Exclusive: Younger guy issues a “statement” about the Brahms brawl.
By now all of you know about the fight that went down at last Thursday’s Chicago Symphony concert. Amid speculation that alcohol was a factor, no one directly involved has spoken publicly. But in an exclusive Nondivisi scoop, I tracked down the younger of the two participants as he hid out in a Naperville motel due to the media frenzy. Here’s his version of events…….
It’s all still kind of a blur. The CSO bouncers don’t mess around, so it took a few days for me to get my bearings. I remember showing up as I usually do every Friday- as a professional actuary, my CSO subscription is always the apex of my weekly excitement; I never miss it. And I love all the promotions during renewal season. I went right to the bar to take advantage of the 3-for-1 martini special (only for current or new subscribers). About 7.45 (and feeling pretty good) I headed to my usual box and sat down. I noticed the empty seat next to me right away, which was a perfect place for the cooler.
As the concert began I sent my first text to someone in the viola section (another great subscriber perk), but it took forever for him to respond. He really liked whatever the piece was, especially the guy with the viola in front of the orchestra who was playing by himself a lot. Or maybe it was a violin. I had no idea Mark Zuckerberg was also a musician. Anyway, I’d barely tweeted 11 times and finished my sandwich when the lights went up and it was time to head back to the bar. I was in luck- 4-for-1 during intermission! With the line and all, I didn’t have much time before the symphony but I made it back just in time.
Just as I settled in this old dude shows up, maybe 67 or so, and I could tell it was trouble by the beer in each hand; everyone knows the boxes only have one cupholder per seat. I tried to be polite as he went on about Brahms being “Norway’s greatest composer”, but I was angry after he just moved the cooler and sat right down. As the lights dimmed he really got going- all the muttering about Barenboim and Dudamel, and something about Kleiber being overrated. He just wouldn’t shut up- dynamics, tempi, he had opinions even as he spilled his second beer on me.
I was ok until just towards the end of the second movement, but that’s when it happened. When he fired up the metronome, I just lost it. It took awhile for security to show up*, so I got a few good shots in before they tackled us. I think the mace was a little much, but like I said I’m still a little foggy on details.
Next thing I know I’m at the CSO’s detention room backstage someplace; I didn’t even know that existed. It wasn’t bad, kind of like the jail at Disneyland but with pictures of Fritz Reiner everywhere. After some paperwork and a survey about my favorite programming, they let me go. Still don’t have my cooler back.
I’m sorry about the old guy, but I was sort of buzzed and he definitely crossed a line. I’m surprised nobody else let him have it; at the Lyric this would’ve been a mob scene.
Editor’s Note- obviously this is one protagonist’s view of events, and Nondivisi could not immediately verify all the details. Eyewitnesses are encouraged to offer any clarifications to this account.
* Due to budget restrictions, the CSO recently discontinued its policy of placing a staff member in each row of the hall to address patron concerns during performances.