Zagreb orchestra cuts Tchaikovsky pieces over Ukraine

The Zagreb philharmonic orchestra removed two compositions by famed Russian composer Tchaikovsky from its concert later on Friday in solidarity with Ukraine after Russia invaded its neighbour.

“Due to the new situation in Ukraine that affects the whole world and brings terrifying unease, the Zagreb philharmonic orchestra … voices solidarity with the Ukrainian people and changes the program of tonight’s concert,” it said on its website.

Out of the three Tchaikovsky compositions that were due to be performed at the Vatroslav Lisinski hall later on Friday, only his Violin concerto in D major remained at the programme.

Two others were replaced by compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven and Samuel Barber.

“We had a very grim rehearsal yesterday,” the orchestra  director Mirko Boch told the Jutarnji List daily paper online edition.

“We have several colleagues from Ukraine who were very upset, we all felt bad, so we changed the concert program …

“We are artists, we can’t fight in any other way than with music,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Croatian national theatre in Zagreb said that it would postpone its March 6 concert entitled Russian Serenade, without elaborating further.

Acclaimed Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, the chief of the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and known for his warm ties with the Kremlin, was Thursday suddenly dropped from concerts where he was due to lead the Vienna Philharmonic at New York’s Carnegie Hall.