Violinist storms out of National Day show to protect violin from rain

First violinist Agnes Feng angrily stormed out of National Day performance to protect her violin from the rain

(Images from Agnes Feng Facebook page)

(Images from Agnes Feng Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- During a televised performance by her orchestra to celebrate Taiwan's National Day on Oct. 10 in Taitung, the concertmaster Agnes Feng (馮楚軒) suddenly stood up and stormed off the stage out of anger over the possible damage inflicted by the rain on her violin, reported TVBS

To celebrate Taiwan's National Day on Oct. 10, the Taitung County government invited the Taitung Concert Orchestra to perform in Linsen Park to complement a fireworks display that would also be launched that evening. Feng was invited to serve as not only the concert master (the first violinist), she was expected to provide a solo performance as well. 

However, halfway through their concert, rain started to pour on the performers. Feng suddenly stopped playing and then quickly strutted off the stage in a huff. She also admonished her fellow musicians to also stop playing, which led to a chaotic scene of some beating a hasty retreat while others soldiered on as the conductor continued to direct them.

The remaining band members played a few more bars, and then collectively stopped playing but took time to bow to the crowd, which applauded loudly in appreciation of their effort. As rain continued to fall, the orchestra members eventually took shelter under a tarp, which they had to hold up with their hands. 

Tarp the orchestra took cover under. (Agnes Feng Facebook page)

That evening, Feng took to Facebook to vent her frustration complaining that they first had to rehearse in hot sun at noon 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit), which she considered damaging to her violin. Then, in the evening, when they were set to perform, the concert was initially cancelled due to rain. However, the rain stopped, so they were told that they were to perform after all, it was when they took to the stage to play when the next round of showers came.

She said that even though she knew they were on TV, she decided to get up in the middle of a song to protect her violin and the instruments of her fellow musicians. She said that after the seven hours of extreme heat and rain, she thought that "if she waited any longer, the disaster would have been worse." She added, "This is how we celebrate the Republic of China's birthday? Really is wonderful!"  

Feng then chastised the county government for being willing to spend NT$10 million on fireworks, but was too cheap to spend NT$30,000 on a canopy for the orchestra. She then sarcastically wrote, "Taiwan! Happy Birthday!"

In response, Taitung County Government Director of Civil Affairs Yen Chih-kuang (顏志光) in an interview with CNA yesterday evening (Oct. 12), put forward three points:

"First, when the government met with the orchestra to arrange the concert and sign the contract, it was made very clear that it would be an open air performance. Second, it was agreed ahead of time that if it rained, the performance would be stopped, and that evening it rained and the performance was halted. However, the rain later ceased, and because it was still within the agreed performance time, the orchestra went on stage to perform. Third, the county government had positioned five covered rest areas." 

Feng can be seen getting up in the upper right hand corner at the 7:02 mark:

Feng inspecting her violin for any damage. (Agnes Feng Facebook)