Banning Tchaikovsky Won’t Win the War in Ukraine

By Martin Ivens

12 Mar 2022 · 4 min read

Banning Tchaikovsky is not the way to win a war. This week, the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra removed the composer’s popular 1812 overture from its forthcoming program due to the invasion of Ukraine. The work noisily celebrates Russian resistance to Napoleon’s invasion.

This absurd decision — Tchaikovsky was seen by his nationalist rivals in the 19th century as a westernizer — follows other cultural bans that combine modern cancel culture with old-fashioned war hysteria. One Italian university has even tried to withdraw a course on the great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

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