Pianist storms out over phone clips

AFP-JIJI

Mobile phones are frequently regarded as the bane of classical music concerts, especially when they go off in midperformance.

But it wasn’t a jarring ring that shattered the concentration of Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman during a recital Monday in the German city of Essen. Rather, the 56-year-old stormed off when he noticed an audience member filming the concert with a smartphone, organizers said.

Zimerman, renowned for his perfectionism and regarded by many as one of the greatest pianists of his generation, was giving a rare solo recital of works by Debussy, Brahms and Szymanowski in Essen’s Philharmonic Hall as part of the prestigious Ruhr Piano Festival.

Essen’s Philharmonic Hall, like most concert halls around the world, has a strict ban on making sound and video recordings during concerts, but such restrictions are difficult to enforce.