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UPDATE | Valentina Lisitsa Struggles to Find New Venue For Toronto Performance

By Michael Vincent on April 10, 2015

Valentia Lisita continues to struggle to secure an alternative venue for a performance in Toronto.
Valentia Lisita continues to struggle to secure an alternative venue for a performance in Toronto.

[April 10, 10:30 a.m. This article has been corrected from an earlier version which stated that the planned concert this evening at Lawrence Park Community Church would indeed go ahead. We can conform it has now been cancelled. The headline has also amended from the original: “Valentina Lisitsa Confirms New Venue For Toronto Performance”]

Last night, controversial pianist Valentina Lisitsa, who has been excluded from performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra over a series of Tweets, stated that she will be giving a free concert in Toronto Friday night at Lawrence Park Community Church, North York, ON.

On the pianist’s Facebook page, she wrote:

Dear friends, thank you from my heart for your support! I am overwhelmed and humbled. How can I ever thank you enough for standing by me? Ok, let me start right now for a bit of music news:-)  Calling all Toronto friends :A concert! A free one :-))))) The concert will be tomorrow evening at the Lawrence Park Community Church April 10, 2015 This special concert event is being made possible by the Canadian Steingraeber piano store – J.D.

Grand Piano Supply Company – and Ontario’s North York Music Festival

Lawrence Park Community Church
2180 Bayview Ave
North York, ON, M4N 3K7
Doors open at 6:30

Concert starts at 7:30

However, early this morning, Lawrence Park Community Church Minister John Suk took to Twitter to state that the performance would not go ahead. “LPCC did not grant permission for this performance. It isn’t happening. This is in error. John Suk, Minister”

Ms. Lisitsa responded directly to Mr. Suk, asking if he had been threatened in any way. “Sir, please tell us – we’re you threatened? Why such a change of mind? This is devastating.”

Mr. Suk replied, “We did not change our mind. We never discussed this or gave permission to anyone.”

Tagging the LPCC festival organizers, Ms. Lisitsa asked, “But hasn’t the festival discuss it with you? or did you receive threats after the announcement?”

Mr. Suk replied, “They left a message on the phone after the manager left for the day, and proceeded without a reply. Most irregular.” He then confirmed that he had not been threatened in any way.

In an interview with the Toronto Star on Thursday, Mr. Suk said they had not rented her the church, and because of her offensive Tweets they would have never agreed to associate themselves with Ms. Lisitsa.

Since being dumped from the TSO program this week, Ms. Lisitsa has been trying desperately to find an alternative venue. She told the Toronto Star on Tuesday that she hoped to play Rachmaninoff’s Piano concerto No. 2 at the Church of the Holy Trinity at 10 Trinity Square. However, shortly after the article was published, Ms. Lisitsa stated on her twitter page that the alternative venue had fallen through.

Despite two false starts, (three if you include he TSO) it appears Ms. Lisitsa still has not found a home for her music in Toronto.

As confirmed on Tuesday, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is standing by Ms. Lisitsa, and will not cancel her upcoming concert in June.

Michael Vincent
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