Three weeks after canceling piano performances by Russian virtuoso Alexander Malofeev due to the war in Ukraine, the Orchester symphonique de Montréal (OSM) announces that it is moving forward with a program featuring another Russian pianist , Daniel Trifonov.
Trifonov will join the OSM at the Maison Symphonique on April 20 and 21 for a concert featuring music by French and Russian composers.
The OSM had previously canceled three performances of Malofeev, which were due to take place in March, saying it “would be inappropriate” for the Russian artist to perform that week, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. .
The decision by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra came just days after the cancellation of a concert planned by the 20-year-old prodigy in Vancouver.
The Canada Council for the Arts also announced on March 4 that it stop funding to “any activity involving the participation of Russian or Belarusian artists or artistic organizations”. He then clarified that these measures were temporary and acknowledged that “many Russian artists do not support the decisions of their government”.
In a Facebook post Thursday, the Orchester symphonique de Montréal said the decision to go ahead with Trifonov’s concerts was made after “mature consideration,” adding that “the entire OSM family wishes to renew its full and sincere support for the Ukrainian people”.
“We have heard the comments of a large number of people from very different backgrounds who, in good faith and despite the horrors of war, hope that music will continue to be a vehicle for peace and solidarity between nations” , the statement said.
“We have no intention of placing the burden of war on artists who have nothing to do with the atrocities committed in Ukraine.”
Pascale Ouimet, spokesperson for the OSM, said on Friday that the decision to cancel Malofeev’s concerts was “heartbreaking” and that it was taken “while a serious humanitarian crisis was unfolding in real time under our eyes”.
Ouimet has confirmed that Malofeev “is invited and will return with the OSM”, the dates will be announced later.
Trifonov, 31, a piano virtuoso and former winner of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition, posted on Instagram on February 25, at the start of the Russian invasion, saying it was “heartbreaking to witness what happened pass”.
“I wish I could bring comfort and peace in these trying times,” he wrote.
The OSM said it hoped Trifonov’s presence “will help spread a message of peace, and that music will speak louder than guns.”