Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let's Not Go To Disneyland

I can imagine, at a classical, solo piano concert, this jarred a few people awake;

Krystian Zimerman's shocking Disney Hall debut

“Get your hands off of my country,” he said. He also made reference to the U.S. military detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

About 30 or 40 people in the audience walked out, some shouting obscenities. “Yes,” he answered, “some people when they hear the word military start marching.”

Others remained but booed or yelled for him to shut up and play the piano. But many more cheered. Zimerman responded by saying that America has far finer things to export than the military, and he thanked those who support democracy.
Krystian Zimerman is a biggie in the classical world, award-winner, blah, blah, blah...

And, this isn't the first time he has been critical of the United States, and he has some rather good, personal cause.

From the U.K Guardian;
Zimerman, though, has developed something of a track record - especially since the 9/11 attacks. In 2006 he announced he would not return to the United States until George Bush was out of office. The same year, at Baltimore's Shriver Hall, he prefaced his performance of Beethoven's Pathetique sonata with a denunciation of America's prison at Guantánamo Bay.

At least some of his opprobrium appears to be personal. Shortly after 9/11, his piano was confiscated by customs officials at New York's JFK airport, who thought the glue smelled funny. They subsequently destroyed the instrument.

For several years he chose to travel with just the mechanical insides of his own piano and install them - he is a master piano repairer, as well as player - inside a Steinway shell he borrowed from the company in New York. In 2006 he tried to travel with his own piano again, only to have it held up in customs for five days and disrupt his performance schedule.

Yikes, that be some serious hairs-across-his-butt!

Lugging around your piano, in pieces, and having to put it together before your concert?

Get this man some decaf ...

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