Krystian Zimerman vs. technology

iphone_concert_616We’ve all been there – sat quietly enjoying a lovely evening of classical music when, all of a sudden, BRIIIING! BRIIING! Someone’s phone starts going and you start praying it’s not yours, even though you know 100% for sure that you turned it off, took the battery out and left it in the cloakroom just in case.

Quite rightly, conductors have been kicking up a stink about ringtones since mobile phones became a requirement for every pocket and handbag around – music director Alan Gilbert even stopped a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony because someone refused to turn their ringing phone off! – but now video technology seems to be just as wrath-inducing for some.

Pianist Krystian Zimerman stormed out of his own concert as part of the Ruhr Piano Festival in Essen, Germany, after requesting that a member of the audience stop filming the recital. He later explained that he had lost out on work after unauthorised performances were posted on Facebook. “The destruction of music through YouTube is enormous,” he said.

What do you think of this assertion? Should people be allowed to film performances on their mobiles or should they be content to sit, listen and rely on good old-fashioned memory to recall the event?

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