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#1469696 - 07/07/10 05:09 AM Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too  
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Quote

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Award-winning Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev has been arrested at a Thai beach resort, accused of raping a boy, police said Wednesday.

Pletnev, 53, an acclaimed pianist and conductor of the Russian National Orchestra, was arrested in Pattaya charged with raping a 14-year-old Thai boy and appearing in compromising photographs with several others.

"We received a tip-off from a detained Thai man who is involved in a prostitution ring. And we received more information from the child's parents, the child himself and other witnesses," Police Lieutenant-Colonel Omsin Sukkanka said.

Omsin said Pletnev denied the allegations.

Pletnev was served with an arrest warrant while having dinner at a restaurant Monday evening. He was released on 300,000 baht (5,965 pound) bail Tuesday but will have to ask for court permission to leave the country.

He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Police said Pletnev had a house and several businesses in Pattaya, a popular tourist destination 150 km (90 miles) from Bangkok.

The resort town has been known for its vibrant nightlife and sex trade since the days of the Vietnam War, partly due to its proximity to an American air force base at the time.

Pletnev is a member of the Russian president's advisory board on culture and holds the title of "people's artist," the highest state merit conferred on people in the arts.

He founded the Russian National Orchestra, whose recording of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and Beintus's Wolf Tracks, conducted by Kent Nagano and narrated by Sophia Loren, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, received a 2004 Grammy Award.

In 2005, he won a Grammy Award for his own arrangement of Prokofiev's Cinderella.


http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010...thailand-paedophile.html?ref=global-home

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#1469712 - 07/07/10 06:03 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: theJourney]  
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Oh no - as if we pianists don't already have a bad enough reputation, now we have to add this to the bunch. Groan..

What's really ironic, is that upon opening my composers book this morning to a random page, it fell upon Saint-Saens. Then this news.

Last edited by Mattardo; 07/07/10 06:46 AM.
#1469724 - 07/07/10 06:49 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Mattardo]  
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I didn't know we pianists had a bad enough reputation. I remember reading about a Russian teacher accused of inappropriate behavior towards his students. I don't think there are too many other similar cases.

#1469747 - 07/07/10 07:46 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Numerian]  
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I am not surprised. If you are in the field, you would have realised many male pianists are homosexuals and some have 'peculiar taste'. In general we just turn a blind eye to this, although personally I am not very sure if it is a moral thing to do.


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#1469761 - 07/07/10 08:23 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: CWPiano]  
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Well, I don't think that pianists necessarily have a reputation for being homosexuals and certainly don't think that they have a reputation for being pedophiles (unless the pianists are also Catholic priests). Horowitz did famously say however that as far as he was concerned there are only three kinds of pianists: gay pianists, Jewish pianists or bad pianists.

The story here is in my mind not about homosexuality, which in most civilized countries is well understood as being a normal form of human sexuality and quite accepted as normal, but the fact that he has been accused of sexual molestation of minors which is a taboo and illegal almost everywhere in the world. As you probably know, this is a big problem in Thailand and other Asian countries, but primarily it is a problem of straight, often married white men from America and Europe coming to Thailand to abuse underage girls. Recently there have been increased efforts to stop this kind of crime.

Let us hope for Pletnev that this was all a misunderstanding or setup or this will likely be the end of his career and the end of his freedom.


#1469782 - 07/07/10 09:05 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: CWPiano]  
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The majority of child-abusers are heterosexual.

#1469812 - 07/07/10 10:00 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: moscheles001]  
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not somewhere over the rainbow
If it's true, I hope they lock him up for life.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1469830 - 07/07/10 10:46 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Pogorelich.]  
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Originally Posted by AngelinaPogorelich
If it's true, I hope they lock him up for life.


Just as long as they let him continue to play and conduct the Bang Kwang Prison Philharmonic Orchestra.

PS I wonder if the "bang" part is named as such because that's what most of the prisoners are in there for.

#1469833 - 07/07/10 10:51 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: John Joe Townley]  
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not somewhere over the rainbow
Is that name for real? Haha wow.. No they should lock him up in a small cell and leave him there for endless years.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1469837 - 07/07/10 11:02 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Pogorelich.]  
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I know it is off topic, but where I am from, there is a reputation for pianists to be gay, or feminine. Sometimes it is just assumed. Not going to comment on it, just saying it is there, and a lot of people, at least where I have been, think this way. It has rarely brought any trouble and in nearly all cases has not led to any discrimination.

Funny side note, I have several people I went to Jr. high and High school with who are still waiting for me to come out of the closet, in their minds they are convinced that I have to be gay. I have even gotten very thoughtful emails about how they would still accept and love me for who I am.

#1469840 - 07/07/10 11:10 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: JdhPiano924]  
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This whole thing if it turns out to be true is very sad. I hope he'll be punished according to the law. I don't think I am entitled to cast aspersions on him, though. The problem is that we want great musicians to also be great people and then we're disappointed when they are not.

#1469850 - 07/07/10 11:21 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: theJourney]  
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Horowitz did famously say however that as far as he was concerned there are only three kinds of pianists: gay pianists, Jewish pianists or bad pianists.


He forgot Franz Liszt.

#1469865 - 07/07/10 11:47 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: SeilerFan]  
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Originally Posted by SeilerFan
This whole thing if it turns out to be true is very sad......The problem is that we want great musicians to also be great people and then we're disappointed when they are not.


Much like many of my heroes in bicycle racing turned out to be dopers.

#1469870 - 07/07/10 11:50 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: JdhPiano924]  
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When I was teaching at a university, I asked one of the grad students (who had also become a good friend) what the "rumor mill" was saying about me. Apparently, depending on who you asked in 2003, I was:

Jewish
Gay
Dating all of the 3 single female music faculty members
Had a long-distance marriage/girlfriend

I let the rumors be, didn't deny any of them, and occasionally made comments that suggested all were true. I just didn't have the heart to disappoint everyone. (In reality, I spent all my free time practicing or playing golf and video games.)

Originally Posted by jdhampton924
Funny side note, I have several people I went to Jr. high and High school with who are still waiting for me to come out of the closet, in their minds they are convinced that I have to be gay. I have even gotten very thoughtful emails about how they would still accept and love me for who I am.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1469872 - 07/07/10 11:53 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: moscheles001]  
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Originally Posted by moscheles001
The majority of child-abusers are heterosexual.
That is true, but unhelpful, given the vast differences in the numbers of homosexuals and heterosexuals.

#1469874 - 07/07/10 11:54 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Damon]  
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not somewhere over the rainbow
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by theJourney
Horowitz did famously say however that as far as he was concerned there are only three kinds of pianists: gay pianists, Jewish pianists or bad pianists.


He forgot Franz Liszt.


Or any female pianist.......... Or the really, really good straight male pianists - and I've met at least two like that =)



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#1469875 - 07/07/10 11:54 AM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Kreisler]  
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They were very nice written out notes, so in most cases, I take them as compliments either way. That one, they would go out of their way to let me know that stuff did not matter. And two, that they thought enough to send a note.

No need to ever get upset over those things, I have curly hair, and I let it grow out for a time, during this time people assumed I was Jewish.

When I go fishing, in t shirt jeans, and baseball cap, people just assume bad. wink

Last edited by jdhampton924; 07/07/10 11:55 AM.
#1469929 - 07/07/10 01:19 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: theJourney]  
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This is sad news, indeed, but sad as it is, Pletnev must bear the consequences of his actions.

Regards,


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#1469945 - 07/07/10 01:41 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: BruceD]  
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The coverage in the Huffington Post reports that Pletnev claims he's being blackmailed. Interesting...


Jason
#1469946 - 07/07/10 01:42 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: argerichfan]  
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
The coverage in the Huffington Post reports that Pletnev claims he's being blackmailed. Interesting...


Doesn't that mean they have something to blackmail him with?

#1469963 - 07/07/10 02:09 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: JdhPiano924]  
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This is very disturbing news, on a number of levels.

To start with the most recent point: Pletnev states he is being blackmailed.
Blackmail generally refers to a threat to reveal damaging information about a person. It's possible that Pletnev was being blackmailed with being "outed" as a gay man. It may also be the case that he was involved with an underage boy - or even that he was involved in running a child prostitution ring. Or he may be involved in simple money laundering. All of theese things are common in Thailand. All of the above may be true, or some, or none.

Whether Pletnev is innocent or guilty will be for the court to determine. If he is found innocent, a shadow will probably hang over the rest of his career anyway because people remember the charges even after forgetting the verdict. If he's guilty, he's likely going to jail and deservedly so.

As a gay man, when I hear of news like this, it upsets me greatly. Because I know there are those out there who equate homosexuality with pedophilia. Whether it be at the hands of a musician or the local priest, there are those in our society who feel inclined to paint with an awfully broad brush. It must be mentioned that most countries where child sex trafficking takes place are hardly what one would consider gay friendly. It's notorious not only in Thailand, but in Pletnev's own Russia and many Muslim countries including Egypt.

I need hardly mention that the sheer tonage of homosexual pianists (both male and female) would stun a team of oxen in its tracks. A very few, like Stephen Hough and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, have voluntarily come out of the closet. Many more have not, even in today's relatively enlightened age. Being out of the closet is not a big deal if one wants a career in Western Europe. But one could kiss one's career good-bye in Russia and much of Asia. Even in the United States, it can be hard going. (I know of one American competition where a pianist came in second to a lesser player because a few members of the jury thought he was "too effeminate".)

As to Horowitz's remark about gay, Jewish, and bad pianists - I am two out of three (hint: I am not Jewish).

FOLLOW UP: Someone in a newsgroup posted a translation from a Russian news article. Apparently, Pletnev has been accused of this kind of thing before, in Japan, and was said to be involved in something called the "Blue Orchid" scandal in Russia.

Last edited by Hank Drake; 07/07/10 02:25 PM. Reason: follow up

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#1469993 - 07/07/10 03:19 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Hank Drake]  
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Well, at least he did some good things too, like the Prokofiev arrangements. I shall try to remember how his piano playing touched my heart rather than how he touched some kids.


(Allegedly)

#1470009 - 07/07/10 03:40 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: JdhPiano924]  
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Um...wow, you would never think that Pletnev would do such a thing, but WOW...I am speechless.


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#1470015 - 07/07/10 03:45 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Skorpius]  
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BTW, I'm not gay or Jewish, so I MUST be a bad pianist T_T

Last edited by Skorpius; 07/07/10 03:46 PM.

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#1470065 - 07/07/10 05:16 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Skorpius]  
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If it is true, of course he should be punished, and very hard too.



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#1470072 - 07/07/10 05:31 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Is it not true that in some countries, "sex tourism" is big business? From what a regular visitor to Thailand tells me, Thailand has that reputation. One may be tempted to think that one can get away with indulging in whatever forms of it are offered to tourists by the locals. In some cases, this is the sole reason that some people visit countries where sex trade is widely available.

This is not an excuse, of course, of the actions of which Pletnev is being accused, but it may well be that he would not even have thought of such alleged activities in a western country.

Regards,


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#1470130 - 07/07/10 07:22 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: BruceD]  
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I just saw this news about Pletnev-- it's very sickening if true and upsetting as he is a great artist. His CD of Scarlatti sonatas is one of my favorites and just sublime. It is always so difficult to reconcile artistry of that level with sordid news like this.(Haven't similar rumors and concerns been raised about Schubert even?) I'm hoping it is somehow proved wrong but often by the time people are apprehended in situations like this there is a trail of repeated acts and evidence. Someone mentioned in a previous post similar allegations surfacing in Japan. I hope there is a credible other side to this story.

Sophia

#1470134 - 07/07/10 07:37 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: sophial]  
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I'm aware of LOADS of dodgy dealings (inappropriate sexual advances from much older teacher to underage or barely legal age students) in the music education business, and many of my friends had narrow escapes, some of them literally running away: locking themselves in bathrooms and squeezing out the window, for example, to get away from unwelcome 'teaching' situations, or at the other extreme, running for miles through the country because the piano teacher was giving lessons at his 'farm' that day...... All sorts of outrageous, unethical and downright illegal behaviours. And none of those men have had charges laid against them - which maybe reflects changing societal norms and expectations in 2010 as compared to the 1980s.

These are similar to stories of abuse by Catholic priests.... I reckon there'll be a lot more cases of both priests and pianists before the culture has had a proper shake out.


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#1470140 - 07/07/10 08:00 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: sophial]  
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Originally Posted by sophial
I just saw this news about Pletnev-- it's very sickening if true and upsetting as he is a great artist.

If I didn't particularly care for his Beethoven Pastoral, I have admired his piano recordings. The Tchaikovsky concertos are quite fine, as are the Chopin Impromptus, mentioned in a post earlier.

Interesting that The Huffington Post mentioned his Grammy winning CD of Prokofiev's Cinderella with Martha Argerich. To the best of my knowledge, none of the other news sources I consulted were this specific.

I do wonder what Martha thinks about this rather unfortunate development. Pletnev is an undeniably major talent -and that technique!- but whatever the outcome, he's going to be damaged goods as Hank Drake's fine post pointed out. Bloody damn shame.


Jason
#1470142 - 07/07/10 08:08 PM Re: Oh fudge, now Mikhail Pletnev in trouble too [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
I'm aware of LOADS of dodgy dealings (inappropriate sexual advances from much older teacher to underage or barely legal age students) in the music education business...

I was aware of some of this 'dodgy' stuff at uni, though I wasn't personally affected, nor any of my friends. But there were tales...

I don't even want to get into the Catholic priest stuff.


Jason
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