Some ensembles have decided not to perform Tchaikovsky’s overture, written as commemoration of Russia’s defeat of Napoleon’s army.
…In recent weeks, more than a dozen ensembles in Connecticut, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming and elsewhere have decided to forgo the piece because of concerns about backlash from Ukrainians and others opposed to the war. Some have replaced the piece with works by Americans, including the film composer John Williams, and standards like Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and “America the Beautiful.”
The Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming decided to skip the work in part because it did not want to alienate Ukrainians, including those affiliated with the festival.
“We did not think it was appropriate to program a work that featured sounds of cannons accompanying ‘God Save the Czar,’ given what is happening in Ukraine,” said Emma Kail, the festival’s executive director. “We thought we’d build a new tradition and keep it all American this year.”