After the sad serial depredations of the masterpieces of the great masters (Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Turner…) in the greatest museums in the world, it is now the turn of classical music concerts to become the prey to the vindictiveness of environmental activists. On March 1, two young women from the Polish collective Last Generation (Ostatnie Pokolenie) took the stage of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw in full performance of The Coronation Mass by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The great conductor Antoni Wit, who was celebrating both his 80th birthday and the jubilee of his 60-year career, immediately defended his musicians by snatching their protest banner from the hands of environmental activists.

In addition to the slogan displayed on their banner, the two women of Last Generation used the illustrious stage of the Polish capital to vehemently harangue the music-loving spectators who came to listen to Mozart’s Coronation Mass (KV 317): “Our world burns. The life around us is dying before our eyes. We are the last generation that has a chance to change something. This show cannot go on any longer.”

Unwilling to give in and only listening to his courage, the venerable maestro Antoni Wit defended his art and his musicians by throwing down the banner held up by the two activists. This act of bravery was applauded by the spectators while the unfazed group continued to play Mozart’s most famous mass composed in 1779 in honor of the Virgin of the Maria Plain sanctuary in Austria. Alerted, the police went there to arrest the two activists.

The Polish collective Last Generation, and its ramifications in Europe in particular, is, unfortunately, not its first attempt. They have already disrupted a musical performance at the Opéra Bastille in Paris in 2022 and another at La Scala in Milan the same year. And in July 2023, it was the German Letzte Generation movement which tried to prevent a play from being held at the Salzburg festival. Salzburg, the city where Mozart was born on January 27, 1756…