Lauded Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman has stirred up the world of classical music by interrupting his performance at LA’s Disney Hall last weekend to declare the concert to be his final American performance. Jessica Garrison and Diane Haithman report from the LA Times that Zimerman stunned the audience by berating America’s military policies, citing Guantanamo Bay and U.S. relations with his native Poland. He finished by saying, “Get your hands off my country,” before taking to his custom Steinway for a more rocking version of Szymanowski’s “Variations on a Polish Folk Theme.”
It’s unclear what the final straw was for Zimerman, as he has had numerous difficulties with American authorities over the transportation of his one of a kind piano in the past, but seemed to be on good terms with the U.S. of late.
For more info on Zimerman’s final U.S. concert and the crowd’s mixed reaction to his mid-show announcement, click here.