Any disruption of a concert is unacceptable, but the media brouhaha - "people were reportedly seen crying in their seats" - over the disruption at harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani's recent Cologne concert is disproportionate. Esfahani, who was born in Tehran but - Independent headline writer please note - grew up in America where he attended high school and university, is signed to Universal Classics. At Universal one of his labelmates is pianist Valentina Lisitsa, who famously rewrote the book on using brouhaha as a promotional tool. Both artists have received copious coverage on brouhaha central, aka Slipped Disc and featured prominently on the little-lamented Sinfini website, and the Steve Reich work at the centre of the Cologne controversy is on Esfahani's recently released Deutsche Grammophon CD. There is no doubt that Mahan Esfahani is a very talented musician, and it is regrettable that his concert was disrupted. But there is an old advertising adage that says if you shout too loud, people won't listen. Mahan Esfahani should remember that this applies to the musician on the platform as well as to delinquents in the audience.
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