Fort Worth

FWSO conductor, Bass Hall at odds over security

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra conductor, has been the symphony's music director since 2000.
Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra conductor, has been the symphony's music director since 2000. Star-Telegram archives

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, says he was kicked out of his own concert hall Sunday night after his daughter’s performance in the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra’s end-of-season concert.

But Dione Kennedy, president and CEO of Performing Arts Fort Worth, which manages the hall, says in a statement released Monday that the conductor knew about security rules that took effect in January.

Harth-Bedoya posted a video to Facebook that shows him standing outside Bass Hall with his daughter’s violin case in hand. Two police security officers can be seen standing behind him inside the lobby behind glass doors.

 

Tonight, after having conducted throughout the weekend and hosted 8 guest orchestras ALL day long yesterday, I come to hear my daughter play with the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, and I get kicked out by the police, inside the lobby of my concert hall, for holding my daughter's violin case after her performance. The police told me that YES you could come into Bass Hall with a loaded gun, but NOT with a violin case!

Posted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya on Sunday, May 14, 2017

“Hello everybody, I have just been kicked out of my own concert hall because I am holding my daughter’s violin. That’s great, thank you Bass Hall,” Harth-Bedoya says in the video.

Kennedy’s statement says, “Mr. Harth-Bedoya is aware of our security procedures, including the bag admittance program that went into effect January 17. All four resident companies — Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera and the Cliburn — were made aware of the security enhancements well in advance of implementation and given the opportunity to share with staff, artists and patrons.”

The statement also says Performing Arts Fort Worth is looking into the situation and “will be speaking with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra management.”

An FWSO spokesman said the symphony had no comment.

In the caption of the video, Harth-Bedoya wrote, “The police told me that YES you could come into Bass Hall with a loaded gun, but NOT with a violin case!”

Kennedy made it clear that Bass Hall and the Maddox-Muse administration building next door, “are posted 51 percent facilities where the possession of any concealed weapon on the premises is a felony.”

The Youth Orchestra published Bass Hall's bag rules on social media but did not give any advisory about children's instrument cases.

Parents and children came and went throughout the performance as the various age groups performed and left the stage. But no instrument cases were visible in the auditorium seating.

“Musicians aren’t allowed to take their cases into the hall. Any of them ... even FWSO who this is supposedly their home,” said a Facebook post from Melinda Massie, a Fort Worth Opera participant. “Utterly ridiculous.”

At Bass Hall, on Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth, small bags and purses are allowed but not those larger than 12 by 4 by 12 inches. Luggage, backpacks and shopping bags are not allowed. Bags or purses larger than 5  1/2 by 8 1/2 inches must be inspected, according to the bag regulations.

The regulations say they exist for patrons to experience the most comfort and security possible.

The event was the season grand finale concert for 300 children and teenagers of the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, a music education program for children from across Dallas-Fort Worth.

The concert included performances by five different ensembles and orchestras of various ages.

Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy contributed to this report.

Azia Branson: 817-390-7547, @aziabranson

  Comments