Russian piano prodigy's performances canceled, despite denouncing invasion

Originally published at: Russian piano prodigy's performances canceled, despite denouncing invasion | Boing Boing

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To paraphrase Captain America: The First Avenger, we should remember that the first people that were invaded and brutally repressed by Putin’s regime was the Russians themselves.


20 year old? I thought he was about 8 based on the photo… Maybe the word “prodigy” affected my estimate but not by much.


From an update on the SFGate article:

After the publication of this article, Michael Tilson Thomas’ publicist told SFGATE that while Thomas lost the opportunity to guest conduct Alexander Malofeev — who was scheduled to open the three shows in question — he was still able to conduct the rest of the symphony.


Seems to me that if he’s renounced the invasion, letting him perform would be more supportive of that renunciation than would forbidding him from performing.

As I wrote in another thread before reading this one:

So glad I just watched the fantastic movie Russian Ark again, before it too gets noticed and retracted.

These reflexive retractions of anything “Russian” are as stupid as Freedom Fries.


Agreed. I’m almost certain this kid would dedicate his performances to the people of Ukraine if given the opportunity to perform.


Low level collateral damage there. Hope he’s on the mend.


I certainly hope they don’t revoke his expenses for coming there. That would be a dick move to strand him there.


Ooof, this is not good. Russian artists denouncing the invasion are putting themselves at risk - seriously damaging their careers in Russia and risking their health/safety (and that of their families). A number of organizations have canceled shows involving Russians because they didn’t want to even ask them to denounce the war (and were worried about audience responses of someone who hadn’t), knowing the jeopardy it was putting the artists in. To ask someone to denounce it, then canceling is really, really shitty.


These seem to be two unrelated venues. The organization in Canada is not the same one running the San Francisco concerts, right?

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At some point you’d figure people would get the hint that collective guilt is nonsense and that cooties (“Oh, no! He touched Russia, he has cooties!”) are not a worthwhile form of moral reasoning.


It’s not fair, but at least he’s not dying of dehydration after spending the final weeks of his young life huddled in a subway station in fear while being constantly shelled.


It doesn’t really matter - that one canceled after he had denounced the invasion had the same impact; the pressure was on him to denounce to keep the performances, he did so and now he’s being doubly punished.


A greater unnecessary evil doesn’t mitigate a lesser unnecessary evil. Organizations using a human rights tragedy to excuse thoughtless counterproductive harms caused by their ass-covering isn’t a but, it’s one more small evil added on to the tragedy.


I’m 1000% pro-Ukrainian independence and pro Ukraine demolishing the Russian army.

But as for harassing individual Russians…

Aside from the obvious, that many / most who are in the US are probably opposed to Putin (my informal observations)…

After the 9/11 attacks, did we require individual Muslims to make statements about Al Queda? Did we ban Islamic whatever because of it? Did we ban individual Saudis from going to work, or performing, or whatever? Of course not. There were some hateful acts and statements committed by individuals but those were the exception and it was never socially or legally ok to threaten to fire Muslim employees, for example.

Note that I fully support sanctions against individual Russians (or non-Russians for that matter) who are closely tied to Putin or the Russian state, just like I would fully support consequences for individual Muslims (or non-Muslims for that matter) who had ties to OBL or Al Queda.

But just forcing random Russians to make some statement denouncing Putin and the war is really unacceptable to me.


Which would be a reasonable response if we wanted to judge everyone’s actions based on a Putin derived standard. I think we should aim a little higher.


Going after Tchaikovsky too even though he embodied many traits that would have put him in direct opposition to someone like Putin (his music was heavily influenced by his Western-oriented education, he was regarded as insufficiently nationalist, he was homosexual, etc).


WTF did I just read?

Shelving Leo Tolstoy because of the Russian invasion is one of the most idiotic thing I have ever heard or read, unless the aim is to support Putin. Tolstoy was a pacifist and an anarchist. He wrote letters to Gandhi discussing non-violent resistance to the state. You would struggle to find a famous Russian person who is less likely to support the war.

If anyone supports banning stuff just because it came from Russia, then they are just as much of a wanker as Putin is. Keep them away from any position of power, they can not be trusted.

I guess the whole “Cancel Culture” thing really was just right wing projection after all.


I very much hope that these cancellations are temporary and that he will be able to perform around the world again soon.

We mustn’t forget that there are many good people in Russia. If we forget that, then what might we become?

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Uh Huh Reaction GIF by Originals

Also a yep.