Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition Bans Russian Music

By Francisco Salazar

The Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition has banned all Russian music due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The competition’s Ewa Bogusz-Moore director released a statement noting, “Given the current sensitivities in Poland to Russian culture, and as a gesture of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, it has been decided that no works by Russian composers will be performed at the 2nd Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition in Katowice. We are filled with sadness, as we remained hopeful to the very last moment that the conflict across our border would be solved peacefully and we would be able to continue organising the Competition without such decisions needing to be made.”

She added, “We are acutely aware that this decision comes only a few weeks before the Competition begins and that those competitors who had planned to perform works by Russian composers are at a disadvantage. To ensure the Competition remains equal for all competitors, the Jury has decided to reduce the length of the required programmes.”

Poland has been supportive of Ukraine from the onset of the war with the Polish National Opera canceling a production of “Boris Godunov.” The company also helped in the creation of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra.