Stories » Humans cough so MTT offers cough drops / WQXR - Radio Survivor

Top 10 for Aug

Humans cough so MTT offers cough drops / WQXR - Radio Survivor

Bookmark and Share

One of my favorite classical radio stations is making a meal over measures that one of my favorite conductors is taking to combat coughing in the music hall. San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas now gives away cough drops at concerts. Or at least MTT did so at a recent Chicago Symphony event in which the proverbial throat frogs got unusually jumpy during several quiet pieces. These included a Stravinsky elegy for President John F. Kennedy and an early movement of a Mahler symphony.

The Maestro described the drastic step he took in a recent interview with Elliott Forrest at WQXR-FM in New York City

"As it happens, just as I had walked on the stage before the Mahler piece I had seen that there was a big box filled with cough drops which is there for members of the orchestra to use it they need it," Thomas explained.

"So that was in my mind and I thought, it is going to be a problem later in the piece, so maybe I can do something that will be helpful. So I said to the concert master, ‘Don't worry. I'll be right back.' I walked off the stage and got two very big handfuls of these cough drops. I came back and said something to the audience like ‘I just happen to have a bunch of cough drops . . . ‘"