Cardiff Philharmonic on why it replaced Tchaikovsky program with Dvořák, John Williams, and Elgar

Posted on: March 15, 2022

“A director of the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra says it has been taken aback by the backlash against its decision to remove the Russian composer Tchaikovsky from its forthcoming program because of the conflict in Ukraine,” writes Ben Quinn in Saturday’s (3/12) Guardian (U.K.). “Members of the orchestra … voiced reservations about playing Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture—which celebrates Russia’s defense against the invasion of Napoleon and is notable for featuring a volley of cannon fire…. The 1812 Overture was due to be included in the orchestra’s Tchaikovsky concert at St. David’s Hall on 18 March, but the entire program has been abandoned because of events in Ukraine…. Linda Robinson, a teacher who is one of the directors … rejected what she said had been a depiction by some critics of the decision as ‘anti-Russian.’ In fact, three concerts this year will include work by Russian composers…. ‘It was nothing to do with Tchaikovsky being Russian. It was much more to do with us deciding that it was inappropriate at the present time,..’ said Robinson…. Other factors included consideration for an orchestra member with a Ukrainian-born partner who has family members in Ukraine.” The Cardiff Philharmonic will perform works by Dvořák, John Williams, and Elgar at the concert.