Russia Cancels Orchestra Concert Led By Conductor Critical Of War In Ukraine

A Russian philharmonic has canceled a concert led by a conductor critical of the war in Ukraine, citing “health” issues, local media reported.

Vasily Sinaisky, who posted a statement on February 28 calling the war “vile,” was scheduled to lead the St. Petersburg Academic Philarmonic in concert on June 4.

The philharmonic faced calls to cancel the concert on account of Sinaisky’s vocal opposition to the war, RBC reported.

There was no immediate comment from Sinaisky.

In his February 28 statement, Sinaisky criticized musicians in Russia for not voicing their opinions of the war.

The conductor, whose maternal grandfather was Ukrainian, said he spent of a lot of his time in childhood in the Kyiv region and “even then … could sense the love of Ukrainians for their motherland, how they endeavored to do everything for it to flourish.”

He said truth was “not on the side” of Russia in this war.

“Those who started all this would benefit from listening to the Ukrainian national anthem. What a pure, powerful, and bright melody, which shows so well the character of this nation,” he said.

Sinaisky, who is 75, was the music director and chief conductor at the Bolshoi, Russia’s leading theater, from 2010 to 2013, when he resigned unexpectedly.

He is currently the chief conductor of the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic.