Curation: Montreal Symphony Replaces Russian Pianist Alexander Malofeev

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Yesterday, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra announced the cancellation of Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev after several days of controversy and coverage in national TV and radio surrounding his upcoming appearance in scheduled concerts for March 9, 10 and 13. Last weekend, the Vancouver Recital Society cancelled Malofeev’s recital. Below is the official press release from the orchestra.

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Press Announcement from the OSM (March 8, 2022)


Considering the serious impact on the civilian population of Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion, the OSM must announce the withdrawal of pianist Alexander Malofeev from performances of the concert Michael Tilson Thomas: Monumental, scheduled for March 9, 10 and 13.

The OSM feels that it would be inappropriate to receive Mr. Malofeev this week. We continue, however, to believe in the importance of maintaining relationships with artists of all nationalities who embrace messages of peace and hope. We look forward to welcoming this exceptional artist when the context allows it.

Despite the hostilities that have prevailed in Ukraine for the past two weeks, the musicians of the OSM and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas wish to point out their excellent collaboration with Mr. Malofeev:

I was very pleased to be working in Montreal for the first time with the extraordinary young pianist Alexander Malofeev. It is regrettable that political situations have made it impossible. I look forward to the possibility of collaborating with him in the near future.” — Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

The OSM also wishes to reaffirm its solidarity with the Ukrainian people and will make a donation in support of this community. The Orchestra invites the public to do the same by giving to a recognized organization such as the Red Cross or UNICEF.

The OSM is saddened by this outcome. This heartbreaking decision was not taken lightly and is absolutely circumstantial.

Unfortunately, conditions have worsened for the Ukrainian civilian population over the past few days. This has escalated international disbelief at initial bombardments by the Russian army, and has led us to the conclusion, in all good conscience, that Mr. Malofeev’s presence with the Orchestra this week would not allow the OSM to fulfill its essential mission to “convey the universal message that music unites peoples and cultures in a spirit of peace, fellowship, and human solidarity.” We felt that, on the contrary, it would contribute to increasing tensions within our community.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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  1. Pingback: Canada cancels Russian pianists – Overcoming anti Russian Hysteria

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