By Stephen Pollard
April 28, 2009
What can I say? I've been busy, I've been away, I've been...nah, no excuse. I've been a bad blogger, but I'm going to turn over a new leaf from today.
Meanwhile, one of my very favourite pianists, Krystian Zimerman, has turned into one of my least favourite men, after this puerile, ignorant, and downright rude behaviour:
Poland's Krystian Zimerman, widely regarded as one of the finest
pianists in the world, created a furor Sunday night in his debut at
Walt Disney Concert Hall when he announced this would be his last
performance in America because of the nation's military policies
...“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.”
Ignore the somewhat sterille argument about the value of artists' opinions. He is as entitled to his view as anyone. But when I pay to hear him, or anyone else, play, I don't want to be hectored with their views, whether or not I agree with them. And if that's how they start to behave, then I'll stop paying to listen to them.
But in his case what really irks me is the sheer gall of a Pole lambasting the US and demanding that it gets its hands off his country. If it wasn't for US soldiers, Mr Zimerman's fellow Poles would still be part of the Third Reich; and if it wasn't for the US military, he'd still be living under the yoke of the Warsaw Pact.
Krystian Zimerman might be a great pianist. But as a political thinker, he's an idiot.