The outburst, which came during a performance of Schubert at La Scala, was compared to pianist Keith Jarrett's notorious on-stage rant at the Umbria Jazz festival, when he told "all these assholes with cameras" to "turn them fucking off right now".
Barenboim was more restrained, but warned the audience – and one woman in particular – that he had asked several times for people not to take photographs during his performance and was beginning to lose his temper.
"Madam, I am trying to give you my best, but you have no respect for it!" he said. "Those who take photographs during concerts are badly educated.
"I have asked at every concert. The first time nicely, but now it's serious," he said, before returning to the stage to begin the sonata again, according to the media reports.
Jarrett was banned for six years from the Umbria festival in Perugia after his 2007 outburst, returning to perform in 2013 but – to the audience's bemusement – playing in the dark, so that no one could take photographs.