Polish pianist causes storm with anti US comments
Apr 27, 2009, 20:02 GMT
Los Angeles - Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman announced a boycott of the US Monday night, causing a walkout at a recital at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles by saying that he would no longer perform in America because of the nation's military policies overseas.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Zimerman, 52, made the announcement before playing his final piece, telling the audience in a 'quiet but angry voice' 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, prompting some 30 or 40 people in the audience to walk out.
After the walk-out, he taunted: 'Some people when they hear the word military start marching.'
While some in the audience booed, many more cheered, the report said, prompting Zimerman to say 'that America has far finer things to export than the military.'
Zimerman, who is regarded as one of the finest pianists in the world, had a run-in with US authorities shortly after 9/11, when the customized Steinway grand piano he uses for all performances was confiscated at New York's JFK Airport and destroyed by security officials who thought the glue smelled funny, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Since then Zimerman has taken to shipping 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.