Arts & Entertainment

LISTEN: Symphony's Performance Literally "Wows" Autistic Boy

Patrons cheer and clap when he shouts "wow" after a moving musical performance


Maybe you've been so touched by a beautiful piece of music you felt like shouting out in the concert hall.

But you didn't because, well, it just wouldn't have been proper.

9-year-old Ronan Mattin had no such hesitation.

The Boston boy, who is on the autism spectrum, attended the Handel and Haydn Society's performance of Mozart's Masonic Funeral Song last weekend with his grandfather Stephen Mattin.

Ronan spontaneously shouted "wow" in the moment of silence after the orchestra stopped playing. His reaction, which charmed the audience and the maestro, was recorded on tape by classical music station WCRB.

(LISTEN to the magical moment below, courtesy WCRB's Facebook page.)

WGBH, Boston's PBS station, reports Handel and Haydn Society President David Snead later published an open letter asking audience members to help him identify the boy, calling it "one of the most wonderful moments he had experienced in the concert hall."

Stephen Mattin came forward to say it was his grandson and to let people know the family was as delighted about Ronan's reaction as everyone else was.

"I can count on one hand the number of times that [he's] spontaneously ever come out with some expression of how he's feeling," Mattin told WGBH.

WGBH reports the family is now working with orchestra staff to arrange a meet-and-greet between Ronan and the conductor.

(Image: Stephen Mattin)

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