"Denounce Putin, or Be Blacklisted"

Heather MacDonald, City Journal. Here’s a sample:

Russian musicians will be asked to criticize President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in order to maintain their employment and engage with the West. It is impossible to stay above the fray and will not prevent cancellation. Russian musicians must criticize Putin by name or be blacklisted….

The most recent casualty of the compelled-speech norm is 20-year-old pianist Alexander Malofeev…. Malofeev is not connected to Putin, and has not supported the Ukrainian invasion. The Vancouver Recital Society ended Malofeev’s contract to perform an August 2022 recital. Leila Gotz, the artistic director, stated in writing that she couldn’t “in good conscience present an concert by any Russian artists at this point in time” unless they were willing to publicly condemn this conflict.

Getz said that Malofeev was his priority in a later interview. The first thing that crossed my mind was “Why would I bring a Russian 20-year old pianist to Vancouver, and then have him face protests, people behaving in the concert hall, screaming, hooting and shouting.” She said. These paternalistic professions have been accepted as the norm by cancellers. Malofeev might have made the decision for himself whether to protest.

Getz said that speaking out against war does not make it impossible to cancel. Malofeev had explicitly criticised the invasion of Ukraine after Vancouver’s termination. He wrote that “every Russian will feel guilty for many decades because of this terrible and bloody choice that no one could have predicted or influence.” But he was again cancelled. His role was to be Sergei Prokofiev’s fiery. Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) on March 9, 10, and 13. OSM cut off his performance the day before. The orchestra stated that OSM had to announce Alexander Malofeev’s departure due to the grave impact of the Russian invasion on Ukraine’s civilian population. It wanted the public to know, however, that it was not biased against Russians: “We continue … to believe in the importance of maintaining relationships with artists of all nationalities who embrace messages of peace and hope.” Why Malofeev fell outside of that category was left unexplained….

The post "Denounce Putin, or Be Blacklisted" appeared first on