May 10, 2007 / 5:07 PM / 11 years ago

Fistfight mars Boston Pops' opening night

BOSTON (Reuters) - A fistfight in the balcony stopped the music on opening night at the Boston Pops, drawing gasps from hundreds of well-heeled guests at one of the country’s oldest and best-known city orchestras.

Famous for light classical music and family pop tunes from decades past, the orchestra briefly halted its performance on Wednesday evening as two men wrestled in the side balcony of the 107-year-old Symphony Hall.

Concert-goers looked up after a woman’s scream interrupted a rendition of the Hollywood musical “Gigi” about 20 minutes into the performance.

Shortly afterward, conductor Keith Lockhart stopped the orchestra with a motion of his hand as the murmuring crowd turned to watch the scuffle, apparently caused after one man told another guest to be quiet.

One of the men could be seen with his button-down shirt ripped open as a security guard pulled the two apart, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene. A man had his arm wrapped around another’s neck, pulling him backward.

“House security and Boston police stopped the fight, and the audience members were escorted out of the hall,” the Boston Symphony Orchestra said in a statement on Thursday. “The concert resumed and ended with cheers and a standing ovation.”

No charges were filed against the men.

The Pops, comprised of the Boston Symphony minus its principal players, is perhaps best known for July 4th concerts along Boston’s Charles River that began in 1974 and include fireworks accompanying Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

Its concert hall is considered among the best in the world.

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