Russian pianist Trifonov to play Montreal concert after fellow Russian Malofeev’s performance cancelled | CBC News

Three weeks after it cancelled piano performances by Russian virtuoso Alexander Malofeev due to the war in Ukraine, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) says it’s going ahead with a program featuring another Russian pianist, Daniil Trifonov.

Trifonov will join the OSM at the Maison Symphonique on April 20 and 21 for a concert featuring music from French and Russian composers. 

The OSM had previously cancelled three performances by Malofeev, which had been set to take place in March, saying it “would be inappropriate” for the Russian artist to perform that week, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

The Montreal symphony’s decision came just days after a planned concert by the 20-year-old prodigy in Vancouver had also been cancelled. 

The Canada Council for the Arts also announced on March 4 that it was ceasing funding to “all activity involving the participation of Russian or Belarusian artists or arts organizations.” It later clarified that these measures were temporary and acknowledged that “many Russian artists do not support the decisions of their government.”

Alexander Malofeev, 20, seen here playing in Moscow on Jan. 23, saw his concerts in Vancouver and Montreal cancelled, following the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Alexander Malofeev/Facebook)

In a Facebook post Thursday, the Montreal symphony orchestra said the decision to go ahead with Trifonov’s concerts came after “careful consideration,” adding that “the entire OSM family wishes to renew its full and sincere support for the Ukrainian people.”

“We have heard comments from a large number of individuals from many different backgrounds who, in good faith and despite the horrors of war, hope that music will continue to be a vehicle for peace and solidarity between nations,” the statement read.

“It is not our intention to place the burden of war on artists who have nothing to do with the atrocities being committed in Ukraine.”

Pascale Ouimet, spokesperson for the OSM, said Friday the decision to cancel Malofeev’s concerts had been a “heartbreaking” one that was made “while a serious humanitarian crisis was unfolding in real time before our eyes.”

Ouimet confirmed that Malofeev “is invited and will return with the OSM,” with dates to be announced in the future.

Trifonov, 31, a piano virtuoso and a past winner of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition, posted on Instagram on Feb 25, at the outset of the Russian invasion, saying it was “heartbreaking to witness what has been happening.”

“I wish I could bring solace and peace in these difficult times,” he wrote.

The OSM said it hopes that Trifonov’s presence “will help spread a message of peace, and that music will speak louder than weapons.”

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