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Fist fight breaks out at orchestra concert

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's graceful music became the ironic soundtrack to a fistfight last week when two men began throwing blows at one another during a performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.

It happened March 8 as conductor Riccardo Muti had just begun to lead into the second movement of the show.

During a rather sedate moment of the opus, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that a man in his 30s started punching a 67-year-old man inside one of the boxes. Police said the dispute was apparently over seat assignments in the elite section of the theater.

The victim ended up with a cut on his forehead, and the aggressor bailed before police and paramedics arrived.

But the music never stopped. 

“We heard a rather loud thump,” audience member Steve Robinson, general manager of Chicago radio station WFMT, tells the Sun-Times. The maestro remained unruffled, yet noticeably irritated, by the dispute, according to witnesses.

“He very gracefully, without missing a beat — literally —brought [the second movement] to a very quiet and subdued close, while still looking over his left shoulder," Robinson told the newspaper.

While an unusual setting for combat, this isn’t the first time audience members have wreaked havoc at a classical-music concert. At a Boston Pops’ show in 2007, a brawl over a noise complaint broke out right as the orchestra performed a medley from the movie “Gigi.” That fight, however, was a tad more intense, actually causing the show to pause due to screams and chairs being thrown.

The Chicago fight did create some interesting comments on Twitter and on a Huffington Post article about the fight.

Wrote a reader going by Bude on The Huffington Post, "The 1% have turned on each other!"

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