The pianist continues to play Schubert “Impromptu”, while the Russian police separate…

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April 14, 2022, 1:39 p.m.

Russian pianist, Alexei Lubimov, has defied Moscow authorities by continuing to perform.

Image: Telegram/Getty


Police disrupted a concert in Moscow that featured music by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov.

A concert in Moscow by Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov and Russian soprano Yana Ivanilova was interrupted by police last night.

The show, titled “Songs Against Time,” featured works by Franz Schubert and Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov.

The police arrived at the cultural center of Moscow, DK Rassvet, to interrupt the concert. Almost every member of the public took out their phones to record the unfolding of the situation when the police entered the room. The police came on stage to stand next to Luminov as he played the piano and told him to stop.

However, Lubimov, who was playing the last bars of Schubert’s Impromptu No. 2 op.90, defied the wishes of the authorities and continued playing.

As he played the final chords, the 77-year-old pianist was greeted with loud cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd, who had remained seated as police tried to get them out before the musician’s performance was over .

Read more: Sibelius Violin Competition Bans Russian Entrants ‘To Protect Other Competitors’

Authorities were reportedly called to the concert hall following an anonymous report of a bomb threat. However, unofficial reports suggest that the scheduling of the concert may be the real reason authorities arrived to halt the recital.

Lubimov is a good friend of Ukrainian composer Silvestrov, who recently became a refugee, fleeing to Berlin after the invasion of Ukraine.

Silvestrov’s music has echoed around the world since the outbreak of war, especially his composition “Prayer for Ukraine” which has become a symbol of solidarity performed by multiple orchestras and choirs of international renown. This work was one of the centerpieces of the Metropolitan Opera’s benefit concert for Ukraine last month.

During his musical career, Silvestrov’s music was periodically banned by the former Soviet Union for “being too modern”. The composer also stood up to the former communist state by leaving a meeting of composers to protest against the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in the late 1960s.

According to various posts on social media, an audience member actually alerted the police to come and break up the concert after a performance of a composition by Silvestrov.

While that may be the case, what happened at the concert after the audience turned off their cameras is still unknown at this time. What we do know is the courage it took Lubimov not just to program Silvestrov, but to finish playing his music in defiance of Russian authorities.

Read more: Russian music students bravely condemn conductor’s pro-Putin stunt

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