Mischa Maisky faces lone protestor in Toronto

Mischa Maisky faces lone protestor in Toronto


norman lebrecht

March 28, 2022

A pro-Ukraine activist, Dmitri Kanovich, has posted this message:

As soon as a famous cellist Mischa Maisky announced that he was dedicating his solo performance to those “killed on both sides” of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, I walked out of the Koerner Hall in disgust.
The disgraced Maestro has now been fired.
Glory to Ukraine! 🇺🇦

The message is bizarre, since Maisky has protested loudly against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Only yesterday he wrote:

Today, 27th of March, would have been 95th Birthday of one of my great teachers- Mstislav ROSTROPOVICH…
I imagine and hope that he would be the first to protest this shameful and disastrous war!

Mervon Mehta, who attended the Toronto recital, confirmed:

So wonderful to have Mischa Maisky back in our hall for a Bachanalia. He dedicated the concert to his mentor, Rostropovich, on what would have been his 95th birthday and to all those who are suffering the madness in Ukraine. It was a stunning afternoon.

The protest seems to have been an isolated outburst.



  • IP says:

    There is nothing strange about regretting the necessity to shoot the aggressors.

    • Karl says:

      Many of the Russian soldiers are conscripts who don’t want to fight.

    • IP says:

      I don’t see why so many people disagree. Somebody comes to bomb your house because their president thought it was a wonderful idea, you shoot down their plane and of course you regret the loss of human life. What’s so strange?

    • Ted says:

      “There is nothing strange about regretting the necessity to shoot the aggressors.”

      Although I understood it, I believe your post may read a little ambiguously to some.

  • Gareth Jones says:

    Sounds as though Mehta is confirming the complainant’s account – do you know if Maisky was in fact fired, or is that nonsense?

  • Ms.Melody says:

    Maestro Maisky was indeed “fired”, fired-up that is. The playing was spectacular and the applause was thunderous. He did mention “Those killed on both sides”, but it is understood that not all Russian soldiers are fighting in Ukraine because they want to. Draft dodging is a dangerous and difficult activity and deserters are usually shot by their own.

  • Liam Allan-Dalgleish says:

    It’s difficult to know what to say. Certainly this aging maestro is not responsible for the blood flooding the streets of Ukraine, I, on the other hand, am absolutely disgusted by not only the Russsian invasion of Ukraine, for which the Russian people are not responsible, and trying to take into account on both sides the close—the—connection between Russia and Ukraine, I suppose it is not unlike the United States invading Canada as opposed to Mexico(go back to sleep Wokes, if you get the comparison). In the end, I would have to agree with the protester. Donald Trump, if not Papa Adolf, has forever put to sleep the argument that most Americans are good, decent people who cannot be blamed for the actions of their leaders. In fact, to judge by the 80 million vote count and that ridiculous post-election racist circus, they are to blame. I put a little plea in an online newspaper here called the Princeton Atch saying I wanted to hear from peoples le going to fight in Ukraine. That was two weeks ago and there has not been one response.

  • Ricardo says:

    A death is a death, to be mourned regardless of race, sex, religion, colour, country and creed. Maisky speaks as an artist and human being, not as a politician.
    Listen to Robin Williamson’s “Cold February” and take the words to heart:

  • WP says:

    The sentiment is certainly understandable, as there are thousands of young Russian men who have died despite having no interest in this war. But it might have been more diplomatic to just dedicate the concert “to those who have suffered so terribly” without mentioning “both sides”. I don’t believe there were any concerts in 1945 for both sides… And in the USA, hearing the former president state “there were many fine people on both sides” was nothing short of frightening.

  • True North says:

    I knew I recognized the name from somewhere. Dmitri Kanovich is otherwise known for organizing classical music concerts in prisons.

  • Kim says:

    Sorry to hear of such friction sharing thoughts to have a valued effect.

  • M McAlpine says:

    One person who would have been against Putin’d lunatic invasion would have been Rostropovich!