Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra pulls Tchaikovsky concert due to Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Orchestra's decision means the 1812 Overture will no longer be played at St David’s Hall on March 18 Credit: Mick Lobb/Geograph

The Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) has removed Russian composer Tchaikovsky from its programme of upcoming concerts, saying it would be “inappropriate" following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

According to a statement on the orchestra's website, the decision has been made “in light of the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

The CPO’s decision means the 1812 Overture will no longer be played at St David’s Hall on March 18.

The new programme will include John Williams’ The Cowboys Overture, Dvorak’s Symphony No.8 and a performance of Elgar’s Variations On An Original Theme.

The decision was met with some criticism on social media.

One wrote: "Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra have announced they won't play music by Russian composer Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) presumably due to his refusal to condemn Putin's war on Ukraine."

Fay Jones, the Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, responded with a tweet that said: “Groan. Putin is the enemy here. Not Russia.”

It has been reported by The National that a member of the orchestra has family directly involved in the Ukraine situation and so the decision is made with respect to them.

Two military themed pieces the original programme, Marche Slave and 1812, were deemed particularly inappropriate, while "Little Russian" of Symphony No 2 is also considered offensive to Ukrainians.

The move is the latest in a series of music resignations, cancellations and withdrawals that have been made since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Conductor Valery Gergiev, 68, was fired as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic because of his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and for not rejecting the invasion of Ukraine.

Munich mayor Dieter Reiter said the decision had been made after Gergiev, who had been the chief conductor since the 2015-16 season, did not respond to his calls to rethink and revise his very positive assessment of the Russian leader.

Gergiev’s resignation as honorary president of the Edinburgh International Festival was “asked for and accepted” by the event’s board of trustees last month.

A statement on the festival’s website said: “Edinburgh is twinned with the city of Kyiv and this action is being taken in sympathy with, and support of, its citizens.”

Gergiev has also been dropped from the Vienna Philharmonic’s five-concert US tour, and his management company said on Sunday it will no longer represent him.

The Rotterdam Philharmonic in the Netherlands also cut ties with Gergiev, saying “an unbridgeable divide” between the orchestra and conductor on the issue of the Russian invasion became clear after speaking to him.

Soprano Anna Netrebko withdrew from her future engagements at the Metropolitan Opera rather than repudiate her support for Mr Putin, costing the company one of its top singers and best box-office draws.