The mom speaks out: though she felt “humiliated” by MTT’s action, she holds no grudge against New World Symphony
The Miami Beach mom has come forward.
Michael Tilson Thomas created a furor when he stopped a New World Symphony performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 on October 17 to ask a woman and her nine-year-old daughter to move out of his view, a story broken by South Florida Classical Review last week.
The mother of two agreed to an interview about the incident as long as she could remain anonymous to protect her daughter.
She confirmed Tilson Thomas’s contention that he did not ask her to leave the hall but to move to another seat out of his line of sight.
“He actually said, ‘You’re disturbing me. Can you move to the side?’ But we weren’t doing anything.”
“He was polite, as polite can be in the middle of a movement. I found it odd and humiliating to call attention to me in front of the whole show, but this was not my doing. At first I didn’t even realize he was speaking to us, so I think he said it twice.”
She maintains that her daughter was not jumping about and neither of them were doing anything that warranted being asked to move. “My child was not fidgeting,” she said. “No iPad. No phone out.”
She said that she was not angry at being asked to move and would have done so, except that the incident was so devastating to her daughter.
“My child was about to burst into uncontrollable crying, [so] I had no choice but to leave. To be honest, if she wasn’t about to burst into tears, I would have moved and that would have been it. But that wasn’t the case. So we had to leave.”
She remains baffled as to why Tilson Thomas found their presence so disturbing, unless it was because they were the only ones sitting in his line of vision behind the stage.
“There was no one to the left or the right of us. Our whole row and the row behind us were empty except for us. So it’s as if we were highlighted. Perhaps he doesn’t like to see anyone there and that’s why the rows were empty. But that’s where our tickets were.”
While New World officials met with her last Monday, she said she has not heard from Tilson Thomas personally or received an apology from him.
Still she said she holds no grudge against the conductor or the New World Symphony and will return for future concerts.
“I am not angry and I am in fact going back. I love NWS. I love the acoustics. I loved the Wagner piece before Bronfman too.
“We get a lot of joy from NWS, their concerts, and their children’s series. And plus on the exterior it’s a beautiful addition to our city too. It’s great all around.”
She said her daughter has already forgotten about the incident. “It happened ‘so long ago’ it’s not an issue. Children don’t have a great sense of time.”
When they come back for an NWS concert there will be a difference though.
“I told my child we don’t have to sit [behind the stage] ever again. We will stay where we normally sit and see the orchestra from the regular side.”
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Mon Oct 27, 2014
at 2:52 pm