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Conductor Vasily Sinaisky's concert cancelled in St. Petersburg over anti-war statements

The St. Petersburg Philharmonic has canceled conductor Vasily Sinaisky's concert which was supposed to mark his 75th birthday, the Philharmonic's website states. The message says the concert was “canceled due to the conductor's health issues.”

Sinaisky spoke out against the war: on February 28, the website of the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra headed by Sinaisky published a statement by the conductor, in which he called the war in Ukraine “a vile invasion of a sovereign state,” which brings “only sorrow and tragedy to thousands of people.”

Nevertheless, the conductor's anniversary concert was supposed to take place in St. Petersburg on June 4. But a few days before the concert, a campaign was launched against Sinaisky. First, the Telegram channel Cultural Front Z called for the concert to be canceled because of the conductor's antiwar stance; in the posts he was referred to as «a scumbag» who “continues to make money in the country he has denounced.”

The channel authors also addressed Igor Sechin, head of the Philharmonic's general partner, Rosneft, and asked him to “facilitate the cancellation” of the performance. Then, on June 3, Sinaisky was criticized by the propaganda TV channel Tsargrad and the news site 78.ru. After the concert was cancelled, Cultural Front Z published a post thanking the followers for their “support”.

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