Vancouver Recital Society cancels concert by young Russian pianist in wake of Putin's unprovoked attack on Ukraine

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      The Vancouver Recital Society has canceled an upcoming concert by 20-year-old Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev.

      The cancellation is due to the ongoing and escalating invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

      The society's founder and artistic director Leila Getz made the announcement in a news release sent out this morning.

      "Yesterday, I did one of the hardest things I have had to do in a very long time," writes Getz, "and that was to cancel a new date we had secured in August for the 20-year-old Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev. We have now tried three times to get him to Vancouver, but again, it is not to be. We at the VRS cannot in good conscience present a concert by any Russian artist at this moment in time unless they are prepared to speak out publicly against this war. We stand with the remarkable people of Ukraine, who are inspiring us all with their resilience and bravery. 
      "As you can imagine," adds Getz, "I feel terrible and conflicted about it. Alexander is an incredibly talented young artist embarking upon what will surely be (in a sane world) a stellar career. He is now being penalized, despite the fact that he has nothing to do with what’s going on. He is in fear of what would happen to his family, with whom he still lives in Moscow, if he speaks out. Alexander Malofeev is just one the many millions of innocent Russians who are being deeply impacted by the actions of their government. It is all so very senseless. And it breaks my heart."

      The Vancouver Recital Society's next concert is this Sunday (March 6), when pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason will perform at the Vancouver Playhouse.

      For the full lineup of upcoming VRS presentations visit the website here.