During a recent performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the sound coming from off the stage briefly got more attention than what was happening on it.
On Friday, April 28, The Los Angeles Philharmonic was performing Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony when several members of the audience reported that a fellow concertgoer was loudly moaning in a balcony.
“Everyone kind of turned to see what was happening,” Molly Grant, who was near the person who may have made the noise, told the Los Angeles Times. “I saw the girl after it had happened, and I assume that she … had an orgasm because she was heavily breathing, and her partner was smiling and looking at her—like in an effort to not shame her.”
Composer and music producer Magnus Fiennes appeared to confirm Grant’s account on social media, describing the woman as having a “loud and full body orgasm” during the symphony’s second movement. The L.A. Phil’s online program describes the second movement as lifting the mood “from sentimentality to high Romanticism.”
An audio clip of the moment was shared widely on Twitter. Classical pianist Sharon Su said on social media that she “checked with someone who works at the L.A. Phil and they confirmed” that the orchestra kept playing undistracted the commotion. It isn’t clear what exactly happened to the audience member, and L.A. Phil did not immediately respond to a Robb Report request for comment.
“One can’t know exactly what happened, but it seemed very clear from the sound that it was an expression of pure physical joy,” music agent Lukas Burton told the L.A. Times. “A sort of classical-music equivalent of that scene in a movie where someone is talking loudly in a party or a nightclub, and then the record suddenly stops and they say something that everyone hears.”
Burton said that after the moan, “there was a sort of gasp in the audience,” however he said that “I think everyone felt that was a rather lovely expression of somebody who was so transported by the music that it had some kind of effect on them physically or, dare I say, even sexually.”