Confusion as Pletnev cancels residency in Montreal

December 14, 2017 by norman lebrecht


The trustworthy Arthur Kapitanis reports that the Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev has withdrawn from his role as artist in residence with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal.

The orchestra has not yet removed his programs from next month’s schedules. UPDATE: They have just replaced him with Yevgeny Sudbin.

Health reasons have been given for Pletnev’s cancellation. He suffered heart problems last month but appears to have performed in Russia since then.

Comments (18)

  1. Ungeheuer says:

    Pletnev is known to have suffered more than heart problems in the past. Problems of a different sort, let’s say. And yet ….

    1. Olassus says:

      … and yet his Tchaikovsky is the best!

      1. Ungeheuer says:

        I prefer Mvravinsky

        1. Ungeheuer says:

          Mravinsky, sorry

          1. esfir ross says:

            I prefer Igor Markevich

  2. Arturo says:

    He probably knows he could be next on on the #MeToo list. He avoided young boy charges by the grace of powerful Russian protectorates. They can’t help him in Montreal.

    We were waiting to see who’d be next after Levine. It’s Pletnev & he knows it.

  3. Daniel Ayala says:

    Let’s not beat around the bush shall we? It was widely reported that Pletnev was indeed arrested in Thailand in 2010 for child rape. I am not saying there is a connection between this or other activity and his resignation, but if others are drawing that conclusion, then let’s be crystal clear about his previous sins.

    1. norman lebrecht says:

      Pletnev has never been convicted of any offence and the charges against him were dropped. There are reports that his arrest in Thailand was connected to oligarch wars in Russia. There may be more to this than meets the eye.

      1. Frederick West says:

        Grateful thanks for putting the record straight on that episode.

      2. La Verita says:

        Mr. Pletnyev’s petty stone-throwers on this blog had seen both the accusations against him and the reports that the charges were dropped. However, their ability to retain & spew dirt far outweighs their capacity to recall that Pletnyev was cleared of charges that were never more than a dirty set-up and vendetta.

        1. Arturo says:

          It sort of doesn’t matter if he’s actually innocent or not. If he was railroaded once, in the present #metoo climate, it could easily happen again. Those charges could resurface and cause him problems in Montreal. I think he’s being prudent.

          Levine was never convicted either.

          1. Nick says:

            By linking MP to JL you just will not let go! The very obvious difference is that JL has never faced a court to prove his innocence of the allegations. MP has done so and been vindicated. Why would charges that were proved to be false and dismissed resurface?

    2. Nick says:

      Daniel Ayala, Arturo and Ungeheuer should check their facts before making outrageous allegations. I made a long post on the subject of the allegations in Thailand in an earlier thread for the simple reason that I followed the case very closely. Before this nonsense goes further, I repeat it below. As I also stated, many more facts on this false allegation could be given which were made public in Thailand and I believe some remain available on the internet. But after the initial sensational allegations the rest of the world was not interested. If allegations are going to be made here, I suggest fake news is not the route to take.

      I stated the following.

      Deal with facts!

      Fact is he was never formally charged. Fact is he was permitted to leave the country several times. Fact is his bail was almost zero compared to anyone accused of the offence you are alluding to. Fact is in Thailand the offence is extremely serious, involves automatic confiscation of passport and bail set so high jail becomes almost inevitable.

      Fact is in Thailand he could have settled the issue before it even became public. Fact is, as he stated, he chose to clear his name and returned as is required in Thailand for several bail renewal hearings over several months at his own cost. Fact is that at the end of that process there was no case to answer!

      Who on earth with his reputation would go through all those months with worldwide publicity and what must have been utter hell and the potential damage to a major career when it could have been quietly ended before it began? That makes zero sense.

      Besides, it is clear you know little about the other facts relating to the case. A lot of the material remains on the internet. If you still insist with your “continuous smoke there might be some fire” theory, rather than insidious and petty innuendo I suggest you prove it! After many months, Thai prosecutors could not!

      Not included in the earlier thread is my point that he elected to face both the public and the law. It was his decision. That sets him apart from almost everyone else caught up in this present wave of allegations.

  4. Emil says:

    So much confusion in Montreal that they took a full one day to find a replacement…

  5. Boris Alatovkraap says:

    It’s pronounced “Plietnyoff”

  6. Conrad van Alphen says:

    I will conduct the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal at the concerts in January in which Mikhail Pletnev was to perform Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto. I have been honoured to perform with this unique and brilliant musician regularly over the past years and it is a huge pity that he cannot perform in Montreal due to health reasons! I look forward to meeting and making music together with Yevgeny Sudbin in the new year.
    Conrad van Alphen

  7. KK says:

    the concerto and his entire recital with a page turner, including his encore! Not to mention the lack of musicality and many wrong notes even playing with the score. The guy clearly has a memory problem and is not suitable to be a concert pianist. In my 20 years of being in the classical music industry I’ve never witnessed something is unprofessional. It’s outrages beyond belief. We did not buy our tickets to see this guy practice on stage. With all that many international piano competitions every year, pianists pour their hearts out with years of years of hard work, blood and tear, just to have an opportunity in the industry. And they can’t find one pianist who’s ready for a simple Rach 2 concerto three weeks in advance? ! Bullshit! All pianists will at least has a recital program at hands and this guys needs a freaking score for a Haydn sonata? ! I saw some audiences left during his recital. I should’ve requested a full refund myself. If this were to happen in New York or European cities, the audiences WILL give a hard time to the organization. Shame on you Sudbin and Shame on OSM!!!

  8. esfir ross says:

    I was to Yevgeny Subdin poor recital in San Francisco. Memory losses and lack of musicality. YS just over-hyped.

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