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Punchy Headline: Fistfight at Chicago symphony doesn't stop the music

The main entrance of Chicago's orchestra hall Tim Boyle/Getty Images

The main entrance of Chicago's Orchestra Hall
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
(CBS) CHICAGO - A fistfight reportedly broke out last week among spectators in Chicago's Orchestra Hall during a performance of the Brahms Symphony No. 2.

Just as the second movement was drawing to a close, a man in his 30s, according to police, started punching a 67-year-old man in one of the box seat areas, reports CBS Chicago.

"We heard a rather loud thump," said Steve Robinson, general manager of Chicago's classical and folk music station 98.7 WFMT, who was at the performance but didn't see the fight. "It wasn't so loud that everyone jumped up and ran for the exits."

Police said the fight stemmed from an argument over seats in the box.

"According to the victim, the offender became irate and struck him several times," police said.

The victim was left with a cut on his forehead, while the other man left before police arrived, authorities said.

The concert never stopped, but Music Director Riccardo Muti, who was conducting the concert, shot a glance over his left shoulder toward the box where the punches were thrown. One concert-goer described the look as "dagger eyes."

Robinson said Muti merely paused longer than would be expected and then continued on to the third movement - after getting a signal from someone up in the box.

"Mind you, he never stopped conducting," Robinson said. "He very gracefully, without missing a beat - literally - he brought [the second movement] to a very quiet and subdued close, while still looking over his left shoulder."

  • Crimesider Staff

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