We have received the following mail from Keith Pascoe, violinist of the Vanbrugh Quartet:
I have decided not to join my colleagues in the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet on a trip to Moscow in December.
It was a personal decision taken after a lengthy discussion with my colleagues. We felt it best to maintain the great links we have with the Russian-Irish festival over there and so I persuaded my colleagues to ask another violinist to replace me for the visit.
Being gay myself I felt this the best way to highlight the pernicious laws that are in force now: a license for homophobic bullying in schools and a green light to gay-bashers all over Russia. I think many musicians will sooner or later realise what serious consequences these laws will have on Russians and on the safety of visiting LGBT people, whether musicians or not.