Joseph Haydn is an icon in classical music, and it was no different during his lifetime in the late 1700s and early 1800s. In fact, his music saved lives. On February 2, 1795, Haydn, a local celebrity, directed a highly-anticipated new symphony at the King’s Theatre in London. The audience moved forward to try to get as close to this icon as possible, emptying the middle area of the theater. In a twist of fate, a chandelier crashed down from the ceiling, hitting the seats the spectators had recently vacated. A passion for music—literally—saved their lives.
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