Watch: Student arrested during Spivakov concert at Harvard

Watch: Student arrested during Spivakov concert at Harvard


norman lebrecht

May 14, 2014

Some 40 people staged an anti-Putin demonstration outside Sanders Theatre at Harvard during a concert by Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi. One young man staged a demonstration on stage. Spivakov allowed him to make a statement, then asked him to leave. When the student refused, he was arrested. New video here.



  • Music Lovers Against Putin's Aggression says:

    Read here the real story:

    Cambridge Day: Harvard officer’s account, video disagree on arrest of Russian conductor’s protester

    Fifty protesters were outside Sanders Theatre on Sunday to confront Russian violinist and conductor Vladimir Spivakov about his support of Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, but a separate activist got inside and made quite a show of it – getting onstage to give a short speech in front of a tuxedo-clad Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and standing eye to eye with Spivakov himself.

    Moscow-born Roman Torgovitsky, 38, a Harvard Medical School alumni from Wayland, was arrested then, literally picked up and carried away by a Harvard University police officer to be charged with disorderly conduct, for which his arrest report suggested he’d pay no more than a $150 fine. His case was dismissed Monday.

    The arrest report by Officer Josiah Christian, though, is wrong in several ways in describing what happened onstage. While its disagreement with a written account posted online by concertgoer Simona Asinovski could be laid simply differing perceptions, it also bears little resemblance to a YouTube video posted by a concertgoer named Gennadiy Berezutskiy that starts with the incident.

    Here is Christian’s description from the arrest report:

    At approximately [8:55 p.m.] I observed an individual run up on the stage and stand next to the conductor of the orchestra … I began to make my way down toward the stage when I observed the suspicious individual walk up to a musician in the orchestra and was literally standing inches away from his nose. This suspicious person was beginning to become confrontational with the musician. At that point, the crowd of approximately 500 people began to boo this individual. I got up on stage, placed this individual in a wrist lock behind his back and physically carried him off the stage.
    In the video, however, Torgovitsky is standing alone for the first 29 seconds of the video, surrounded by musicians he comes near only when he is speaking through them to the conductor, who is standing toward the rear.

    It is Spivakov who walks to the protester, who actually takes a step back as the conductor starts to come close. It is Spivakov who chooses to be “literally standing inches away,” and it is Spivakov who touches the protester – putting his hand on his back, patting him and then exerting enough force to make Torgovitsky briefly unsteady.

    “He was ready to fight. A couple of musicians came up and held his hands back,” Torgovitsky said in an interview with The Harvard Crimson.

    A musician approaches the two, then a second one, and at 45 seconds into the video Christian is seen walking on stage to cart Torgovitsky away.

    Here is an excerpt from Berezutskiy’s video showing the protest and arrest. (The complete version on YouTube – including the performance of “The Tango of Love” that followed – is above.)