The International Tchaikovsky Competition expelled from the World Federation of International Music Competitions

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Following a vote, the World Federation of International Music Competitions excluded the IInternational Tchaikovsky Competition of its accession with immediate effect.

The competition, held every four years in Moscow and St. Petersburg, for young pianists, violinists and cellists, is one of the most famous in the world. Past winners include pianists Vladimir Ashkenazy and Daniil Trifonov, violinists Gidon Kremer and Viktoria Mullova.

But, in response to what they call “Russia’s brutal war and humanitarian atrocities in Ukraine”, the WFIMC said that as a non-political organization, “it cannot support or have as a member a contest financed and used as a promotional tool of the Russian regime.

A statement from Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with a commentary from his supporter Valery Gergiev, is available on the contest’s homepage.

The WFIMC announcement comes after a number of Russian artists were declared persona non grata by Western companies. Earlier this month, the Sibelius Violin Competition banned Russian competitors. Anna Netrebko and Valery Gergiev was forced to walk away from the concert hall after refusing to condemn the Russian regime, and pianist Boris Berezovsky was let go by his agent. At the same time, major record labels, including Universal Music has announced the closure of its Russian offices and the cessation of operations in the country.

A few weeks ago, two major piano competitions – the Honens and the Dublin International Piano Competition – announced that they would not be open to Russian pianists this year. However, following protests from the global music community, including a petition against the “general boycott” of Russian musiciansthe The Honens International Piano Competition has reinstated its Russian competitors.

WFIMC President, Peter Paul Kainrath, and General Secretary, Florian Riem, said: “The WFIMC confirms its previous statement against general sanctions against all Russians and against the discrimination and exclusion of individual artists, in because of their nationality.

“Especially in times of war,” he concludes, “we believe it is essential to maintain a dialogue with those who trust us and who share our values, in the same way that we trust them.

Founded in 1957, the World Federation of International Music Competitions provides guidelines, aiming for artistic excellence, integrity and fairness, setting a globally recognized standard.

The federation currently includes over 110 international music competitions and other institutions that serve young musicians embarking on international careers.

Photo: Getty

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