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Why We Play Russian Composers

The atrocities being committed in Ukraine by Russia and its military are deeply disturbing to those who value freedom and the sovereignty of nations. KVNO shares in the sadness and anger that so many are feeling. We also realize that some of our listeners may be upset that we continue to feature Russian composers in our daily playlists (we do not have any control over syndicated programs that we air). As a staff, we have discussed whether to stop playing the music of Russian composers, a very serious proposition.

After some deliberation, we have decided to continue playing the music of most Russian composers. First, many Russian composers were active in defying the various regimes under which they lived – tsarist, communist or post-communist authoritarianism. Second, most of the Russian composers we feature are dead; they cannot express an opinion and it is unfair to delete them simply because they were born in Russia. Of those contemporary conductors and performers still living, we have made a decision to remove any who have expressed support for the current leadership of Russia or of the war against Ukraine from the air. We have also decided to play more Ukrainian composers and performers.

We, like the rest of the world, hope the hostilities against Ukraine end soon, with no more loss of life. KVNO is a place for you to find some diversion from the headlines, and we will continue to do that twenty-four hours a day. Thank you for being a listener.