Lifesaving concert? Doctors in audience resuscitate ailing chamber music devotee

Posted on: December 11, 2018

“It was a Sunday afternoon at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and the local chamber music ensemble Mistral was in the middle of a concert [when] Ingrid Christiansen, 89, went into cardiac arrest,” writes Zoë Madonna in Monday’s (12/10) Boston Globe. “In her front-row seat, Christiansen had fallen unconscious and was slumped over on another patron. [Mistral cofounder Michael] Brower [asked] if anyone with medical training was present. Four doctors seated nearby … all women, surrounded Christiansen…. After two minutes of CPR, [physician Anne] Stack felt a strong pulse…. Brower accompanied Christiansen in the ambulance to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the next day [Mistral cofounder and artistic director Julie] Scolnik brought her flute to Christiansen’s hospital bedside, where she played a Bach partita for her, her hospital roommate, and the nurses on duty…. Christiansen is feeling much improved, she said.… According to Scolnik, audience members told her afterward that the concert ‘was something they’d never forget.’ There were jokes, she said, that ‘the music must have been heartstoppingly beautiful.’ But more important was the idea ‘that had she stayed home that night, she would have died.’ Instead, she was surrounded by people, and the music she cherished.”

Posted December 11, 2018