Kicker: Special guest of the society

NICK EICHER, HOST: For this story, we need to make a small adjustment. The music you’re hearing comes from the Handel and Haydn Society season finale at Boston’s Symphony Hall one Sunday ago.

Thankfully, the classical music station WCRB recorded this and placed it online.

It’s Mozart’s “Masonic Funeral.”

But listen carefully at the end.

You could hear a pin drop, but instead, you’ll hear something much, much better.

What might seem like a breach of decorum was a sincere compliment that warmed hearts. Listen in.


Nine-year-old Ronan Mattin. His grandfather treated him to the symphony and it was a treat.

The young boy is on the autism spectrum, and as his grandpa says, he just expresses himself differently than others do.

The musicians of the Handel & Haydn Society were so grateful for Ronan’s expression that they’ve done two things: (1) set up a meeting with Ronan and artistic director Harry Christophers, and (2) invited Ronan back when the new season opens in October. Special guest of the society.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(Al Mattin via AP) This summer 2018 photo provided by Al Mattin on Friday, May 10, 2019 shows his father, Stephen, and son, Ronan, at Stephen’s home in Kensington, N.H. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.







Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.