Philharmonic iPhone Guy Is Distraught, Still Rich

Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The man whose iPhone marimba ringtone rang out during the end of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, causing the conductor to stop the performance, has been branded Patron X by the New York Philharmonic, and is beside himself with guilt. “You can imagine how devastating it is to know you had a hand in that,” said the man, who granted the New York Times an interview, but remains anonymous. He says he hasn’t slept in two days, and described being confused by his new iPhone because he’d switched from a BlackBerry the day before the concert. He’s since spoken in person with the conductor. “I hope the people at that performance and members of the orchestra can certainly forgive me for this whole event. I apologize to the whole audience,” he said. “It’s horrible, horrible,” stressed the man, a twenty-year subscriber to the orchestra (with front-row seats), who is between 60 and 70, and runs two companies. Life can be tough, but it’s important to keep things in perspective.

Philharmonic iPhone Guy Is Distraught