Nightly News   |  January 12, 2012

Ringtone interrupts Philharmonic performance

During Mahler’s Ninth Symphony a ringing cell phone caused the conductor to stop the concert on Tuesday in New York City. NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> there is a reason why before all live performances these days, movie theaters, stage performances, concerts, people are warned to turn off their cell phones . it's incredibly annoying. it distracts those around you. it can kill a performance. last night here in new york, it did, in fact, kill a performance. i was the new york philharmonic at lincoln center . it was mahler's ninth symphony during a crucial portion at the end. that same ring tone started going off. the conductor alan gilbert couldn't take it any more and stopped the concert. today he explained why.

>> the symphony ends incredibly quietly. there was literally no way we could go on so i stopped the music and i asked the general vicinity where the sound was coming from, please turn off your cell phone . i had to ask several times and it didn't stop.

>> the offending phone owner seemed paralyzed at first. it kept ringing, but he finally dialed in and turned it off. the conductor was applauded for what he did. the concert was finally completed, and the musicians reportedly were paid overtime for having to stay late last night.