Mutter Against the Machine #1LinerWeds

We went to Cincinnati to see my imaginary violin concerto boyfriend, Beethoven’s (he only wrote one, but wowzers!).

Happily, we went on Sunday afternoon. Happily, because the soloist, the phenomenal Anne-Sophie Mutter, stopped the concert on Saturday night smack dab in the middle of the second movement.

Why? Somebody was filming instead of experiencing.

Here’s an article about it. Ms. Mutter unobtrusively asked the filmer to stop during a bit where the orchestra played without her. For all I know, the filmer had a very good reason for filming: Maybe her mother had wanted to come but got sick or something. Maybe her father was the classical equivalent of a Deadhead and had never missed an Anne-Sophie Mutter concert until he went into the Witness Protection Program. I don’t know. But Ms. Mutter wasn’t having it.

She said:

“Either I will leave, or you will put away your phone and recording device.”

The filmer left the hall.

Here’s another article, with people within earshot of the exchange reporting that the filmer apologized and left in humiliated tears.

They started the movement over and went from there, but the happening broke the flow, for sure.

If you want to see a film of Mutter doing the concerto, here’s one on YouTube:

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s weekly blog hop, One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner or just like them, follow the link.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone argues with someone they shouldn’t oughta argue with.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Mutter Against the Machine #1LinerWeds

  1. Ally Bean

    October 2, 2019 at 8:36am

    I don’t know what I think about this. Apparently the soloist thought that the filmer was stealing from her? That her performance was only for those people who paid to see her? As an artist wouldn’t you think she’d want the joy of her music to be available to all? Like I said, I dunno about this. Many issues here.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 3, 2019 at 7:56am

      I don’t know what was up. I know flash photography can be distracting. Maybe the video camera had a light on. Maybe Ms. Mutter felt disrespected, not being strictly attended to. As the second article said, young folks like to share, so maybe that’s all it was with the filmer: she was entranced, and wanted her friends to know how wonderful the concert was.

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  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    October 2, 2019 at 2:41pm

    ALL concerts I have ever been to EXPRESSLY forbid filming. The audience has made a choice to pay for an experience (or to go to one, in the case of a free concert), and that experience is ALWAYS destroyed by the lout with the camera.

    Whatever reasons they had, they went ahead and destroyed the experience for all those in the hall affected, WITHOUT their consent.

    There are so many other ways the concert could have been shared with whatever situation (sick mother, budding violinist at home, desire for a recording,…) the person filming decided it was more important than everyone else in the hall’s concerns.

    And artists take great care when they record something themselves.

    I’m on her side. An artist has the right to create a safe situation to work in, covered by a contract and all kinds of conditions. A single person in the audience doesn’t get that right simply because he or she is present.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 3, 2019 at 7:59am

      Housekeeping said we were to silence all devices; while I was silencing my device, it’s possible he also said that flash photography and filming were forbidden. The witnesses said the filmer spoke broken English, so she may not have understood the directions. It’s too bad she wasn’t with someone who could have translated for her, or at least have put a hand over the camera when she went to raise it.

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      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        October 3, 2019 at 1:38pm

        I’d be pretty sure she was the only one videoing (is that a word?) – that might have provided a clue.

        At kids’ concerts, etc., it has gotten so bad (I am informed) that NO ONE is actually watching the performance. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but even I remember people falling all over other people, including me, to get everything down for posterity.

        I wonder how many of those videos actually get viewed. I put all our movies and videos on a hard drive for the kids a while back (Christmas present) – and I still haven’t watched them. I’m comforted that they are preserved better than in the box of tapes we couldn’t even play (got a professional to tackle them), but there hasn’t been time to go in there and provide some context.


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    • Joanne Sisco

      October 4, 2019 at 5:56am

      I agree with you.

      From an artist’s perspective it is a form of stealing.

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