A classical music concert was disrupted by protesters last night.

Eight activists from the Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign were thrown out of the Jerusalem Quartet concert at the Corn Exchange after they started shouting and chanting.

The Israeli classical music group were playing in the city as part of the Brighton Festival.

Anticipating trouble at the |£20-a-head event, Festival director Andrew Comben took to the stage before the start. He said: “A festival should be a place to explore ideas.

“It feels to me tonight the voice me most want to hear is Schumann.”

But just minutes after the first note sounded around the room, four activists stood up and started shouting: “Boycott Israel – anti apartheid.”

Security staff ejected them from the room.

The musicians continued to play but just minutes later another two stood up followed by another pair.

Forcibly resisting, security had to get the activists in bear hugs before lifting them out.

A spokesperson for the group, who also handed out leaflets before the show, said: “These musicians are cultural ambassadors for an apartheid state and as such should not be performing at the Brighton Festival.

“The Festival Guest Director’s mission statement affirms that the role of the festival is to ‘remind us of the positive changes we can all make to improve our world for future generations.’ “Using music to whitewash the apartheid state of Israel should have no place here.”

One audience member said: “It’s just ridiculous. A lot of people have paid good money to see this concert.

“I’m fine with them protesting outside the venue but once inside it should be about the music.”