The silence of these artists on Ukraine

The silence of these artists on Ukraine


norman lebrecht

March 11, 2022

We’d like to hear opinions on the Russian invasion from a number of brand leaders who appear to have gone missing in action:

1 Teodor Currentzis (pic)

2 Lang Lang

3 Gustavo Dudamel

4 Placido Domingo

5 Yuri Bashmet

6 Mikhail Pletnev

7 Christoph Eschenbach (see UPDATE below)

8 Yu Long

9 John Eliot Gardiner

10 John Williams

N. B. It strikes us that people who are role models and spokespersons for classical music need to make clear where they stand on Europe’s worst aggression since World War Two. Silence could be construed as complicity. That is why we published this list.

UPDATE: Mr Eschenbach’s representative has notified us that, on March 1, he made this statement, which we are happy to share:

Already on 1.3. Mr. Eschenbach has announced to give a solidarity concert for Ukrainian children and families, which will take place on 17.3. in the Konzerthaus. All proceeds will go to the SOS Children’s Village Ukraine, which cares for children in need.

“I am appalled and disturbed beyond measure by the terrible situation in Ukraine. I grew up during World War II, was a refugee child myself, and therefore know the deep wounds war leaves behind. I hoped that this would be the last war in Europe in my lifetime and that of future generations. Now I have to see the terrible suffering that has come over the people of Ukraine, through a regime that invades a country and thus our democracy. Ukrainian children on the run are exposed to great dangers, they are threatened with hunger, diseases as well as trauma, among other things. It is a very personal concern for me to set a musical sign with my orchestra as part of our Shostakovich homage. The sadness that speaks from many of Shostakovich’s works is also ours. We must not lose the hope that nevertheless shimmers through the music!”


  • Yizhar Degani says:

    John Eliot Gardiner is too busy boycotting Israel. He doesn’t have time to be concern in other minor conflicts…

    • Elsie says:

      His father did much the same although there was no Israel then so instead he joined Mosley and the Blackshirts and tried beating-up the Jews until he came a cropper at Cable Street.

    • Warren says:

      His father was a supporter of Oswald Mosley, so it comes as no surprise. A chip off the old block. IMO he is one of the most overrated musicians of our time.

      • Gabriel Parra Blessing says:

        Ah, that’s the ol’ Anglican anti-Semitism for you. As far as JEG being overrated, couldn’t agree more, him and his whole gang of HIP fundamentalists. If you’re a conductor and dare an interpretation of, say, the Bach Passions or the Beethoven symphonies, that does not conform to the current HIP orthodoxy, you’ll be excoriated by the British critical establishment, thanks to whom said orthodoxy is enforced. I rue the day when mediocre academics decided to pick up an instrument to put their theories into practice and become even more mediocre musicians.

    • Antonia says:

      As are most people on the BDS bandwagon. This is why most BDS people are considered anti-Semitic. They fault only the Jews and no one else is worth wasting their breath on.

  • Kenneth says:

    Why? So we can decide as soon as possible if there’s anybody else worth crucifying?

    • Gareth Jones says:

      Of course there are people being ‘crucified’, as you put it – the Ukrainians.
      Our “Putin’s friends”, by contrast, have simply had some cash turned off.
      Like Gatti, in analogous circumstances, no doubt they’ll be back sooner or later

    • guest says:

      I haven’t noticed any crucifixion going on. What I have however noticed, is mounting hysteria exhibited by keyboard warriors defending Russian artists, making a mountain of a molehill of anything, at the slightest provocation, and often enough without any provocation. To quot another poster, this is “as gross as what it’s meant to oppose.” There are very few balanced posters left. For this reason alone I second your comment. This site is one step away from online mob rule taking over. When people begin to call each other names, it’s over.

    • Amos says:

      Try starting with the Ukrainian children who have been murdered, displaced, and traumatized all because one barbarian has decided that their country belongs to him. If that isn’t reason enough to speak out against the daily atrocities then what else matters? As for JEG, it is a shame that the brass player he struck didn’t knock him on his pedantic and pompous ass.

      • Walter S. Allen says:

        Well said.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Sober up and concentrate on climate change being the world’s number one existential threat!! Some of us have already penetrated this wall of propaganda.

        • Amos says:

          Always comforting to know that all right-wing fascists can count on your support and willingness to further their campaigns of disinformation. Different uniforms but same allegiance to totalitarian idealogy.

        • Hugo Preuß says:

          Believe it or not: there might be *two* (or even more) existential threats at the same time. The Russian war of aggression really does not disprove climate science. Or covid.

        • Amos says:

          Too bad those already murdered, including the pregnant woman and her near-term child, are unable to concern themselves with global warming and all due to the actions of one increasingly deranged fascist.

  • presscello says:

    Teodor Currentzis was reported having a huge birthday celebration party with hundreds of guests on the first day of the invasion of Ukraine (24.02.). A couple of days prior to the invasion, he was in Athens conducting his orchestra musicAeterna.
    Ironically, the program featured Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony…

    Sources from Mediapart and YouTube.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      And, what’s even more shocking, he’s making money!!

    • Blenn says:

      Mediapart… lol

    • IP says:

      Wow. Conductor Ivan Velikanov was fired in Nizhni Novgorod for playing that same Beethoven 9. It appears he accompanied it with some outrageous words about peace and other Western nonsense.

    • The View from America says:

      We can’t let a little invasion get in the way of a birthday bash, that’s for sure …

    • Walter S. Allen says:

      TC, in my opinion, is vastly overrated and has particularly questionable taste and judgement both musically and otherwise. Many of his recordings are a joke. I would not seek his opinion regarding any matter.

  • Ionut says:

    Why? Why not ask football players, tennis players, make-up artists, cleaning ladies, taxi drivers etc. about their opinion? What does it matter? This society feeds itself with gossip and hate. Better fpcus on how to make the situation better than dragging people into the mud.

    • Juan says:

      After Kamala’s typical vapid explanation of “Russia (a big country) DECIDED to invade the Ukraine (a small country)” everyone including the USA should stay out of the conflict and mind their own business!

      Both she and Biden can’t even lay out the FACTS of somebody else’s problems. That’s natural for them though…

      They’re only Democrats who insight and induce problems for entertainment they can’t ever solve.

  • Anna says:

    Why should they? Do they all have a second career in politics?
    Or so we can cancel them, if they say a wrong word, or happened to have played Tchaikovsky in recent weeks.

    • Merryjest says:

      Explain to me how you can open your mouth to say this while being a fan of the same art form where The Consul, Fidelio, Nixon in China, Dead Man Walking, Ginsburg and Scalia, etc, exist?

      Oh maybe you are Anna ‘jackhammer tongue’ Netrebko trying to fill the empty hours of her schedule with some good trolling. That makes sense, too.

    • guest says:

      Unless you are an opera house manager or a concert organizer, you can’t “cancel” anyone. Are you? If you are not, dial down the indignation level. Who is “we”? Are you fancying yourself royalty? And for Chrissake, stop referring to that Tchaikovsky concert. Nothing bad happened to Tchaikovsky. If you are such a fan of his music, there are hundreds of recordings on Youtube and Spotify. Are you a fan, Anna? When have you listened last to a bit of Tchaikovsky music?

  • IP says:

    Well, JEG is an artist, and Domingo was not such a bad singer (before many of the others were born).

  • Bloom says:

    Taking into account that Facebook has just given greenlight to using the most extreme hate speech against ”Russian invaders” in certain European countries , silence will soon become one of the few ways to preserve your humanity…Terrible times.

    • Artanova says:

      Terrible times because of the invasion and destruction of an independent state in Europe, not for expecting people to condemn this agression,
      But of course , some people love totalitarian regims and “strong” leaders and expect others also to cheer their beloved leader.
      They have a problem, in fact two; blindness and lack of empathy and moral stand.

    • JS says:

      Russia invaded Ukraine so Russians ARE invaders. How should they be called – welcomed guests? saviours?

  • Bloom says:

    Not only Russians need an urgent moral check-up . I guess Westerners need it too. Self/destruction of the so-called ”free world” is so close.

  • Troy van Leeuwen says:

    If it took ages for Dudamel to say ANYTHING about the Venezuelan situation, hoping he will say anything about Ukraine is nothing short of delusional

  • Roman says:

    There is a very thin line between sincerely expressing support to Ukraine and performing a publicity stunt. I suspect that many of those who is silent, just don’t want to participate in the later one. I seriously don’t think that Williams or Dudamel can support Russia, there is just no point in making it into a PR campaign.

  • Alice Coote says:

    Totally unnecessary, irresponsible and immoral use of public posturing here Please refrain from going any further down this route in the coming time. The actual war is more than enough without self-creating more trouble. It mirrors the Russian presidential attitude itself.

    • Precisely written, well done. I happened to be watching “A Man For All Seasons” last night on TCM. It’s an old film (adaptation of a Bolt play) about how Thomas More’s silence on a critical issue of state was interpreted as treason. In short, we’re on a slippery slope to a new era of public McCarthyism. As you suggest, it’s the bad guys who do truth tests and loyalty oaths. We’re supposed to be above that garbage.

      • V.Lind says:

        Trump required some sort of loyalty oath for admission to his rallies when he was running for president. That ought to have been the first sign of what he was about — tyrants do not brook dissent.

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          And yet Putin wouldn’t make a move with that same so-called ‘tyrant’ in the White House. Not like the white mouse which is the incumbent.

    • music lover says:

      Brava!!!!Some sensible words,from a great artist,at least!

  • Wim de Haan says:

    “We’d like to hear opinions “. Who is ‘we’? I am sorry, but I have no interest what-so-ever in the opinions of the people as listed.
    Sorry Norman Lebrecht, it feels you completely missed the mark.

    • V.Lind says:

      And every time a Hollywood actor speaks out, he/she is lambasted around here for presuming to utter.

      I admire everyone who has articulated their disgust at this ghastly enterprise. But there has also been a fair amount of stunting. Probably well-intentioned, possibly virtue-signalling.

      I rather suspect that if Lang Lang or Dudamel had been early with a “statement,” they might have been subject to some sort of criticism around here for grandstanding. Neither — and probably few of the others on The List (and how sinister lists are) — has ever been guilty of cosying up to Russia. How does their view become relevant to the wide world? I would like to think that if asked — and I do not mean on a blog — their answers would be where we would wish.

      But that is surely up to them. This is the west, where individuals retain the rights to freedom of thought, speech and silence.

  • Gregor Tassie says:

    What is this? The return of McCarthyism? Witch hunts after musicians, this is the most despicable suggestion that this site has come up with, all on a day when Meta is allowing people to propagate murder of Russians on Facebook and Instagram, we are now in a Stone Age of racist hatred, Russophobia is racism just as the Islamophobia which has been prevalent since 9/11.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Maybe they have not noticed.

  • bill says:

    eschenbach did release a statement via Konzerthausorchester Berlin… available here


    Chefdirigent Christoph Eschenbach „Ich bin maßlos entsetzt und verstört über die schreckliche Situation in der Ukraine. Ich bin im Zweiten Weltkrieg aufgewachsen, war selbst ein Flüchtlingskind und weiß daher, welche tiefen Wunden Krieg hinterlässt. Ich hoffte, dass dies der letzte Krieg in Europa gewesen sei in meinem Leben und dem zukünftiger Generationen. Nun muss ich das furchtbare Leid sehen, das über die Menschen in der Ukraine gekommen ist, durch ein Regime, das ein Land überfällt und somit unsere Demokratie. Ukrainische Kinder auf der Flucht sind großen Gefahren ausgesetzt, ihnen drohen unter anderem Hunger, Krankheiten sowie Traumata. Es ist mir ein sehr persönliches Anliegen, im Rahmen unserer Schostakowitsch-Hommage mit meinem Orchester ein musikalisches Zeichen zu setzen. Die Trauer, die aus vielen Werken Schostakowitschs spricht, ist auch unsere. Die Hoffnung, die dennoch durch die Musik schimmert, dürfen wir nicht verlieren!”

  • Anarhimik says:

    Whatever for? And as a matter of fact, do you care to hear what Lang Lang has to say about the Uyghur genocide?

  • MJA says:

    Why? This hounding and persecution is wrong. It is entirely against the unifying ethos of music. These people are performers, not politicians, and this is totalitarian behaviour. Why are they being put under this pressure? And no, I don’t buy the argument that they are somehow under a greater obligation to be publicly accountable for their views. I suspect it’s also an opportunity for some to whip up and prosecute existing biases by other means. Isn’t the misguided behaviour of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and others enough evidence that this has already gone too far? Puritan rabble-rousing and witch-hunting at its worst – cf ‘The Crucible’. Sorry.

  • Lothario Hunter says:

    It is a burly list!

    But what about those artists who are most loquacious, but at the same time receive prestigious honors from Putin stoogies?

    I am taking one example (absolutely randomly, the first name that pops to mind): Riccardo Muti

    a) In October 2021, in the headquarters of the Russian Embassy in Vienna, with an official ceremony, Maestro Riccardo Muti was appointed Honorary Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Arts

    b) The honor was awarded by the Russian Ambassador to Austria Dmitry Lyubinsky

    c) Since 1997 to the present day, the RAA (Russian Academy of Arts) has been headed by Zurab Tsereteli

    d) Zurab Tsereteli has been heavily criticized throughout the duration of his career, with public opinion heavily shaped by his involvement with the Russian government. In March 2014 he was reported to have signed a letter in support of the position of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin on Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

    e) Zurab Tsereteli is a great artist. One of his greatest creations, which surely will live on to immortality, is the Putin statue you can admire here:

    Some could say my fault is relying on a random sample. If it we were speaking of anyone else, we could point fingers. Speaking of Muti, a luminous example of moral integrity in both private and public life, we must conclude that he simply forgot to return his Russian honor, and he will, soon.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Muti was among the first to speak out against the Russian aggression.

      • wim de haan says:

        Dear Norman Lebrecht,
        It seems it is getting an obessision for you, why are you so interested in what musicians think or feel? What is your interest? Do you really think mr. Putin will ever listen to a musician what he or she thinks or feels. Again, you miss the mark completely. Do stop with this nonsense. Thank you.

      • Lothario Hunter says:

        Absolutely, his “bloody tanks” speech is a matter of public record. And so are the points I submitted above.

        The two set of facts would be hard to reconcile, and a reasonable person would see hypocrisy and duplicity in any other musician or famous personality who engages in such contradictory behavior … if we weren’t speaking of Muti, who is the gold standard of personal integrity. The Maestro just forgot to return the Russian honor. And when he received it from the Russian ambassador and the RAA president, a Putin apologist, he forgot about Russia’s previous invasions and annexation of Crimea.

    • Gabriel Parra Blessing says:

      Jaysus, what is your obsession with Muti? Did he steal your wife?

  • Rodger Lodge says:

    It’s important to make sure that you cam end the careers of anyone that doesn’t agree with you asap

  • Music fan says:

    11. Daniil Trifonov

    • NJS player says:

      Trifonov was soloist with NJ Symphony this week and requested the orchestra play the Ukrainian anthem and stood at the front of the stage as it was played

  • Anna says:

    Ildar Abdrazakov laureate of the Honored Artist of the Russian Federation 2021 and Aida Garifullina.

  • .jpg says:

    I agree.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    SOS Villages for children is an excellent charity and I support them in a small way. They not only look after children but ensure that they have a good education and go on to college or apprenticeships to prepare them or their futures.

  • Gaye Brown says:

    Please John Elliot Gardiner please organise a concert for Ukraine. Its important. Thank you. Gaye Brown.

  • BigSir says:

    I think it’s absolutely absurd, this litmus test of humanity. Making a statement? Like a loyalty oath of some kind?

  • Max Raimi says:

    I believe Yuri Bashmet lives in Moscow. If he speaks out, his family is vulnerable. I would love to think I would take that risk if I were him, but as I have never been tested in that manner, I decline to pass judgment.

    • wim de haan says:

      Can you do please first do your homework before posting anything. With ‘I believe’, ‘if’, etc you can not but anything. Thank you.

      • Max Raimi says:

        I spent quite a bit of time on line trying to verify this. The best information I could find indicated that his home was in Moscow, but I could not determine with 100% certainty that he has not moved recently. So I don’t think your post is particularly fair. But that is to be expected on this site.

  • NH says:

    McCarthy era 2.0 has begun.

  • Salvador says:

    Absolutely agree!
    It’s the highest time to unmusk all the agents of the evil!
    Furthermore, I’d like to know if Mr. Currentzis is not ashamed of the way he got his apartment in the prestigious district of Sankt Petersburg.
    On the hand one could investigate close ties between Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the Usedom Music Festival proudly sponsored by Gazprom strictly to promote Nord Stream gas pipelines.
    It’s really shocking how Mr. Putin used the artists and specifically musicians in his propaganda ever since he’s got the power in Russia.
    It’s even more shocking how the music market followed him as if they were blindfolded.

  • Allen says:

    Those who want to be seen ‘doing something’ or, more likely, calling for someone else to ‘do something’, would be better employed helping one of the many charities that are actually doing something.

    Destroying a career to demonstrate your high-status opinion is no ‘doing something’ in any meaningful sense.

  • Schnitzel von Krum says:

    What an outrageous statement (yours, not Eschenbach’s). I’m no fan of Gardiner, Lang Lang or Dudamel, but what in G*d’s name are you talking about with your “silence is complicity”? If they are friends and/or defenders of Putin (=Gergiev) or have made a career thanks to him (=Curentzis arguably) then that’s one thing; if they are non-resident Russians (=Pletnev? I don’t know), then perhaps. But demanding flowery signals of virtue from any successful musician is just another form of cultural bolshevism.

    • Thomas says:

      Completely agree!! Why a statements from Dudamel or others not russian artists but a shamful silence on Ildar Abdrazakov?? Like Anna Netrebko is supporter of Putin and financed by the russian money!

  • Norabide Guziak says:

    As I wrote before: Why don’t we ask everyone from Accountants to Zookeepers what their views on this are and cancel them as necessary? Let’s all play this senseless witch hunt.

  • horbus rohebian says:

    Many well known British musicians – total silence.

  • Iain says:

    I’m totally bamboozled by this list. How were these people selected? Why are we supposed to care about their opinions on anything other than the music they perform? If silence is to be interpreted as complicity in the case of Ukraine, what about other major atrocities? If Lang Lang hasn’t condemned Chinese concentration camps, should we be demanding that he do so? Honestly, I don’t think it’s the job of a music blog to list random individuals and impute that they’re supporters of wars of aggression.

  • Mock Mahler says:

    I passed a violinist playing eloquently on the street, but instead of tipping I jeered, because he didn’t display a sign condemning the Russian invasion.

  • music lover says:

    What is this random list of 10 artists about?You could have chosen almost anyone….Makes absolutely no sense.Bashmet,Pletnev,Currentzis….okay.John Williams?….Just BTW,the guitarist John Williams also has stayed mum,so far…..And il bet John Williams(the composer)will say something at his VPO appearances this week.

  • Gabriel Parra Blessing says:

    I would ordinarily deplore such a list for, say, their stance on LGBTQXYZ rights, but this is such a civilization-altering conflict that I do believe public figures like those above must make their views known in order to be able to participate in civilization as leaders of our cultural life or be cast out from it, should they instead support barbarism. As Walter Benjamin said, that things just “go on” is the calamity, and to pretend that we can go on doing business as usual without responding, loudly and clearly, to the current calamity would represent and abject abdication of our responsibilities as citizens of the civilized world.

    • William says:

      Should we also cancel all the artists who didn’t speak out against past invasions/regime changes by other countries (such as the US)?

      • Gabriel Parra Blessing says:

        On the one hand, it is fair to ask why Bush’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan did not meet with more uniform international condemnation. On the other, comparing those invasions to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and suggesting they are analogous is disingenuous, at best. For starters, neither the Iraq nor Afghanistan wars risked a worldwide conflagration, whereas the risk of the Ukraine war igniting WWIII up to and including a nuclear exchange is very real. In addition, the US never intentionally targeted civilians, while the Russians are committing war crimes as a matter of course. So, in sum: Iraq & Afghanistan = yes, very bad indeed. Ukraine = infinitely worse and in an entirely different league.

  • Piano Lover says:

    Why would they have to say that “I AM AGAINS WAR”-everybody is-unless being insane.
    Being neutral is no sin.
    I don’t see the point of this article of SD???
    No more music?
    is this becoming a TABLlOÏD-time to quit.

  • Vlad says:

    Why is no one mentioning Ildar Abdrazakov ? He is Russian , participated always in the Putin concerts with Netrebko and company and is a loyal friend of Gergiev. Mr. Abdrazakov receives money from the government for his Academy and his Festival! But he is still allowed to perform in Zurich these days in Italiana in Algeri and was also given extra shows in Macbeth.
    Why these double standards?
    People Wake Up !

  • Hervé says:

    Why ?

  • FKJina says:

    Yu Long will suffer the same fate as Gergiev if China attacks Taiwan.

  • Magda says:

    Nothing makes me more afraid that this kind of malicious thirst for a witch hunt. Shame on you Norman.

  • music lover says:

    The most moving tribute to the Ukraine i heard came from Helsinki tonight.Flutist Siobhan McKenna and harpist Emanuel Ceysson incoporated the Ukrainian anthem into the cadenza of the slow movt of Mozart´s Flute and Harp concerto,with Osmo Vänskä conducting the Helsinki Phil…Totally unexpected and delightful.

  • IP says:

    Because these are such wonderful times for all kinds of people to tell us about the self-destructing, amoral West, let us be clear. Russia is exactly 1000 years behind from the civilised world, waging a XI century crusade in the XXI century — with Breguet-wearing, cigarette-smuggling Kirill as Urban II and “Professor” Dugin as Peter the Hermit (admittedly, the name Sans-Avoir will pull a smile or two when applied to Mr. P.). And everything Russian has been drawn into it the way everything German was used by the famous predecessor.

  • Jakub says:

    Dudamel also made a statement during concert in Berlin

  • Harpist says:

    Gustavo Dudamel conducted BPO on 2/26 – available on the BPO’s digital concert platform. The orchestra made a statement before the concert. I assume that was agreed upon with him.

  • Tinkerbell says:

    Jonas Kaufmann??

  • Althea T-H says:

    Do you work for the Thought Police, NL? Who made you a judge of your fellow human beings – especially people like Lang Lang, who are not Russian?
    Leave them be.
    Come on, now!

  • poyu says:

    Almost no famous Chinese dare to say bad things about Putin. One famous dancer spoke out of anti war got her Weibo blocked within hours. The speech control in China about anything against Russia is even worse than in Russia.

  • Norabide Guziak says:

    I’d like to denounce the family dog. She sings well, finding the notes of open strings on a violin and regularly croons along to a passing ambulance siren. Nonetheless, despite her artistic excellence, she has remained despicably silent on the subject of the Ukraine. We will be bundling her into the back of the car on Monday, first stop the RSPCA. It’s the only way to stop the war.

  • Micaela Bonetti says:

    Basta caccia alle streghe Signor Lebrecht.
    Disgustosa ossessione.

  • Del Boy says:

    Big ups to NL for this list – the idea of putting John Eliot Gardiner on a list of “people who are role models and spokespersons for classical music” is as fantastic as the idea of Ukraine requiring de-nazification.

    A single individual less-suited to any such role one could not find if requested!

  • Karl says:

    What do they have to say about the Uighurs in China? Why aren’t we cancelling Yuja Wang and Lang Lang?

  • M McGrath says:

    No, sir. Sorry. You, we, I do NOT have a right to a formal statement of opinion or position on any subject from big or small names in the music field. You have created a list of people which is somewhat arbitrary: Domingo a leader in classical music?? why does Lang Lang’s view interest us?! and, dear me, would it prove John Williams was on the right side if he composed a “March of the Putin Resistance?” You imply that these people are LESS than honest, good, anti-evil, pro-democracy, upstanding people BECAUSE they lack a statement denouncing Putin and the Ukranian invasion. That is presumptuous, dangerous, insidious, self-righteous. It’s none of our business when all is said and done.

    It’s akin to requiring people to declare themselves as to their religious affiliation, race, sexuality and favorite sexual practices. And then, should they fail to comply with the mob’s demands, they are threatened with what: censure, cancellation, a mugging? That’s blackmail, isn’t it? It’s reminiscent of a dark past I thought we’d all learned from. It borders on mob hysteria. It’s like the McCarthy hearings: denounce or be denounced. “The Slipped Disc Checklist and Litmus Test of Good Citizens with Correct and Approved Attitudes.” Sad to say, but this listing and implied shunning/dissing is both absurd and shameful. As the Ukrainian people valiantly fight for their freedoms, here is suggested that which is antithetical to the ideals of the Ukrainian resistance: a dark, ominous process of assuring only artist with “appropriate thinking” get to perform.

    PS: What’s next? Will you require pro-war and anti-war people to wear different color clothing so that the mob can identify and better diss them? Do you really want to mimic Hawthorne’s “Scarlet Letter” in our modern times? Why is similar sorting not required of orchestra and audience members, ushers, technicians, etc? How long is the membership period in the “I Hate Putin and Condemn the War” Club? Individual’s statements on the war are valid for one year and must then be renewed? Will such statements be validated and certified (those just giving lip service must be flushed out!) – by a certification secret police? In fact, have you a template for what a good statement looks like that you can mail to all artists? Will members of the Club march in protest when artists who have remained uncertified perform? Will you place burning music stands on their lawns? Better yet, shall we lock them up, as that preemminent advocate for democracy and civil rights, Donald Trump, has suggested?

  • Kateryna says:

    Bashmet on 2014 signed a letter in support of annexation of Crimea and Putin’s policy toward Ukraine. The same that was signed by Gergiev.

  • Lev Deych says:

    Bashmet has already expressed his full support for Putin’s war.

  • Margaret Koscielny says:

    The statement by Eschenbach is eloquent and sincere in its tone. That is understandable, given his empathy for children, especially, who are traumatized by this war. This is so much better than condemning language against Putin, although he certainly deserves it.

    Eschebach is on the side of the victims. That is what matters.

  • PRK says:

    International conductors occupy a unique position in terms of how they are gratefully revered and admired by audiences and followers that number in the millions. When Muti addresses an orchestral audience on a Martin Luther King Holiday evening, for example, we hang on every word. We do so because of the profound and penetrating statements he makes with obvious earnest conviction. Speaking to occasions on which the world is focused is an enormous responsibility and entails risks. I don’t expect every major conductor to feel capable or ready speak to them, but surely those of a stature and maturity like Muti’s must feel a responsibility to do so. And when they do, we will weigh and ponder it, and be influenced by it, just as we are with the transcendent experiences they give us in performance.

  • Andreas says:

    Don’t understand why any artist is now obliged to give a statement. Isn’t it also part of a free society that nobody is forced to express his opinion?

  • Bratsche Brat says:

    Why oh why?

    1) What they say has absolutely zero impact on present and future events in Ukraine and Russia; their words will save no lives.

    2) Nobody outside the classical music scene gives one micron of a poop what classical musicians think about things, and many within don’t care either (hint hint); their words will solace few souls.

    Stick to music reporting monsieur Norman, or read some Machiavelli.

  • Tamino says:

    what an irony, if we in the west turn into hysterical bolsheviks ourselves.

  • James says:

    This is a bit like the Spanish Inquisition. I didn’t expect that.
    But then…Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

    • Christian says:

      Well said, Inquisition hunting heretics, thought police or just everyone must support our troops, like this is ww3 already. I am worried about the coming ban of anything russian, in music and everywhere.

  • Colin Davis says:

    Well done for shit stirring

  • Christophe Lacour says:

    This is cultural dictatorship. Like what happened in Germany in the 30’s, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Walter S. Allen says:

    Who is we? Why a list of those particular people, or ANY list of those “to be heard from”? Musicians, artists (in most cases) are not politicians. This sounds like a call for a McCarthyistic inquest into how a sampling (or is it ALL) of musicians line up on the invasion. Let’s drop this now. The invasion is an abomination. Period. But I don’t give a damn how Ted Currentzis feels about it. And I watched my Blu-ray of Pique Dame last night. I may watch it again soon. Am I now on a list for that admission? Jeez, how far could this go?!

  • Otto says:

    I notice we are entering a new era of inquisition. A witch-hunt for artists that are in their right to talk or remain silence. We profess democratic ideals, but we act like despots.

    If you wish to do something for Ukraine, do something for peace, instead of pretending to hurt valuable people.

  • Olivia says:

    …and btw, why isn’t any female artist on this total senseless list..?
    No ‘opinion’ needed from a woman?
    Let’s stop buying oil from Russia instead of wasting time with nonsense.