Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Fires Classical Pianist for Anti-Kiev Comments

Rather than uniting people through music, the symphony orchestra has chosen political sides and joined in Western censorship

MORE: Ukraine

This article originally appeared at Radio Free Europe

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has sacked a Ukrainian-born classical pianist because of her political commentary on social-media sites in support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

<figcaption>Music can’t be silenced</figcaption>
Music can’t be silenced

Valentina Lisitsa said on April 6 on her Facebook page that she had been dropped from the symphony because she “exercised the right to free speech.”

Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO Jeff Melanson said in a statement that “Lisitsa’s provocative comments had overshadowed past performances” and that her contract was being cancelled.

Paul Grod, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, said Lisitsa calls the Ukrainian government “Nazi” and claims it sets up “filtration camps” for ethnic Russians.

Lisitsa, who was born in Kiev in 1973, immigrated to the United States in 1991. She says her ethnic background is Russian and Polish.

Canada is home to some 1.25 million people of Ukrainian heritage and Ottawa has been a strong supporter of Ukraine’s fight against Russian-backed rebels.

Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!
MORE: Ukraine

Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.

Add new comment