Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 01 March |
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

The incredible story behind the boy who shouted “wow” after hearing Mozart

Handel and Haydn Society

Handel and Haydn Society | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/15/19

Ronan Mattin's unique response to music is a very touching story.

Ronan Mattin was a big hit at a recent concert in Boston’s Symphony Hall — but not for his musical talent. The 9-year-old concert-goer amazed crowds when at the end of a performance of Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music — as the audience soaked in what they’d just heard — the youngster let out a spontaneous “wow!” The way he so eloquently spoke what everybody thought led to laughter and a burst of applause.

David Snead, the president and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society, whose orchestra had performed that evening, was visibly touched. He wrote an email in search of the young fan, saying: “It was one of the most wonderful moments I’ve experienced in the concert hall.”

Snead wanted to offer the mystery boy a chance to meet the conductor Harry Christophers and to give him a recording of the concert.

Luckily a family member of Ronan’s grandfather, who had taken him to the concert, spotted the appeal and the family reached out to the orchestra. In a beautiful twist in the tale, it turns out that Ronan is on the autistic spectrum and is primarily non-verbal, especially when it comes to expressing emotions.

“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,” explained the grandfather to WGBH.

So not only is this a joyous story of a little boy who summed up the wonder of an entire audience in one word, but of the power of music to give everyone a voice.


MAN,HEADPHONES

Read more:
Study finds Alzheimer’s cannot take away memories of music


ALEXANDRE MORRISSEY

Read more:
A child “prodigy” performs Mozart live

Tags:
AutismClassical Music
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
2
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
3
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
4
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
5
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
6
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
7
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.