new york stories

Conductor Throws a Punch Before Philharmonic Performance

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Music Director of New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra during the Opening Night Gala of New York Philharmonic sponsored by Breguet at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on September 21, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Swatch Group)
Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Ahead of his Chinese New Year’s concert at the New York Philharmonic, visiting conductor Long Yu brushed off a man on the street who was asking for a cigarette. The guy then sucker punched Yu and ran off, but contra everything we’ve ever thought about prissy orchestra people, the conductor didn’t cower or retreat — he ran the man down and hit him back. And no, Yu didn’t call the cops because it’s “not a big deal.” He went on to conduct the next night, swollen face and all, but you should see the other guy.

Conductor Throws a Punch Before Performance