Cardiff Philharmonic backlash over cancellation of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture
Cardiff Philharmonic backlash for CANCELLATION of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture to Putin’s invasion – but they insist it was a ‘one-off’ because the musician has family in Ukraine
- The Russian composer is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time
- The orchestra said playing its music at upcoming concerts would be ‘inappropriate’
- Tchaikovsky’s biographer John Suchet called it an “unnecessary gesture” and wrong
- This is the latest in a series of Russian cancellations in the music world
The Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra faced further backlash today following its decision to cancel Russian composer Tchaikovsky – as he promised it was just a ‘one-off’ during the war .
Music fans and pundits rounded off the decision as the Welsh music ensemble doubled down to pull the track.
Classic FM presenter and Tchaikovsky biographer John Suchet said, “Tchaikovsky loved Ukraine.
“He frequently stayed at his sister’s estate and that of his patroness Nadezhda von Meck. He would cry over what is happening. Not just an unnecessary gesture, but a mistake.
Conductor and composer Debbie Wiseman told Radio 4: “I can understand on the one hand why members of the Cardiff Philharmonic would feel uncomfortable and that it is inappropriate to play this music , but it’s very difficult when you start targeting historical figures like Tchaikovsky or Russian composers.
“You can’t everyone with the same brush. For me personally, I think it’s very difficult to find a point of view. You don’t want to bring all Russians into the argument of their leader’s sins. Personally, I would try not to introduce historical elements into what war is today.
Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture – which features canons – was due to be performed at St David’s Hall on March 18.
But the decision to abandon it was taken because a member of the orchestra has family in Ukraine. It was unclear whether they had asked for the room to be dropped.
Tchaikovsky’s biographer John Suchet called the cancellation an “unnecessary gesture” and wrong
Bandleader and composer Debbie Wiseman told Radio 4 it was difficult to find a point of view
Martin May, the orchestra’s director, explained the background to this decision. In a statement, he said: “A member of the orchestra has a family directly involved in the situation in Ukraine and we are trying to respect this situation in the immediate future.”
“There were also two military-themed plays on the program that we felt were particularly inappropriate at this time.”
He added: “We were also informed at the time that the title ‘Little Russian’ from Symphony No. 2 was considered offensive to Ukrainians. If it is not planned to repeat the Tchaikovsky concert at the moment, we do not plan to modify our summer and autumn programs which contain pieces by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Rimsky-Korsakof.
“So this is a one-time decision taken with the best of intentions and there is no intention to exclude Tchaikovsky in particular.” He is one of my favorite composers. We are aware that whatever decision we make will not go well, so we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Russian composer Tchaikovsky is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time
The orchestra said playing its music at upcoming concerts would be ‘inappropriate’
The new program will include The Cowboys Overture by John Williams, Symphony No. 8 by Dvorak and a performance of Variations on an Original Theme by Elgar.
The move is the latest in a series of resignations, cancellations and music withdrawals that have been made since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Conductor Valery Gergiev, 68, was sacked from his post as conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra over his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and for failing to reject the invasion of the ‘Ukraine.
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter said the decision was made after Gergiev, who had been the conductor since the 2015-16 season, failed to respond to his calls to rethink and revise his very rating. positive from the Russian leader.
Gergiev’s resignation as honorary chairman of the Edinburgh International Festival was “requested and accepted” by the event’s board last month.
A statement on the festival’s website said: “Edinburgh is twinned with the city of Kyiv and this action is taken in sympathy and support for its citizens.”
Gergiev was also dropped from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s five-concert U.S. tour, and his management company said on Sunday it would no longer represent him.
The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands has also severed ties with Gergiev, saying an “unbridgeable rift” between the orchestra and the conductor over the issue of the Russian invasion became clear after telling him speak.
Soprano Anna Netrebko has pulled out of future engagements at the Metropolitan Opera rather than repudiate her support for Mr Putin, costing the company one of its best singers and its best box office draws.
Tchaikovsky – the cosmopolitan composer turned Russian icon
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is widely regarded as Russia’s greatest classical composer and certainly one of its most popular.
Born in 1840, his compositions became favorites of crowds around the world, often due to the memorable melodies and moving harmonies, which made him popular with the masses, but not with some of his contemporaries.
During his career, tragically interrupted by his death at the age of 53, he created an impressive number of seven symphonies, 11 operas, three ballets, five suites, 11 overtures and many other pieces.
Many of these have now gained worldwide recognition, such as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, his bombastic 1812 Overture and his Symphony No. 6 in B minor.
However, during his lifetime Tchaikovsky was criticized by other Russian musicians who said his musical style was not nationalistic enough.
This was partly due to his desire to create music that would be adopted outside of Russia and into the Western world, when other composers of his time felt he should move away from it to focus on a style closer to Russian folk music.
Despite these criticisms, as his career progressed, Tchaikovsky’s star continued to rise, and he became immensely popular in Russia and abroad.
By the time of his death from cholera in 1893, he had given concerts in Europe and the United States to sold-out venues.
The view that his music was not nationalistic was almost completely erased in the Soviet Union where he was elevated to icon status, and criticism of him was almost completely banned.
By comparison his personality, and by extension, his homosexuality, which had not been a secret during his lifetime, was a taboo subject to discuss.