Breaking: Wales bans Tchaikovsky

Breaking: Wales bans Tchaikovsky


norman lebrecht

March 09, 2022

The Cardiff Philharmonic has cancelled an all-Tchaikovsky programme as ‘inappropriate at this time’.

The concert included his decidedly apolitical second symphony, known as the Little Russian.

The orchestra says: ‘: In light of the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra, with the agreement of St David’s Hall, feel the previously advertised programme including the 1812 Overture to be inappropriate at this time. The orchestra hope you will continue to support them and enjoy the revised programme.’

This is unutterably stupid. At the start of the First World War, the Proms conductor Sir Henry Wood informed the British government that he would continue performing Wagner and other Germans. The same rule prevailed in the Hitler war.

Only the Nazis ever banned Tchaikovsky.

Welcome to Cardiff 2022.


  • Paul Johnson says:

    Thank you for sharing this Norman. Unutterably stupid is bang on the money. As a proud Welshman, I am thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed.

    • Concertgebouw79 says:

      You can. I understand you. In this trouble time we need Tchaikovsky. I can spend two days without russian music.

    • G Ewart says:

      Exactly! it’s absurd. Did we ban Beethoven and Mozart during WWII?

      • V.Lind says:

        There is precedent. Remember “freedom fries”? The banning of imports of French wine and the likes? Just because a sovereign state had the temerity to decline to participate in an invasion that was at least as illegal as this one?

    • William Evans says:

      ‘Same here, Mr Johnson – another proud Welshman here, also nonplussed by this senseless decision.

  • Player says:

    Dear oh dear… what ever next? Ludicrous displacement activity.

    “Don’t just do something, stand there!”

  • Adista says:

    These people are going to virtue signal themselves into oblivion.

  • IC225 says:

    Seriously, the “Little Russian” symphony, apolitical? You do know what the name means (and what it implies, particularly in the current context)? Though the actual problem here seems to be the 1812 Overture, and they are hardly the first group to decline to play that particular piece this month.

    In any case, an amateur orchestra is free to do as it pleases – it’s reasonable to assume that this is the preference of its members. So they’re not in the mood for Russian culture right now. They not only shouldn’t be forced to play music they don’t wish to play, but they actually can’t, since – unlike professionals – they have the option of voting with their feet. And you can’t perform anything when the only players on stage are three violins and a second clarinet.

    • Malcolm James says:

      The problem might be the name ‘Little Russian’. Whilst readers of this blog might know that Little Russia is Ukraine, the target audience probably don’t, the publ;icity material has already been printed and it is very difficult to get people to go past the name of the work in it.

      • David Paul Drury says:

        Tchaikovsky never called his 2nd Symphony the “Little Russian” the critic Nikolay Kashkin gave it that nickname) any more than he called his 3rd Symphony the “Polish”

  • Jörg Birhance says:

    Probably they didn’t even know that “Little Russian” actually means “Ukrainian”. Why not dedicating such performance to the people standing up against Putin’s war in Russia?

    • Brettermeier says:

      “Probably they didn’t even know that ‘Little Russian’ actually means ‘Ukrainian'”

      Yeah, I bet Ukrainians really LOVE to be called “little Russians”.


      • Paul Mauffray says:

        Just look on Wikipedia about “Government of Malorossiya” or “Little Russia Governorate (1764–1781)” which was the name of Ukraine during that part of Tchaikovsky’s life. Tchaikovsky’s paternal grandfather was Ukrainian, and he composed many of his works during his frequent and lengthy stays in Ukraine such as at Kamianka. You can read more about this in an online article (that I only found via google cache search) titled:
        “Pyotr Tchaikovsky, a Ukrainian by creative spirit, Tracing the great composer’s lineage” 2009 by Heorhii Shybanov (Honored Art Worker of Ukraine). The Cardiff Philharmonic should have simply emphasized that this symphony is filled with Ukrainian folksongs and it would be an appropriate way to honor the Ukrainian people. Perhaps they could even turn it into a fundraiser …

        • Brettermeier says:

          That’s all very nice and such. But as an American, you should know that the reception of certain terms change over time. I don’t think I need to explain that to you, do I.

          And if Big Russia starts shelling the Little Russia’s children, maybe they don’t want to be associated with that term anymore? No?

          They should’ve relabeled it to “Ukrainian” and explained it on stage.

      • music lover says:

        Oh dear,the term came from the Ukrainians themselves.Just BTW,Tchaikovsky had Ukrainian roots,his grandfather was a famous Zaporozhye cossack.Could you,for once,read up things before you start babbling…..It´s okay you are permanently flaunting your imagined moral superiority. Your lack of knowledge and education,however,is painfully embarassing.

        • Brettermeier says:

          “Your lack of knowledge and education,however,is painfully embarassing.”

          It would have been more powerful with correct spelling and punctuation.

          “imagined moral superiority”

          Speaking up against fascism vs. finding excuses for not having to speak out. Hmm. I don’t think it’s ‘imagined”! I really don’t.

          Now, off to dyadya Putin you go!

          • music lover says:

            Polishing yout big little ego?For the spelling.i just had eye surgery and find it very difficult to spell or write…And that´s my last stance on you…Grow up,learn and read…Overcome your Kraut stereotype.

        • Norabide Guziak says:

          @music lover: It’s pretty representative of his usual level. Don’t worry.

          • music lover says:

            Yeah, it’s all about fighting his inferiority complex… Posting under multiple names, giving himself 25 likes, and those who don’t share his contorted word salad 25 thumb downs.

  • Peter says:

    We will miss Russians more than we will miss Welsh bug men.

  • Diane Valerie says:

    Am I missing something? When did Tchaikovsky invade anywhere?

  • TyBach says:

    Well, Wales is becoming like North Korea, evidently shown during the pandemic. Shameful.

    • Elizabeth Owen says:

      I assume you know that Ty bach means toilet?

      Our First Minister looked after us during Covid which is more than Johnson and his parties and the dreadful Dominic Cummings ever did.
      As to this orchestra they are barmy and ignorant.

    • Micaelo Cassetti says:

      Mark Dripford can’t wait to become an official Commissar under Putin.

  • opilec says:

    What’s really stupid is ditching Tchaik 2. ‘Little Russian’ in fact means ‘Ukrainian’: it’s chock-full of Ukrainian folk tunes, which would have been particularly appropriate as the country’s cultural heritage is being destroyed and dismembered. If they wanted to make a point, they could have renamed it (with some justification) the ‘Ukrainian’.

    • Concertgebouw79 says:

      Last week I saw a reportage on tv about a tour of the Kiev ballet in France, in their show there was… Tchaikovsky.

  • Ian Paton says:

    They should have gone ahead with the concert and re-billed the ‘Little Russian’ as ‘Ukrainian’

    • Nicholas says:

      Etymologically, the word Ukraine has its origins in the Russian phrase ‘on the edge’, referring to being on the edge of Russia. Whether it’s Little Russia, The Ukraine, or just Ukraine, its point of reference is still to Russia. So, re-billing it Ukrainian might still smack of Russian Imperialism among the Uber-Wokesters if they only new.

  • guest says:

    Ridiculous and useless. Ban is ban, no doubt of this, but there is a slight difference in nuance between declaring a Tchaikovsky _programme_ ‘inappropriate at this time’ , and ‘banning Tchaikovsky’ like the Nazis did. Tchaikovsky doesn’t deserve it, either way. But the good news is, while the Nazi ban an effect, recordings of the time being limited to 4 min or so, this ‘ban’ hasn’t any effect whatsoever. Millions of digital copies all over the world, include local copies on my devices. I can listen to as much Tchaikovsky as I want, when I want. Not much of a ban. A ridiculous gesture, yes, but not much of a ban.

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    Deeply stupid!

  • Ignacio Javier says:

    It is ridiculous and stupid to ban Tchaikovski. ¿They will also ban Glinka, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Borodin, Mussorski, Prokofiev, Weinberg etc etc?

    • Concertgebouw79 says:

      We have to think that they are all guilties like us because we like their music! And if you like them you are agree with what’s happening of course. Stupid times!

    • The View from America says:

      And worst of all, Minkus!

    • guest says:

      No one has banned anything, which you would have known had you read the content of this post, not just the headline. Cancellation of a Tchaikovsky programme on grounds of being ‘inappropriate at this time’ isn’t banning. No major composer can be banned in the 21st century, there are millions of recordings. None of us is deprived of anything. Let’s not get worked up over nothing and rival NL in hyperbole, okay?

  • Kenneth Griffin says:

    “Breaking”??? St David’s Hall tweeted this a week ago, on Wed 2 March at 12:39.

    Many people feel that now is not the time to listen to a piece composed to celebrate a Russian military victory.

    Retaining the original concert programme would have alienated many of the audience.

    Good call to change the programme.

    • Malcolm James says:

      I agree about pulling the 1812 (and Marche Slave), but I would have thought the symphony would have been OK. However, the conductor tells me that, amongst other things, one of the orchestra members has a Ukrainian stepson in Ukraine, who has signed up to fight.

  • Piano Lover says:

    Completely silly decision.
    We should ban UK orchestra’s all together!

  • Wurtfangler says:

    Idiotic. This just plays into the hands of the Putin apologists. Shows we are as quick to ban and proscribe as he is!

  • Richard Slack says:

    They have banned that particular program for that particular occasion for specific, short-term reasons. That is not the same as banning Tchaikovsky. Incidentally there is still a country much beloved of Mr Lebrecht that has “cancelled” Wagner

  • Amos says:

    Just in, through his publicist, Tchaikovsky has released a statement denouncing homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, racism and putin/trump. Opting to disassociate yourself from Russian artists that support and/or refuse to condemn the putin invasion of Ukraine is imo appropriate this action by Cardiff makes a mockery of those efforts.

  • Wurtfangler says:

    As Toscanini is reputed to have said about performing Beethoven 3 during the war: “Some say it is Napoleon, some Hitler, some Mussolini. For me it is simply Allegro con brio.”

  • Joe says:

    At least one positive thing the invasion does is to expose how utterly stupid and hypocritical Western liberal democracies actually are.

    • guest says:

      Then pray for Putin to win and you’ll experience first hand how utterly brainwashing and hypocritical a totalitarian state can be. And you won’t be allowed to whine about it on social media.

    • Allen says:

      “how utterly stupid and hypocritical Western liberal democracies actually are.”

      Apart from all the rest.

  • Yana says:

    The Era of Falsehood and Clownery. Russia phobia pandemic as part of Russia is Agressor campaign.
    Love will save the World.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “Russia phobia pandemic as part of Russia is Agressor campaign.”

      You might want to grab a last BicMac while you still can.

      • Brettermeier says:

        BigMac*, of course. (Result of constant language-swapping)

        But I guess most of you didn’t take too long to guess what I could’ve meant. (I hope. I reaaaally do.)

    • guest says:

      Nope, strong sanctions and negotiations will save the world, hopefully. We have tried the love stuff before, with cultural exchanges between the West and Russia for three decades, and it hadn’t prevented the current war, a war Russia has started. Cut down that antiquated propaganda rhetoric and stop spelling nouns with capital letters, we aren’t in the 18th century.

  • Curvy Honk Glove says:

    We’re ok with Richard Strauss having been an actual Nazi, but we’ve got to ban ol’ Tchaik for a conflict taking place a hundred years after his death. I guess that sounds about right for this lot.

    • Concertgebouw79 says:

      Forget all those things… We are in a new era. Classical music anyway must be banished! It’s the new music of hell!

  • M McAlpine says:

    I can see the 1812 may be felt inappropriate at this time. But a look at history would have shown what ‘Little Russian’ meant!

    • IC225 says:

      Yep, it’s a derogatory and outdated imperial-era term implying that Ukraine is simply a subordinate part of a Russia. Putin has recently used exactly this term to imply that Ukraine is not a real country and ought to be reunited with “Great Russia”.

      Not entirely clear how that’s any more appropriate, tbh…

  • Smiling Larry says:

    I look forward to Gergiev leading a production of Prokofiev’s operatic setting of Tolstoy’s immortal “Special Military Operation and Peace”

  • Petros Linardos says:

    What nonsense.

    We need Tchaikovsky’s wonderful music.

    Like his piano trio. Here is a legendary recording with Leonid Kogan (Ukraine), Emil Gilels (Ukraine) and Mstslav Rostropovitch (Azerbaijan)

    Like his piano music. Here is June, from The Seasons, played by the great Lev Oborin (Russia)

    • Paul Johnson says:
      I have just posted this.
      You are absolutely right.

    • guest says:

      Yes, we need Tchaikovsky’s wonderful music, as we need the wonderful music of many other composers. And we have it, there are millions of recordings on Youtube and similar platforms. None of us is deprived of anything just because an orchestra somewhere has cancelled a concert.

  • musician says:

    absolutely absurd, shame on them. Ignorant fools.

  • CA says:


  • miketherookie says:

    Dear Norman, “Little Russian” (Малоросия) refers to Urkaine only in the sense that it is the little brother of Russia. That photo with Netrebko, flag and the separatist leader that you love to post? That is the flag is the flag those separatist wanted to use for the project Малоросия, a name for chunk of land that Putin wanted to “liberate” and then annex since 2014.
    I already have and most probably will suffer even more from the Russian Cancel Culture, but this is so minute in comparison to what people in Ukraine are going through, that I think even wasting our breath talking about it is quiet disgusting.

  • Bloom says:

    All great classical music seems somehow guilty in war because despite its godlike greatness, its depth and huge emotional power, it simply cannot stop the madness. It cannot prevent horror from happening again and again. It simply cannot.

  • Dear Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra and others,

    As a Ukrainian composer, I feel the need to protect this great composer: There is nothing wrong with neither the second symphony nor Tchaikovsky!
    Tchaikovsky’s grandfather was from Mikolayivka (Poltava Oblast) in Ukraine. Pyotr’s sister Aleksandra lived in Kamianka in Ukraine.
    More than 35 of Tchaikovsky’s compositions were (at least partly) written in Ukraine, including the symphonies no. 2, 4, and 5; “Italian Capriccio”, “Swan Lake”, “The Sleeping Beauty”; “Undina”, “Yevgeny Onegin”, etc.
    Because “Little Russia” was the name used for Ukraine in Tchaikovsky’s time, the second symphony got nicknamed “The Little-Russian Symphony”, since it was based on several Ukrainian folk melodies. .

    We should from now on call it “The Ukrainian Symphony”.

    Best regards
    Svitlana Azarova

  • Mark says:

    Oh dear. How incredibly silly. So. Covent Garden are actively advertising Swan Lake while nobody banned Tchaikovsky in light of The Russia Report, just as a chauvanistic reaction to Putin’s actions 120 years after the composer’s death. Pathetic, or perhaps “pathétique”.

  • Max Raimi says:

    I was always struck by the irony of playing “1812” on the Fourth of July, a work celebrating the triumph of an authoritarian theocracy. Yes, I understand that Napoleon was not exactly a shining example of democratic tolerance. But the French did, relatively speaking, represent the values of the Enlightenment. They did tear down ghettos and set up a free Polish state in the Duchy of Warsaw.
    Oh well. As Leonard Bernstein once said, if you listen to it without the words, the Horst Wessel Song is just a pretty tune.

  • Simon Scott says:

    Bloody stupid. It makes no sense whatsoever to ban long dead composers, most of whom were from Imperial Russia which was far different from the Soviet Union and the Russia of today.

    • guest says:

      It isn’t banning, it’s a cancellation. I find it rather ridiculous but oh well. No major composer can be banned in the 21st century, there are millions of recordings. None of us is deprived of anything.

  • Simpson says:

    Thank you, Norman, for posting this. What an utterly stupid thing to do for Cardiff.

  • Cardiff Philharmonic says:

    Dear Mr Lebrecht,
    It would have been informative (and indeed courteous) had you contacted the orchestra before publishing this article. Had you done so, you would have discovered a few facts that could have informed your article.
    Firstly, we are perfectly aware of the Ukrainian link to the “Little Russian” moniker. We are also aware that the phrase is considered insulting to Ukrainians. We were considering maintaining the symphony in the programme without the title. We were also considering just replacing the two items in the programme that related directly to Russian military events with other pieces. Replacing the entire programme was pretty much the last thing we were considering, but, in consultation with staff at St David’s Hall, it was decided that this was the best thing to do in the immediate climate.
    Secondly, we are actually aware of the emotions surrounding current events. A member of the orchestra is married to a Ukrainian who has family still in the country and who have been called up to fight. We were anxious to support them.
    If you wish to publish an article about the orchestra in future, we would be delighted to support you by providing you with facts rather than conjecture.
    Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Why did you not just drop the 1812 Overture and replace it with Capriccio Italien? (for example).

    • Harpist says:

      Why not e.g. play the 6th? The VPO did in NYC and it was an outstanding performance and event with silence after the work ended that was so deep.

    • double standards says:

      Can you explain your efforts to ‘act’ on this conflict when you have stayed silent on all other wars? Why is this more important to you than Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia and Afghanistan? Why do you speak out for white people but no one else?
      It’s not supportive to anyone to make emotional, irrational decisions.

      • Guest says:

        Read the reply from Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra. There’s your explanation, first hand in every way.

      • Bill says:

        Maybe they don’t have any orchestra members with family in those countries, did you read the letter?

    • Kathleen E King says:

      Then don’t “cancel” music by nationality. Stupid move.

    • Eightfree says:

      Norman doesn’t worry too much about ascertaining the facts. He ‘knows’ things instead… like Abbey Road ‘lying empty’…

  • Tony says:

    Now will their libraries have to burn their copies of “Crime and Punishment,” “War and Peace,” etc.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Some of the extreme reactions make me wonder where the line will be drawn. I hope Doctor Zhivago and the Gulag Archipelago will not be affected.

      (In the meantime the Cardiff Philharmonic has clarified that they only changed the program of one concert. Not everyone here is convinced they didn’t go too far.)

  • Hamilton says:

    I thought the Welsh were smarter than this. They’d better watch it, or some will ban “men of Harlech” on St David’s Day.

  • Glynne Williams says:

    This is utterly stupid and rather ignorant. Tchaikovsky’s grandfather was Ukrainian and the surname Czajkowski is common in Poland. He wrote to his grandparents in Polish. Ukraine is a wonderful mixture of nationalities and languages including the Polish/Russian/Ukrainian mixture. This ban does not help anybody, not least Ukrainian people married to/partners with Russians. Spare us from this cultural puritanism which bears no relation to the mixed reality on the ground …..

    • Cardiff Philharmonic says:

      We are completely aware of Tchaikovsky’s link to Ukraine. Please read our comment on why we have changed our programme for one concert only

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    I suspect that the real reason Mr Tchaikovsky is being cancelled in Wales is because he was gay.

  • PGHK says:

    Deeply stupid move as the issue is not with the Russian people even less Tchaikovsky but with Putin and his gang .

  • the Grinch says:

    Watch out Nutcracker, you are next.

  • Epic says:

    Does Putin understand what he did to Russia and it s culture? Because as much as we love Tchaikovsky and Tolstoi, we suddenly feel uneasy about their wonderfull works, thinking about that overpatriotism which we admired once but wonder about now;

    • Herbie G says:

      “We suddenly feel uneasy about their wonderfull works, thinking about that overpatriotism which we admired once but wonder about now…”

      Who precisely is ‘we’? Are you using the royal plural or suggesting that you speak on behalf of all of those who deplore the barbaric onslaught against Ukraine or even the whole British nation?

      This was an utterly idiotic gesture by the administrators of a local orchestra that has attempted to justify its nonsense with an equally foolish response. The screed is signed by ‘The Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra’ because the author is, not surprisingly, reluctant to sign it personally.

      Was there an outcry when Myra Hess played Bach during WW II? Did they ban Beethoven at British Concerts during the war?

      I have an old Soviet-era LP of the 1812 Overture in which the imperial Russian national anthem is replaced by the Internationale. Why couldn’t the Cardiff Philharmonic insert the Ukranian anthem at this point if they were so intent on virtue signalling? If they recorded it, it would probably turn out to be a rarity in a few years time and could make them a few grand to boost their funds.

  • Fliszt says:


  • Harpist says:

    That is a bit over the top I’d say. On the Sunday after the invasion the VPO played the Pathetique in Carnegie, Yannick NZ replacing Gergiev – and it was a deeply moving and emotional performance that will be in my memory for a long time. Not only because the orchestra asked for a minute of silence AFTER the performance so the music reverberated in us all.

  • Kathleen King says:

    Ditto! Blaming Tchaikovsky for Putin and his KGB killer buddies is literally cutting off one’s nose to spite the face. GREAT music is for every one and all times. Want to make a gesture? Drape the hall in blue and yellow but play Tchaikovsky!

    • Cardiff Philharmonic says:

      We are going to drape the hall in yellow and blue. We are also playing the Ukrainian National anthem. If you read my post, you will understand why we have changed our programme for one concert only.

  • henk spaan says:

    obviously, you’ve all gone mad.

  • David Richards says:

    What a ridiculous headline. ‘WALES’ hasn’t banned Tchaikovsky. One amateur orchestra has changed its programme. That’s all

  • Jack Ripper says:

    I look forward to bringing back education to Wales? They could start by reopening the Philosophy Department at Swansea? Maybe then some ‘Critical Thinking’, may prevail, in steady of such childish reaction?

  • Edward says:

    This is insane. It is like William Dawson got banned because he titled his symphony “Negro” back in 1934!

  • Richard Schneider says:

    Cancel Tchaik? And what the hell do they think “Little Russian” of the title refers to? It cites a Ukrainian folk song. I can see trading out 1812. A bit triumphalist and grandiose under the circumstances. How about Capriccio Italienne? Maybe Romeo and Juliet Ovt. Get real Cardiff Orchestra.

  • Jaro says:

    During World War II, the Germans similarly forbade Chopin’s music

  • Worzel Gummidge’s thinking head says:

    If you are replying with Anti-Welsh comments because of the action of an amateur orchestra, please take a long look at yourself in the mirror…

  • pvl says:

    And LGBQ people do not say anything about it!

  • Simon Funnell says:

    I don’t agree this is stupid. The programme was Marche Slave and the 1812. In addition “Little Russia” is what, I understand, in Tchaikovsky’s day they sometimes called Ukraine. In addition a member of the orchestra has Ukrainian family and for this reason the two militaristic pieces seemed inappropriate. The orchestra haven’t cancelled – and aren’t going to – later programmes of Russian Music.

    How ludicrous of you to make a mountain out of a molehill.

  • music lover says:

    Tchaikovsky had Ukrainian heritage.His grandfather was a famous zaporozhye cossack.The second symphony quotes several Ukrainian folk songs…In an age of global dumbing down,you can´t expect even basic knowledge about one of the most celebrated composers in music business anymore…..It´s all about posing nowadays….Feeling morally superior without actually doing anything has never been so cheap and easily accessible before….Get your halo by a mouse click!

    • Not to speak of the fact that few people have read up on the history of what is now Ukraine, and even fewer have any inkling of what has been perpetrated on that country since 1991.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “without actually doing anything”

      As I said before: Speak for yourself.

      But yes, I don’t think anybody here doubts YOUR complacency.

      • music lover says:

        Take in some refugees,as my family and my colleagues did .You´re talking big,but you don´t deliver,Colonel Klink!

  • Guest says:

    The decision on this concert was very much based on here and now. A member of the orchestra has family directly involved in the Ukraine situation and they are trying to respect that situation during the immediate term. There were also two military themed pieces as part of the programme (Marche Slave and 1812) that they felt were particularly inappropriate at this time. They were also made aware at the time that the title “Little Russian” of Symphony No 2 was deemed offensive to Ukrainians. Whilst there are no plans to repeat the Tchaikovsky concert at the moment, they have no plans to change our summer and autumn programmes which contain pieces by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Rimsky-Korsakof. So, in summary, this is a one off decision made with the best of intentions.

  • PRK says:

    I listened to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 in the car and in my home recently. But I have no interest in seeing it live in a concert hall right now. I’m not “banning it” but simply have no desire to see it. Why should a hall arrange to have it played it to an audience that happens to feel that way?

  • Matthias Goerne says:

    you are just insane and stupid, like the night is dark.

  • Danielle says:

    Unbelievable! So Tchaikovsky is to blame for the Russian Ukrainian conflict? So will they ban Duke Ellington because of US involvement in Vietnam? Has the world gone mad!

    • guest says:

      First, a concert cancellation isn’t “banning”. Second, no one _blames_ Tchaikovsky for anything. The world hasn’t got mad yet but will, if Putin uses nuclear weapons. I bet Tchaikovsky and his inexistent misfortunes will be very low on your priorities list then. If you are still alive, that is.

  • Herbie G says:

    Interesting you should mention this, Edward. Radio Woke 3 played this a few months ago and it was billed as his ‘Folk Symphony’!

  • ibarr1 says:

    Oh Norman – surely you would do more investigative journalism than the mainstream media. If you had, you would find that the orchestra chose to do this in solidarity with one of their musicians, who has family involved in the conflict in Ukraine. They have said that this was a ‘one-off decision’ to support the musician in question. More information on this can be found from an actual journalist here:

  • Fyodor Mikailovich Dostoevsky says:

    if you do not want to share in the fine constellation this music has to offer which consists of the perfection of this life of force energy

    than you must
    be dead inside…

  • Tchaikovsky fan says:

    The headline and spirit of this article are so ridiculous. A single orchestra decided that performing a work whose title refers to Ukraine as ‘Little Russia’ would be inappropriate at the moment. And that becomes ‘Wales (a country) *bans* Tchaikovsky. It’s fine to think the orchestra’s decision about what *they* would play was a poor one, but who banned performance of Tchaikovsky’s work?
    This reactionary stuff is as gross as what it’s meant to oppose.

    • guest says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Perhaps the decision of the Cardiff Phil wasn’t the most fortunate, but I wouldn’t presume to judge. I have read their statement published here. But the hysteria exhibited by these keyboard warriors is a lot worse, in my opinion. It’s like they have taken leave of their critical thinking ability, if they have ever had one. Cancelling a concert somewhere isn’t “banning”. It’s impossible to ban a major composer in the 21st century, there are millions of recordings. I don’t feel deprived of anything.

  • Yet more nonsensical posturing.

  • Ka says:

    Pathetic Russophobia, idiot decision.

  • movies says:

    This is looking more and more like V for Vendetta, lol

  • Berger Kalman says:

    Stupid decision!

  • Sheila Brehm says:

    This is also shameful! The cancellations of concerts by Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev in Vancouver and Montreal in Canada are inexcusable and reactionary. They only encourage and deepen the anti-Russian frenzy gripping certain social layers.

  • Francis White says:

    Can someone send the person or persons who made this decision some Viagra? They’re obviously feeling impotent.

  • h5mind says:

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” (Voltaire)

  • Edward Seymour says:

    …the Nazis also ignored Mendelssohn…

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    Stooooopid Welshies. An utterly idiotic decision. Is this going to become the new normal now? I hope not. Poor old Tchaikovsky.

    • guest says:

      No, the new normal is going to be radiation poison if Putin can’t be stopped. I like, you, hope not (no radiation poison, that is), though my motivation is different than yours. For me it’s poor many hundreds million people, for you it’s poor old Tchaikovsky. I don’t know about you, but I can listen to Tchaikovsky as much as I want. There’s Youtube, there’s Spotify, there’s my computer, phone, tablet, you name it. Why should I care than an orchestra has cancelled a Tchaikovsky concert somewhere? Why should you care? Are you deprived of Tchaikovsky? Oh wait, you’re here for the bashing. I wonder how many of you actually listen regularly to all the composers you “defend” on this site. Lots of composers.

  • Chondu says:

    Hi, I’m an Englishmen – living and working in Russia for now. My Russian colleague asked me to check if this was true. I assured it was ‘probably nonsense’ peddled by some do-gooding idiot. I was half right. What a load of utter tosh. Do these brainless decision makers and named ‘Ukrainians’ actually think they are contributing in any way to an already racially-provoked war? Idiots,

  • buttafan says:

    Uncancel Tchaikovsky

  • Dennis says:

    “Little Russia” is an alternative name for Ukraine. May I present Tchaikovsky’s UKRAINIAN Symphony: . I always thought that you folks across the pond had more gray cells than we colonists.

    BTW Wales, for future reference, Russian vodka is called Russian because of the way it’s made, with potato mash, not because of its location. Most Russian vodka is not really made in Russia. For example: Smirnoff is owned by a British Company and is distilled in Pennsylvania for U.S. distribution.
    -Stolichnaya is owned and distilled in Latvia.
    -Grey Goose is owned by Bacardi and distilled in France and Puerto Rico.
    -Pinnacle is owned by Jim Beam and is distilled in Maine.

  • Tim Horton says:

    “Wales” hasn’t banned Tchaikovsky. The Cardiff Phil has taken 1812 Overture off its programme because of its military connotations. This ridiculous sensationalism is really tiresome. I suppose “Cardiff Phil isn’t playing 1812” isn’t a strong enough headline?

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    Cardiff Philharmonic’s defence of its decision is shoddy. If they’d done their homework properly they would have found out that the nickname ‘Little Russian’ given to Tchaikovsky’s wonderful Second Symphony – which uses Ukrainian folksongs – was the idea of the composer’s friend and music critic, Nikolay Kashkin. It was NOT Tchaikovsky’s decision; although, it being the shortest symphony he composed, the title fits. You, and everyone else that wants to jump on this cancel culture bandwagon, should not forget that Tchaikovsky suffered terribly at the hands of contemporary Russian authorities who almost certainly had a hand in his death, directly or indirectly, and therefore he should be championed at this time as should Shostakovich and others. I don’t see why Russian artists and musicians – dead or alive – who are not responsible for the terrible atrocities invoked by a crazed madman and who would certainly not be supportive of the current situation should be tarnished in any way. I agree with other comments on this issue. There’s plenty of alternative music by Tchaikovsky that could’ve replaced the 1812, which, incidentally, the composer learned to dislike by all accounts. Maybe something with a Harp in it.
    Obviously, the old song, `We’ll keep a welcome in the hillsides’ does not include Russian composers anymore.

  • David of Tilehurst says:

    I too originally thought the idea of y “banning Tchaikovsky” stupid political correctness. But after reading the clarification and explanation by the Orchestra above, I do now accept the removal of 1812 and March Slave from this one concert specifically because one of the performers was Ukrainian was appropriate. But I also now believe it would have been more appropriate to replace these two works with a performance of the whole of the great composer’s “Symphony number two” to reflect and recapture the spirit of joy between the people of Ukraine and Russia that existed during Tchaikovsky’s life.

  • Mike_T says:

    The hysteria exhibited here is laughable (redacted).

    So an amateur (almost scratch) orchestra decides at this particular time (10 days post invasion) that it would be insensitive to give a programme including two overtly triumphalist Russian pieces, plus a symphony whose popular nickname might be considered a slight on Ukraine – and where a member of the band has close ties to the conflict. Seems pretty reasonable to me – particularly as in other threads on this site, there’s a lot of tub-thumping McCarthy-ite criticism of artists who have NOT (yet) condemned the Russians. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

    Then there are the morons (no better word) who think that this scratch band have the technical facility to just switch programmes at the drop of a hat, citing the VPO as exemplars! The only reason the VPO could switch works is because the alternative (Tchaik 6) was a ‘warhorse’ known by all PROFESSIONAL orchestras. Confronted with anything more challenging and they’d have been in trouble – for all their glories the VPO ain’t a London band who can sight-read anything. In fact, if the Cardiff Phil had 1/100 of the resources the VPO can draw on, they’d be like pigs in sh!t.

    But thank god for Wales and the Welsh, eh? The law and modern mores have quite rightly put Jews, Muslims and other races/ethnic minorities beyond the reach of hate speech, but the Taffs provide one of the few remaining targets against whom bigots can, without consequence, vent their (hopefully rotting) spleens…

  • Jelena says:

    Unfortunately, it’s more and more becoming the witch hunt.
    I am Russian from Lithuania, never voted for Putin as I am citizen of another country. I am absolutely devastated by this war and was on the demonstration against it and trying to help charities who is supporting Ukrainian refugees.
    Seems what is happening is trying to make any Russian (including children as we just sugn the petition against little Saturday Russian school closing and even composers) responsible for the decision of the dictator who is fighting not only with Ukraine but with his own nation. All demonstrations against war are cruelly dispersed. All independent media are closed.
    Demonize people on a national basis is absolutely unacceptable as we already have sad historical experience in it.

  • dd says:

    ok,this 1st gen ukr canadian, visited Kyiv in 1968 …Everybody spoke russian,much to my dismay! Y’all missing the forest for the trees…Biden’s boy got the ball rolling in 2014.
    kindly check out-

    UkraineOnFire film
    Ukraine joins Syria, Libya, Iran,Yemen,Venezuela et Palestine in $8 Trillion US proxy war /wests-hands-ukraine-bloody-putins/279897/

    The West’s Hands in Ukraine Are as Bloody as Putin’s
    by Jonathan Cook
    The demand
    is that everyone not only “condemn” Russian president Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine, but do so without qualification.

    Any reluctance to submit is considered certain proof
    that the person is a Putin apologist or a Kremlin bot,
    and that their views
    on everything under the sun
    – especially their criticisms of equivalent Western war crimes –
    can be safely ignored.

    How convenient for all those Western leaders
    who have committed war crimes at least as bad as Russia’s current ones. I have repeatedly described Russia’s invasion as illegal;

    I have regularly called Putin a war criminal …

    The media’s “madman” and “Hitler” scripts are needed now to turn reality on its head,
    suggesting that Putin would have invaded whatever actions NATO and Ukraine took.

    But if that is not true – and there is no evidence it is – then
    the blood of the victims of this war is most certainly on the West’s hands,
    just as it is
    in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Gaza, Yemen and elsewhere.

    Media hypocrisy
    The second hypocrisy is the current one being peddled by the Western media.

    They want to flaunt a bogus moral concern
    about the suffering of Ukrainians under attack from Russia
    they never show towards the victims of Western bombs and missiles…
    But actually the rot runs far deeper. It is not just racism at work in the special treatment of Ukraine’s suffering over that of Iraqis or Yemenis or Palestinians…
    In truth, a straight line runs between the West’s treatment of Iraq and its treatment of Ukraine.

    In Iraq, the U.S. and its allies sought to reorder the chessboard by intensifying their grip over oil as Western capitalism began running up against ever-depleting stores of cheap and easily accessible fossil fuels and the climate emergency made capitalism’s endless profit-making model ever more precarious.

    But though the chess analogy for Western foreign policymaking dates back to at least the nineteenth century, it may now be inadequate to explain what we have seen taking place over the past couple of decades…..

  • Joe says:

    This absurde$$$$. shame on you peoples, you have no honor what so ever. Who are you???? to ban a phenominan writer like Mr Tchaikovsky.

  • Charlie Daz says:

    Little Russia ( or Lesser Russia, which is a more accurate translation) was a geographical term ( like Great Britain or Lower Saxony). Tchaikovsky himself didn’t give the symphony a name.
    The 1812 Overture was written to celebrate victory over an invading army, so it seems entirely appropriate.