4 Mar, 2016
Iranian musician forced to stop Cologne concert after audience members jeer and shout ‘speak German’ – The Independent
An Iranian harpsichordist has described his shock after being forced to stop a concert in Cologne following calls to “speak German” and jeering. Mahan Esfahani, who has won numerous awards and teaches at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, was performing at the Kölner Philharmonie when the furore broke out on Sunday. As he started to play Steve Reich’s 1967 piece “Piano Phase”, he gave a short introduction in English explaining the special arrangement allowing him to perform the work on a Baroque harpsichord dating from 1745. An audience member shouted “speak in German” before other members of the 1,800-strong crowd started clapping, whistling and hissing, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper reported.