Renowned violinist Kyung-Wha Chung has shocked audiences at the Royal Festival Hall by publicly berating the parents of a coughing child.
The South Korean prodigy had been absent from the London stage for 12 years, partly due to a finger injury.
But the 66-year-old took offence at a child coughing during her performance of Mozart’s Sonata In G.
“Maybe bring her back when she’s older,” she scolded the parents from the stage.
Anna Picard, music critic for The Times, said the atmosphere in the hall had already been tense, such was the anticipation surrounding the violinist’s comeback.
“With one shrivelling put-down, a tetchy atmosphere turned toxic,” she wrote in her review.
British violinist Thomas Gould was also in the audience, and tweeted: “Difficult to be charmed by Kyung-Wha Chung’s Mozart after her curious outburst at parents of a coughing child.
“But the raised temperatures added an extra belligerence to her taut Prokofiev,” he added.
Fellow string player Elizabeth Stahlmann noted that there were “plenty of people coughing” during the performance and it was “not cool to pick on a child”.
Some were more sympathetic to the violinist.
“I would like to publicly express my gratitude to Chang for drawing attention to this issue,” wrote composer Sasha Valeri Millwood on the Slipped Disc website.
“Poor audience behaviour has ruined a great many concerts in my experience, both on occasions where I was on stage and on occasions where I was in the audience.”
Coughing is a particular problem for classical performers in the winter months. An academic paper released in 2013 even suggested that people appear to cough more in concerts than …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment