Maxwell Davies: audience members should be fined for using cell phones

Posted on: June 22, 2011

In Monday’s (6/20) Telegraph (London), Auslan Cramb writes, “Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Music, said he planned to write to phone companies about the practicalities of introducing a financial penalty on ‘artistic terrorists’. He was speaking after performances at this year’s St. Magnus Festival in Orkney were ‘plagued’ by ringtones. At least three mobiles rang on Friday night during a performance by the London Sinfonietta at the St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. The incidents prompted members of the audience to shout at the offenders. … He said people who disrupted performances by allowing their phones to ring should face fines and the money should go to the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund. Sir Peter, 76, added: ‘I’ve just had enough. It is a problem that seems to plague almost every performance everywhere these days. Half the time they have some ghastly, personalised ringtone. It is not just the sound of the phone, but is some rock music or banal tune. It just breaks the concentration of performer and the audience and breaks the spell and bond between them.’ ”

Posted June 22, 2011