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Pianist punished for daring to challenge political orthodoxy in Ukraine

by Thomas Walkom in the Toronto Star.

valentina_lisitsa

Surely it is enough that Canadian politicians have taken sides in Ukraine’s bitter conflict.

All three major parties in Parliament agree that Ukraine’s central government in Kyiv is heroic and that eastern rebels battling it are mere cats-paws of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Must we now punish any piano player who dares to dissent?

Apparently, the management of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra thinks we should. It has cancelled two performances this week by U.S. pianist Valentina Lisitsa, simply because it doesn’t like her position on Ukraine.

To be more precise, it doesn’t like the fact that other people might not like her position. As the TSO noted in a press release Monday, some Ukrainian “media outlets” have accused Lisitsa of using offensive language.

Read the full column at the Toronto Star

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