PDA

View Full Version : Bravo! Polish Artist Tells USA Shape-Up Or He Ships Out!



Peter Lemkin
04-29-2009, 11:34 AM
Krystian Zimerman's shocking Disney Hall debut
12:24 AM, April 27, 2009


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 overseas.

Before playing the final work on his recital, Karol Szymanowski’s "Variations on a Polish Folk Theme," Zimerman sat silently at the piano for a moment, almost began to play, but then turned to the audience. In a quiet but angry voice that did not project well, he indicated that he could no longer play in a country whose military wants to control the whole world.

“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.

For the first half of the recital, Zimerman had played a Bach Partita and Beethoven’s last piano sonata, Opus 111, with firm determination. After intermission he made a last minute substitution, exchanging late Brahms works for a 1953 sonata by Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz. The Szymanowski variations, which closed the program, was played with an astonishing ferocity that brought nothing but tumultuous cheers. There was no encore.

The pianist was not available after the concert for further comment.

Zimerman has had problems in the United States in recent years. He travels with his own Steinway piano, which he has altered himself. But shortly after 9/11, the instrument was confiscated at JFK Airport when he landed in New York to give a recital at Carnegie Hall. Thinking the glue smelled funny, the TSA decided to take no chances and destroyed the instrument. Since then he has shipped his pianos in parts, which he reassembles by hand after he lands. He also drives the truck himself when he carries his instrument from city to city over land, as he did after playing a recital in Berkeley on Friday.

David Guyatt
04-29-2009, 11:56 AM
Bravo!

Magda Hassan
04-29-2009, 12:56 PM
Some of us have been boycotting the US for a long time. It is good to see this. Some one in a public forum saying they cannot stomach it a moment longer. I hope others follow. Many others.

Peter Lemkin
04-29-2009, 03:28 PM
Some of us have been boycotting the US for a long time. It is good to see this. Some one in a public forum saying they cannot stomach it a moment longer. I hope others follow. Many others.

...like about 6.7 Billion others....

Peter Presland
04-29-2009, 04:49 PM
Bloody good for him! :congrats:

No small thing to do either when your livelihood is on the line. Interesting to note the thoroughly schizophrenic response of the audience too - reflection of a deeply divided US society.

Paul Rigby
04-29-2009, 05:23 PM
Is a musical rendition on the cards?

Jan Klimkowski
04-29-2009, 05:38 PM
Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech ?yje, ?yje nam.
Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech ?yje, ?yje nam,
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech ?yje, ?yje nam,
Niech ?yje nam!

This translates roughly into English as:

A hundred years, a hundred years,
May he live for us.
A hundred years, a hundred years,
May he live for us.
Once again, once again, may he live, live for us,
May he live for us!

David Healy
04-29-2009, 07:05 PM
Frankly, if the guy is a US Citizen, great! Do (even leave) and say what you think is right -- If not, he has my full permission to take his disassembled Steinway back to wherever he came from (Habana I suspect), lay out a hat for donations, then play to his content. Anywhere else, but here! A stunt.... he wanted to make a real impact he'd of done just the above, letting the media find him playing on a street corner or a dinghy bar.... THEN make his political statement.... This kind of crap doesn't play well with REAL America.

Folks demand his music, I'm sure they can find it on the net.... Hope he has a nice trip! :musicus:

Peter Presland
04-29-2009, 07:34 PM
.... This kind of crap doesn't play well with REAL America.

Assuming this part of the report is reasonably accurate:


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.
.... which section of that audience would you say represents 'Real' America?

Magda Hassan
04-30-2009, 02:22 AM
My country right or wrong?
Anti - American or pro - world?

Peter Lemkin
04-30-2009, 05:22 AM
Frankly, if the guy is a US Citizen, great! Do (even leave) and say what you think is right -- If not, he has my full permission to take his disassembled Steinway back to wherever he came from (Habana I suspect), lay out a hat for donations, then play to his content. Anywhere else, but here! A stunt.... he wanted to make a real impact he'd of done just the above, letting the media find him playing on a street corner or a dinghy bar.... THEN make his political statement.... This kind of crap doesn't play well with REAL America.

Folks demand his music, I'm sure they can find it on the net.... Hope he has a nice trip! :musicus:

I really care not about those Americans to whom this kind of truthful speaking (the right and duty or any concerned citizen of our Planet) doesn't 'play well'. They are no more real than those who applauded him - they are only the 'normal and proper' type of Americans, (according to the mythology/propaganda of the power elite). What he did was no more nor less than what Jessie Owens did, in his own way, to Hitler and the Nazis at the Berlin Olympics. If the comparison upsets some, sorry, but that is IMO where America is headed (Corporate Fascism), and I along with other REAL Americans and REAL concerned people worldwide are determined to stop and reverse it. Who speaks for the one million dead in Iraq? Approx. 20+ million dead since WW2 at the behest of American proxy wars; all the deathsquads, torture, sponsored revolutions, overthrows, assassinations and dictatorships, etc.? Now we have the unPatriot Act around our own necks; Gestapo-like surveillance, theft of our Freedoms and Public wealth.....and much more. Basta!...and Bravo to this brave, concerned and humanistic pianist. All REAL world citizens need to join the new virtual White Rose.

David Healy
04-30-2009, 08:35 PM
...

Who speaks for the one million dead in Iraq? Approx. 20+ million dead since WW2 at the behest of American proxy wars; all the deathsquads, torture, sponsored revolutions, overthrows, assassinations and dictatorships, etc.?
...


ahh--speak for the dead, GOD? And from what I understand amongst other things, he carries a big stick (as the St. James bible kindly points out...), or, should we include Him, Jesus, Buddha and Allah in your above wrap-up (of American miscreants....)

I also believe Peter, Jesse Owens was an American Citizen, who knows about this pianist, I suspect not. Who asked him to tour America anyway?

A baseless, shameful political stunt, as I see it... at the expense of the paying American public, no-less. Anyone ever tell these guys (new found patriots from elsewhere holding extended visiting visas) we have local, state, as well as a Federal Government elections/office holders? That we're pretty well represented here?

And along geo-political lines, perhaps he should partition his own damn government with his whines...

Myra Bronstein
05-01-2009, 03:08 AM
Some of us have been boycotting the US for a long time. It is good to see this. Some one in a public forum saying they cannot stomach it a moment longer. I hope others follow. Many others.

I try to boycott it but I live here. Most awkward.

Myra Bronstein
05-01-2009, 03:11 AM
...Who speaks for the one million dead in Iraq? ...

The piano player does. Bravura performance.

Peter Lemkin
05-01-2009, 04:03 AM
This article (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1361) by Hedges is apt here. The so-called 'REAL' Americans [those that believe in the mytholdogy of America - it can do no wrong; beacon of light always; best intentions; champion of liberty; unique in the world; annointed by God; best of the best; blah, blah, blah.....] are already serfs, but don't realize it, IMO. Even many who are aware of what is going on and the rise of a Corporate elite sponsored anti-democratic, bellicose, authoritarianism (corporate neo-fascism - or call it what you will...) fight not to be serfs by opting out of most or all of the 'system' and enlighting themselves and others; challenging the system; speaking truth to power. I did it by living in the mountains in the U.S.; it has its hardships, it has it beauty too. There are little enclaves around the USA, as well. The 'love it or leave it mentality', whether directed at citizens or non-citizens is only the fear of having to look in the mirror and face the facts. If we had nothing to be ashamed of, repent for, or change - the reaction would be not of anger, but of pity. If the 'real American' people 'didn't get it' with all the carnage and hate our elite has wrought both internally and externally, maybe they will with the planned (and going-to-plan) theft of all the remaining public wealth into the hands of the few at the top of the corrupt heap.

Peter Presland
05-01-2009, 07:53 AM
The tenor of David's posts on this thread reminded me of parts of the John Pilger Interviews in his epic 'War on Democracy' with one Duane Claridge. Claridge you may recall was the CIA man-on-the-spot overseeing US operations at the time of Iran-Contra and other none-to-subtle US sponsored slaughter elswhere in Central and South America . He has lately taken to making a fool of himself in the media but his 'My Country right or wrong - and stuff you' attitude is all too typical of a certain US view of it's place in the world.

This video is a taster. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuzz9nxCw2g)It starts with a small part of the Claridge interview and continues with the ordeal of Sister Dianna Ortiz which I defy anyone to watch without feeling anger and contempt for the REAL US agenda.

The entire 8 parts of 'War on Democracy' - easily accessible though the above link - are well worth watching, as is all of John Pilger's stuff. Worthy candidates for the DPF YouTube channel too.

Peter Presland
05-01-2009, 08:11 AM
The clip linked above goes on to explain Reagan's launch of 'The Natioal Endowment for Democracy':


..... An illusion of marketing and spin .... It's brand of democracy meant that, whoever you vote for, the policies would be broadly the same and your economy would be in step with the United States. Washington would be your closest friend - OR ELSE Pretty much spot-on eh?

Magda Hassan
05-01-2009, 08:45 AM
The entire 8 parts of 'War on Democracy' - easily accessible though the above link - are well worth watching, as is all of John Pilger's stuff. Worthy candidates for the DPF YouTube channel too.

We do (or did) have it on the DPF channel in one of the playlists. I will go and check as sometimes they are censored by You Tube. If it has gone I will find another copy. I fully agree with you Peter about the worth of the film. That scene in particular demonstrates clearly the contrast between the myth of US policy and intentions and the reality.