Classical Music

The concert pianist who’s opposing the war…. in Moscow – SlippediscSlippedisc

norman lebrecht

February 25, 2023

VAN magazine has an outstanding interview with Polina Osetinskaya, a Moscow pianist who can now only perform in private.

There is some kind of collective guilt. I’ve always expressed my thoughts and feelings about what’s going on truthfully and loudly. I’ve always stood up for political prisoners in our country and I’ve always fought for the truth. Like harpsichordish Liza Miller wrote, we really thought that we were doing enough, with the little things that we did. But mostly, the shame I experience is that we didn’t change anything, and now we can’t. Thinking of our role is very painful for me.

VAN: There is supposedly a list of 37 banned artists, mainly from pop culture, that is sent to promoters within Russia. Is there something similar for classical music? Do you know if you are on such a list?
PO: My concerts in Russia were canceled in all state and government concert halls. I know a couple of musicians personally who were forced to stop performing. There are many denunciations against me: “Polina is still writing bad things about the government,” which I’ve been doing constantly for the last 10, 15 years. I never had concerts in the most important halls here in Russia because of my political positions. I’ve been told by many conductors and many concert hall promoters that I talk too much.

VAN: Your concerts in St. Petersburg and Irkutsk last September were canceled at short notice, supposedly for “health reasons.” How is this communicated to you?
PO: In St. Petersburg, they informed me a day in advance. I had just gotten to the city. No one tells me the real reason, but everybody understands the real reason. The only concert that hasn’t been canceled yet is with Vladimir Spivakov in the Moscow House of Music, which is supposed to take place in March. But until I play this concert I don’t know if it’s going to happen, usually they can cancel it half an hour before the performance. Maybe they just didn’t have time to look at the programs yet. …

Read  on here

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