Michael Brown protesters disrupt St. Louis Symphony performance

6 October 2014, 12:12 | Updated: 6 October 2014, 12:17

A performance by the St. Louis Symphony was interrupted by audience members singing and chanting in protest at the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown.

Shortly before the orchestra was to begin a performance of Brahms' German Requiem on Saturday night, the protesters began chanting "black lives matter", and held up signs that read 'racism lives here' and ‘requiem to Mike Brown'. 

The shooting by a policeman of Brown, who was unarmed, shook the town of Ferguson, Missouri in August, and led to mass protests and rioting on the streets.

Reaction from the audience at the St Louis Symphony concert was mixed. Some members of the audience, and indeed the orchestra, were clapping in support, while another audience member is heard on the video saying of Brown: "He was a thug."

Erika Ebsworth-Goold, publicist for the St. Louis Symphony, said: "It was certainly unexpected. I think it took everyone in the hall by surprise... The orchestra had assembled, the chorus was on the stage, our soloists were on the stage, and so was our conductor. We were just getting ready to start when this happened."

It has been reported that around 50 people took part in the protest. Demonstrators left after a few minutes without further incident. No arrests were made.