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In the news: Riccardo Muti’s eyes “threw daggers” after fisticuffs erupted at the Chicago Symphony

Ahh.. Brahms..

The music of soothing lullabies, sleeping babies, and…fist fights?

This month, while the illustrious Riccardo Muti conducted Brahms Symphony No. 2 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a young man turned the exclusive box seats into a tawdry Fight Club. The 30-ish man punched a 67-year-old man in the face, in an apparent dispute over the correct proprietor of the box seats.

An ambulance arrived to squire the senior citizen to the hospital, as his face had been cut. The Brahms Brawler fled the scene before police arrived.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Muti flashed “dagger eyes” at the brutish interruption. Maestro Muti was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying, “This was the first time in my more than 40 years of (musical) activity in all parts of the world that such a thing has happened. Never could I imagine the concert hall would become a (wrestling) ring. The irony was that this took place during a program of Brahms. Most of his music was written to express consolation, not aggression.”

“I hope it was not my interpretation that brought this on,” Muti is reported to have said with a smile.

If the fighter became this inflamed during Brahms, imagine how would he would have reacted during Liszt’s Totentanz or Prokoviev’s Scynthian Suite?

For the full report of the fight, please see John Von Rhein’s report in the Chicago Tribune.,0,4806105.column

Posted by on March 19th, 2012

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