NEW YORK, NY (NBC) - Do you ever forget to turn your cell phone off when you go to the movies or to a play? Someone did just that Tuesday night, causing the New York Philharmonic conductor to put down his baton and stop the orchestra.
Just as conductor Alan Gilbert was leading the orchestra through the final movement of Mahler's 9th, the culmination of the 82 minute long symphony, an audience member's cell phone rang.
"It was more than annoying. It was completely destructive. There was no way the music could go on," said Gilbert. "And I knew it was going to continue, because I have the same ring tone. I use the same tone for my alarm when I wake up in the morning.'
It was identified as the Marimba ring tone, right in the front row. The maestro did something he has never done in his entire career. He put down his baton and stopped the show.
"It's shocking when you do that, because you just don't expect the natural flow of the music to be interrupted, so I said, "I know it's embarrassing to turn it off. You're going to have to admit that it's your phone. Just do it so we can get back to the music.'"
The voice of Alec Baldwin admonishes Philharmonic patrons to silence their cell phones. While the 30 Rock star didn't take his own advice aboard American Airlines, frequent concert goers and the conductor wish they would.
"I think that people need to take that extra second, third look at their phone, because it can be incredibly disruptive, especially like Mahler," said one patron.
Gilbert received a standing ovation following the performance.