Breaking: Indonesia cancels Valentina Lisitsa

Breaking: Indonesia cancels Valentina Lisitsa


norman lebrecht

May 16, 2015

The pro-Putin tweeting pianist has suffered a concert cancellation in Jakarta ‘due to administrative permissions that cannot be secured’.

The causes of the cancellation are not yet clear.

Valentina has posted a message that ‘the authorities threatened to stop the concert with police and even take our documents away. It was decided to run away…’

Yellow Lounge - Valentina 3



  • Ronald Blanchard says:

    Je suis Valentina.

  • T says:

    Moi aussi

  • william osborne says:

    Some laws in Malaysia:

    Internal Security Act — permits long-term detention without trial, used systematically against individuals who have been viewed as threats to Malaysia’s government or to the “social order.”

    Sedition Act — criminalizes speech or writing that is considered to be seditious. Critics and political opponents of the Malaysian regime have been arrested and held under the Sedition Act, the effect of which has been to restrict freedom of expression in Malaysia.

    Printing Presses and Publications Act — it is a crime to publish anything without a government license that must be renewed every year by the Home Minister. It has been used to silence government critics and to ban various publications for a variety of reasons.

    Police Act — allows the Malaysian police to detain persons without warrants, and has been used especially to restrict the freedom of assembly.

    The Toronto Symphony seems to be in good company…..

  • tess says:

    Does this mean that Valentina censored the local administration or the local authorities and didn’t allow them freedom of expression? Just asking.

  • Brian says:

    It’s been said here before but it bears repeating. Tamar Ivari was fired from Opera Australia after homophobic rants appeared on her Facebook page. Then, public opinion was on the opera company’s side and people cheered her dismissal. Now, some orchestras feel uncomfortable with Lisitsa’s provocative pro-Putin commentary (and frankly, racist re-tweets) and she’s being censored. Perhaps there needs to be some industry-wide standards on this front because it’s bound to come up again.

    • tess says:

      Could not agree more. Apparently racism and ethnicity hatred is more tolerable than homophobia.

      • Max Grimm says:

        That is absolutely not true. Racism and ethnic hatred toward some peoples is more tolerable than homophobia.

  • Dimas says:

    Lisitsa was brave enough to accuse Canada of being Ukrainian colony after TSO has canceled her concert

    However she keeps silence about what really has happened in Indonesia.

    Some Lisitsa Indonesian fans have “decided to believe she’s a russian or american spy posing as a top pianist, and all these stories are just cover for espionage actions” and “her discovery was so mission critical she had to return to headquarters to parse it with the analysts immediately and had to cancel as a pretext, planning a second infiltration for her return concert”.

    Base on what has happened in Canada, Lisitsa’s mission critical discovery was probably just poor ticket sales.

  • Wei Tu-go says:

    With pianists a dime a dozen these days, who actually cares? Any one of them is instantly replaceable by 10 others equally good or better. Perhaps Ms. Lisitsa should be more aware of this state of affairs.

  • Irene Quirmbach says:

    Valentina Lisitsa should stick to playing piano and keeping her opinions to herself. As someone who is Ukrainian and has family living in the very heart of the troubles in Ukraine currently, I can honestly say that her views are biased and her pro-Putin stance quite surprising. She left Ukraine because she saw opportunities elsewhere , has been enormously successful in the West and has gotten tremendous support of every kind from many Ukrainian communities. Shame on her for spreading anti-Ukrainian propaganda and polarizing people by her vicious and untruthful comments. I am no longer willing to go her concerts or purchase her records. There are so many wonderful pianists out there–I don’t need to support someone who has no concern for innocent people being devastated by Russian troops on their own territory!

  • Stagedude says:

    Just found a ticket website which showed a playbill alongside the cancellation notice. Discounts of up to 30% had been offered, which suggests that perhaps sales had been less brisk than anticipated. Note: 1200 seats, 30 million population.

    • Mike Jones says:

      This page at reddit may explain a true reason of cancelled show particularly in combination with announcement of the pianists fast return to Jakarta next month.. This page is here

  • Dimas says:

    Valentina Lisitsa finally broke her silence about what has happened in Indonesia. As she wrote in her comment on this blog, “I had to cancel a sold-out concert because certain people wanted a “share” in proceeds and threatened in case of non-compliance”.

    Where, oh where, did I already hear something like that? Oh right. – The art of being difficult: behind the scenes of Lisitsa’s cancelled Oakville concerts


  • Ronald Blanchard says:

    With so much disinformation, it’s hard to know what to believe.