The New York Times has dredged up the offender responsible for the iPhone marimba disruption during a concert of the New York Philharmonic earlier this week. An executive between 60 and 70 who runs two companies, he confessed his guilt to the paper of record on condition of anonymity. “You can imagine how devastating it is to know you had a hand in that,” he told the Times. “It’s horrible, horrible.”
He had not slept in two days, he said.
The man is a classical music fan and 20-year subscriber to the orchestra, but he neglected to turn off his alarm because he had just gotten an iPhone to replace his BlackBerry. He didn’t realize one needed to turn the alarm off separately, he said, or that one was set. “I didn’t even know phones came with alarms,” he said.
But as Mr. Gilbert was glaring in his direction, he fiddled with the phone as others around him did, just to be sure, pressing buttons. That was when the sound stopped. It was only in the car going home that his wife checked the settings on his phone and found that the alarm had been set.
The conductor was so outraged by the interruption that he stopped the concert and walked into the audience and reprimanded the iPhone owner, who was sitting in the front row.
An orchestra official called the patron the next day and politely rebuked him again. The patron asked for the opportunity to apologize to the conductor, who accepted his apology.
In a Twitter message, the composer Daniel Dorff said, “Changed my ringtone to play #Mahler 9 just in case.” A YouTube poster superimposed a marimba sound over a performance of the piece by Leonard Bernstein.
“It was just awful to have any role in something like that, that is so disturbing and disrespectful not only to the conductor but to all the musicians and not least to the audience, which was so into this concert,” the patron told the Times.