A picture taken and released by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSEV) shows a dog next to the orchestra's musicians during a concert at the Ancient Ephesus, in Izmir. ONUR ACIMAZ / ISTANBUL FOUNDATION FOR CULTURE AND ARTS (IKSEV) / AFP
ISTANBUL - It's that moment fans of classical music live for, an international orchestra playing a great masterpiece at full pelt.
Until an unexpected guest star arrives.
A stray, and rather loveable, dog.
At the outdoor performance of Felix Mendelssohn's Fourth Symphony in Turkey, the audience were raptly attentive as the Vienna Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ola Rudner tore through the nineteenth century German composer's effervescent score.
The music-loving canine, with the casual air of an experienced performer, ambled across the stage and stopped at the conductor's podium on the stage at the remains of ancient Ephesus close to the Aegean city of Izmir.
The dog stared at an adoring public -- who by now had lost interest in anything else and burst into laughter and applause -- before sitting down by the seat of the first violinist.
Trying to suppress their own laughter, the orchestra gamely played on as if the dog was a regular band member.
And like an experienced performer who has seen it all many times before, the dog settled down and stole the rest of the show with an unmistakable yawn.
The video of the concert this month at the International Izmir Festival has gone viral in Turkey, where the numerous stray cats and dogs across the country are usually treated with considerable respect and respect.
"Cutest moment in classical music," wrote star Turkish classical pianist Fazil Say who was in attendance after performing a Mozart piano concerto before the symphony.
"The most adorable classical music fan. Audience and the orchestra welcome the special guest," he wrote on his Facebook page.