RTE violinist to boycott Russia concert over gay laws
on 28/08/2013 00:00:00
An international backlash against the law is gathering momentum, from calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia to gay bars in Los Angeles planning "vodka-dumping" protests.
Explaining the reasons for his withdrawal from the upcoming concert, violinist Keith Pascoe said it was a personal decision.
"I have decided not to join my colleagues in the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet on a trip to Moscow in December," he wrote in an email sent to the Slipped Disc arts website.
"We felt it best to maintain the great links we have with the Russian-Irish festival over there and so I persuaded my colleagues to ask another violinist to replace me for the visit."
A spokeswoman for RTÉ yesterday said they would not comment on the boycott as the concert was not one of the station's promotions. She said the musicians would be playing in Russia "as the Vanburgh Quartet and not the RTÉ Vanburgh Quartet".
Mr Pascoe added: "Being gay myself, I felt this the best way to highlight the pernicious laws that are in force now: a licence for homophobic bullying in schools and a green light to gay-bashers all over Russia."
Mr Pascoe's action comes in the wake of Gidon Kremer's planned concert against the law. The Latvian-born violinist is holding a concert in Berlin as "a kind of a personal statement against injustice" in Russia.