Canadian arts groups drop Russian pianist from programs after Ukraine invasion

Posted on: March 14, 2022

“Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev, 20, has condemned his native country’s invasion and war against Ukraine. But that hasn’t kept a string of his concerts from being canceled in Canada, from Montreal to Vancouver,” writes Bill Chappell in Saturday’s (3/12) National Public Radio. “Arts organizations cite the war’s terrible toll on civilians, expressing solidarity with … Ukrainian members of their community and staff. But Malofeev’s defenders say he’s being unfairly punished. Malofeev had already arrived in Montreal for three dates with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, when the concerts were canceled…. The famed young pianist said he has often been asked to make a statement about Ukraine—but, he added, ‘I feel very uncomfortable about this and also think that it can affect my family in Russia….’ Malofeev recently had August performances canceled by the Vancouver Recital Society, … [which] said it could not ‘present a concert by any Russian artist at this moment in time unless they are prepared to speak out publicly against this war.’ … The Vancouver organization … also said that if Malofeev were to perform, it would likely spark protests and the need for extra security.”