Social media and the classical music world have been buzzing about the Lisitsa case since the story broke on Monday. Here is a sampling of opinion:
Norman Lebrecht, a widely read music writer based in the UK, on his Slipped Disc blog: "The TSO's gung-ho boss Jeff Melanson has made a terrible error of judgement. Boycotts are bad. They don't work, and they hand moral advantage to those whose views they try to silence."
Greg Oh, a Toronto pianist who directs the Open Ears Festival of contemporary music and who is a resident artist with Soulpepper Theatre: "Lisitsa is being made an angel of free speech. People should be careful about what they're defending. Someone who owes her fame to her presence on the Internet should be responsible for what she says there. But the TSO really picked a fight with the wrong person. I would say the real mistake was booking her in the first place."
Christos Hatzis, Canadian composer whose music has been played by the TSO, writing on Facebook: "It takes moral courage to not yield to political pressure and, in this case, the TSO blinked."
Paul Grod, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress: "I had written to the TSO expressing our concerns that Ms. Lisitsa not be allowed to perform because of her public posts on social media that were intentionally intended to incite hatred of Ukrainians. You can see from her posts that her many comments were intended to promote hatred toward an ethnic group which is prohibited under the Criminal Code."
Ruth Budd, former TSO double bassist and one of the "Symphony Six" dismissed on suspicion of communist sympathies in 1951: "This is quite different. I hadn't said anything to anybody. But I think fundamentally she was there to play the bloody concerto. What's that got to do with anything?"