The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has cancelled appearances by a Ukrainian-born classical pianist, Valentina Lisitsa, because of her political commentary on social-media sites in support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO Jeff Melanson said in a statement that "Lisitsa's provocative comments had overshadowed past performances."
He said the symphony has replaced her with another musician in April 8 and 9 performances.
Lisitsa said on Facebook on April 6 that the symphony had dropped her because she "exercised the right to free speech."
Paul Grod, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, said Lisitsa calls the Ukrainian government "Nazi" and claims it sets up "filtration camps" for ethnic Russians.
Lisitsa, who was born in Kyiv in 1973, emigrated to the United States in 1991. She says her ethnic background is Russian and Polish.
Canada is home to some 1.25 million people of Ukrainian heritage and Ottawa has been a strong supporter of Ukraine's fight against Russian-backed rebels.
Ukrainian-Born Pianist Replaced Over Pro-Rebel Comments
Russia Is Using The Caspian Sea To Launch Strikes Against Ukraine. So Why Are The Caspian Countries Silent?2
Echoes Of World War I Highlighted In Mud, Shattered Trees Of Ukraine3
The Week In Russia: Untimely Death In Ukraine4
Killing In Kherson: A Self-Made Partisan Describes His Role In The Resistance To Russia's Occupation5
'Only The Dead Are Not Afraid': Civilians Evacuate As New Battle Lines Emerge In Ukraine's East, South6
Russian Businessman Mikhail Fridman Reportedly Detained In London On Money-Laundering Suspicions7
Tens Of Thousands Of Dead Dolphins Among Environmental Casualties Of Ukraine War8
Russian Shelling Again Cuts Power In Kherson As Ukrainian Officials Warn Of Tough Months Ahead9
Nurses Working As Cleaners, Doctors Working As Waiters: Why Bulgaria Is Failing Ukrainian Refugees10
Sofia Angry At Dutch Refusal To Let Bulgaria Into Schengen