives, and why that is different from our day-to-day and should not marred by distractions.
“This is the rare moment where our minds can go and focus on one thing. We focus on it and we prepare all this, and this is just the least you can do, and honor it in listening,” Zacharias said.
But sometimes, something good can come from such a moment as well, he added.
Watch the performance clip and interview below.