The Handel and Haydn Society is internationally acclaimed for its performances of Baroque and Classical music (Photo: Handel and Haydn Society)
As The Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra finished Mozart's "Masonic Funeral Music" at Boston Symphony Hall last week, they expected to hear polite applause after a brief silence.
The expected silence came — and it was followed by the "Wow!" heard around the country.
A child's voice expressed a simple, refreshing amazement over the performance. The audience paused, giggled and erupted into a loud round of applause.
The moment so impressed and tickled the orchestra that they released the audio recording of the "Wow!" moment in hopes of finding the awestruck child, and other people and organizations joined the search.
Not long after the audio clip hit the internet, it became a viral sensation, getting thousands of shares across several platforms and even getting coverage from major television networks.
The search was on for the child. David Snead, president and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society, gave out his email address in hopes of getting a response from the parent of the child.
Snead told MassLive.com that the organization would like to give their newest fan and his family a copy of the recording and invite them to meet conductor Harry Christophers.
It took less than a week for the inspired kid to come forward. Ronan Mattin, 9, was the much-admired young man who had expressed what everyone else was thinking.
He was attending the concert with his grandfather, Stephen Mattin. The elder Mattin explained to WGBH that Ronan didn't mean to be disruptive, and that "he is on the autism spectrum, and often expresses himself differently than other people."
Stephen went on to share that Ronan is huge music fan. He loves trips to the orchestra, the fine arts museum and the science museum in Boston.
The touching moment was Ronan's way of expressing himself and how much Mozart's music resonated with him. His family and the society are arranging a date for him to meet the conductor.
"You know, everybody's different. Everybody has different ways of expressing themselves," Mattin told WGBH. "I think people in general, society's becoming more tolerant or understanding of the differences between people."