Swiss roll out Ukraine artists policy

Swiss roll out Ukraine artists policy


norman lebrecht

March 21, 2022

The festivals of Lucerne and Verbier, together with the OSR orchestra of Geneva, have formulated a line on Russian artists that makes no mention of their recent dependence on oligarchs and their rubles. This line may not hold for long.

Here’s the statement:

As three of Switzerland’s leading music institutions, we strongly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As these disturbing events have unfolded, we have taken firm and impactful measures, including the cancellation of all artists aligned with or supporting the Russian regime’s actions.
We wish to be clear about our position on the debate over programming of Russian artists and of Russian musical works in general, which has recently appeared in the press.
Collectively, we confirm our continued support of Russian artists. Those who have not aligned themselves with the actions of the Russian government do not deserve to be excluded from international musical life simply because of their nationality. Furthermore, we refuse to turn our backs on the rich heritage of Russian culture, including the great works of Russian composers that have so often been created as hymns to freedom, fraternity and values we hold dear.
We are united in our belief in the value of music and of artists as messengers of peace and dialogue.



  • A.L. says:

    This is the sensible way.

  • alexis piantedoux says:

    “cancellation of all artists aligned with or supporting the Russian regime’s actions” Did these three cultural institution published any list of aligned artists? How these three institution can measure the level of involvement of the artists? Based on what argument…???

  • phf655 says:

    There is plenty of hypocrisy everywhere, but Switzerland is the champion, going back to the era when the ‘neutral’ Swiss turned back Jewish refugees at the border during the holocaust, and later refused to pay out insurance claims made by victims’ surviving family without a death certificate. And we shouldn’t forget that Switzerland’s wealth was undergirded by taxes on all of those secret bank accounts.