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Toronto Symphony drops pianist for challenging the Imperial narrative on Ukraine

We don’t know which “Ukrainian media outlets” were so offended by Ms. Lisitsa’s bold commentaries on events in her native Ukraine, but we can guess.  In any case, let this serve as an example of the treatment dished out by the Free World™ to those who would dare to challenge the acceptable narrative.

As for the TSO and its patrons: this is definitely their loss.


Orchestra Drops Pianist Valentina Lisitsa Over ‘Deeply Offensive’ Tweets

Valentina Lisitsa, a well-known classical pianist whose Twitter feed regularly features barbed political commentary about the conflict in Ukraine, was dropped from two performances this week with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, after the ensemble cited concerns over her “deeply offensive” and “provocative” online remarks.

Lisitsa, a Ukrainian-American who was scheduled to perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the TSO this Wednesday and Thursday, took to Facebook on Monday to accuse the Toronto Symphony (TSO) of censorship.

“Yes, Toronto Symphony is going TO PAY ME NOT TO PLAY because I exercised the right to free speech,” she wrote in a rambling, 1000-word post. “Yes, they will pay my fee but they are going to announce that I will be unable to play and they already found a substitute. And they even threatened me against saying anything about the cause of the cancellation. Seriously.”

The pianist accused the orchestra of bowing to a “small but aggressive lobby claiming to represent Ukrainian community,” which she said had taken issue with “caricatures” she posted to Twitter related to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris.

The Toronto Symphony declined to comment Monday on Lisitsa’s charges and issued a statement defending its decision to cancel her contract. “Due to ongoing accusations of deeply offensive language by Ukrainian media outlets, we have decided to replace Valentina Lisitsa,” said the orchestra’s president and CEO Jeff Melanson.

Emphasis added.  Read more at WQXR New York

Filed under: Canada, empire watch, latest, Ukraine

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