Trifonov cancels for an unusual reason

Trifonov cancels for an unusual reason


norman lebrecht

March 25, 2017

A ‘last-minute travel logistics issue … beyond his control,’ regrets the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

The Tchaikovsky-winning pianist couldn’t find his passport, reports Mike Vincent at Musical Toronto.

Report here.


  • DrummerMan says:

    Is this guy a complete idiot or what?

    • Robert Roy says:

      No. He’s a human being being who made a mistake. You should try it sometime. You might learn something.

    • May says:

      A friend of mine once was getting ready to go on a concert tour. His two-year old son had found the passport and taken it, which no one noticed until much later. Said dad was able to get a replacement to travel, and no concerts were cancelled. Upon Dad’s return, it was discovered that the toddler must have wanted to have a picture of papa, and had hid the passport among his stuffed animals.

    • Bruce says:

      Is Drummerman a complete asshole or what?

      (See how it looks when someone who knows nothing about you forms an all-encompassing opinion of you based on one thing you’ve done?)

  • John Borstlap says:

    Performers can be quite absent-minded. There are violinists who get on the podium only to realize they forgot their instrument. And of course we know about [redacted] who specializes on the piccolo recorder so that he can stick it in the inside pocket of his jacket.

  • anon says:

    This is the most Trifonov thing he’s done since falling and hurting himself during a photoshoot.

  • Toronto ticket holder says:

    Secretary of State Tillerson could call Russia’s Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Trifonov’s behalf to have the missing passport reissued.

  • Alexander Davidson says:

    I am curious to know why he was unable to obtain a replacement from the Russian consulate general in New York in time to travel. A lost passport is something with which I have thankfully never had to deal myself. However, I do know that when the London Schools Symphony Orchestra visited Argentina in 1999 a large number of members of the orchestra had their passports stolen on the morning of the day on which the orchestra was scheduled to fly back to the UK. I believe that all of those affected were British citizens. The embassy in Buenos Aires was able to replace all the stolen passports within a matter of hours. I am surprised that for an artist of Trifonov’s profile the consulate general was unable to produce the necessary document as a matter of the utmost urgency.

    • Peter says:

      Getting a replacement from a Russian consulate is not the problem. But the US wouldn’t allow him to travel with another passport out of the the US and reenter, when he is staying with a work visa in his – now lost – passport in the US in the first place. It’s likely the US authorities who have the inflexibility part here. Gone are the times of the “country of the free”.

      • Alexander Davidson says:

        Now that I can believe!

        • V.Lind says:

          And yet he makes his US dates and it is Toronto that loses out. Typical. The US treats Canada as if it were a satellite of the enemy, whoever it is this week.

          • Rachel says:

            He and his fiancée live in NYC, so why take the chance he’d not be able to get back into the USA? Who would want to be stranded in Toronto?!

      • MacroV says:

        I am afraid you are not familiar with how these things work in the United States.

        The U.S. places no document controls on departing the country; if you have ever flown out of the U.S. you might have noticed nobody stamps your passport on departure (caveat. Trifonov would be perfectly free to depart the U.S.; it’s getting into another country that’s the trick.

        If Trifonov was flying from New York to Toronto, he would need his Russian passport and a Canadian visa to get onto the flight, mostly because the airline wouldn’t want the Canadians to turn him back. So if he misplaced his passport he would need both a new passport and a new Canadian visa, both of which are possible to get but it’s not clear how much time he had.

        If Trifonov is a Legal Permanent Resident of the U.S., he would have a “green card” (which isn’t really green). It’s an actual card and does not go in his passport. But he’d need to get that new Russian passport.

        If he is on a working visa (probably an O-1, for an alien of extraordinary merit), then if he could get a Russian passport (and a Canadian visa) reissued he could travel to Toronto. To get back into the U.S. he would need to show his visa. Since he lost the passport, he could go to the U.S.consulate in Toronto, report that he lost his visa, and be issued a replacement; he’s in the system so it shouldn’t be a problem. He wouldn’t be the first person in this situation. And in fact to get a new visa he would have to leave the U.S. because he can’t be issued a new visa inside the country.

        • Peter says:

          too much “shouldn’t” and “wouldn’t”. Not true that the passport is not checked on exit. US authorities have outsourced the checking to the airline check in agents though. But the have to report to the US authorities your proper paperwork.
          Your last paragraph: yes, but much too risky, don’t you think? If you don’t know how long it takes to get that visa reissued it is a risk too high, possibly endangering several other concert dates, so the safest bet atm was probably to cancel the one Canadian gig.

          • Anon says:

            Peter, I don’t think Macrov was making an suggestion about what Trifonov “should” have done; but simply pointing out the inaccuracies in the assumptions above, and explaining how the system actually works (as opposed to how we might like it to work, or how we think it works and then criticise it wrongly).
            For that, I’m grateful to Macrov – thank you.

            I also think you are wrong to suggest that the US Authorities have “outsourced the [passport] checking to the airline”. Any checking that needs to be done by border force or equivalent is not outsourced in any way. Airlines check passports in general to ensure the holder has the right paperwork to travel, otherwise the airline may be fined for transporting that person. That may be an additional check, but it does not take the place of formal immigration or border passport checks

          • Peter says:

            Anon, the airline check in agents do scan the passports and transmit that data to the US authorities on EXIT of the US. That is to check who has left the country within their assigned time (time limited visa or visa waiver program) and who is “unaccounted for”.

            Again as far as Trifonov is concerned, if he lost his passport with his work visa in it, he can’t enter the US, simple as that. Not because he has no Russian passport, which would be easy to replace within a couple of days. But because of the US authorities playing hard ball these days when it comes to reissuing such visas when lost.

  • John says:

    Wow, all these experts . . .

    • anon says:

      Good thing the US is just a satellite state of Russia now! As a Trifonov fan, I’m not concerned about this one. Nathalia Milstein? unable to get a visa to play concerts here (Please follow up on that story, Norman). But Trifonov should be fine.

  • Helen Abramowicz says:

    Trifonov cancelled today in Sarasota because of illness. I wonder if the 2 cancellations are connected.

  • Atel says:

    Trifonov also cancelled his recital at Duke on Mar 31 (the next day of Sarasota concert) because he had a 102 degree fever. So, I believe that he was ill. But, such a coincidence that he cancelled Toronto for the lost passport.