Munich, Rotterdam can fire Gergiev, London falls to the Bolshoi

NEW YORK – Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter has threatened to fire Valery Gergiev as principal conductor of the Munich Philharmonic unless Gergiev says publicly on Monday that he does not support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra also said it would abandon the 68-year-old Russian’s planned festival there in September if it did not stop supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In addition, the Royal Opera House canceled a planned London Bolshoi Ballet tour in London on Friday.

Gergiev is close to Putin and supported the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.

“I made my position clear to Valery Gergiev and asked him to distance himself clearly and unequivocally from the brutal invasion that Putin is waging against Ukraine and now in particular against our twin city, Kiev,” Reiter said in a statement on Thursday. “If Valery Gergiev does not take a clear stance on Monday, he can no longer continue to be the principal conductor of our philharmonic.”


Gergiev has been Munich’s chief executive since the 2015-16 season. He was principal guest conductor in Rotterdam from 1995 to 2008, and the orchestra began an annual Gergiev festival in 1996.

“If Valery Gergiev does not openly distance himself from President Putin’s actions in Ukraine, we will be forced to cancel all concerts conducted by Valery Gergiev, including the Gergiev Festival in September,” the Rotterdam Philharmonic said in a statement. . .

He is also the musical director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, and of the White Nights Festival there.

The Mariinsky and the Bolshoi are among Russia’s best-known artistic institutions.

“A Bolshoi Ballet summer season at the Royal Opera House was in the final stages of planning,” Royal Opera said in a statement. “Unfortunately, in the current circumstances, the season cannot continue now.”


The announcement by the mayor of Munich came on the same day that the Vienna Philharmonic removed Gergiev as conductor on a five-concert US tour that begins at Carnegie Hall on Friday night.

“This change is due to recent world events,” said Carnegie Hall spokeswoman Synneve Carlino.

Ron Boling, a spokesman for the orchestra, said the Philharmonic did not want to comment when asked if the decision was made by the orchestra, Gergiev or Carnegie.

The Teatro alla Scala in Milan also sent a letter to Gergiev on Thursday asking him to make a clear statement in favor of a peaceful resolution in Ukraine, or whether he would not be allowed to return to complete his commitment to directing Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Swords” .

The mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, who is the president of La Scala, said the request was made because Gergiev had declared his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin on several occasions.

La Scala said on Friday it had not yet received a response.


The online publications of the last few days had promised protests in Carnegie Hall, where Gergiev would conduct the Vienna Philharmonic on Friday and Saturday evenings, and on Sunday afternoons. The orchestra then travels to Hayes Hall in Naples, Florida, for performances on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Metropolitan Opera music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will replace Gergiev at Carnegie concerts.

Semyon Bychkov, another top Russian director, issued a critical statement to the Russian government. The 69-year-old is music director of the Czech Philharmonic and was music director of the Paris Orchestra from 1989 to 1998. He emigrated to the United States in 1975 and has lived in Europe since the 1980s.

“Silence in the face of evil becomes his accomplice and ends up becoming his equal. “Russian aggression in Ukraine leads us to what my generation hoped would never happen again: war,” Bychkov said. , instead of rejoicing over the fact that it happened without bloodshed and ended the kidnapping of many nations besides Russia itself. “


Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti took the odd step of addressing the audience before the presentation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Orchestra Hall on Thursday night.

“What I, who we see on TV, is horrible,” Muti said. “And tonight in the final movement of the symphony, Beethoven taking Schiller’s text, speaks of joy, gladness, joy. But we will think at that moment that joy without peace cannot exist. And so I hope that from this wonderful room — orchestra, the choir, you — a message should reach all people not only in Ukraine but in the world (who) are creating violence, hatred, and a strange need for war: we are against it all. ”

The Berlin Philharmonic dedicated this weekend’s performances of Mahler’s Second Symphony to those affected by the invasion.

“Putin’s insidious attack on Ukraine, which violates international law, is a stab in the back of the peaceful world,” said Chief Executive Officer Kirill Petrenko. “It is also an attack on the arts, which, as we know, unite everyone. Borders. I am in full solidarity with all my Ukrainian colleagues and I can only hope that all artists are united by freedom, sovereignty and against aggression.” .

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Munich, Rotterdam can fire Gergiev, London falls to the Bolshoi

Source link Munich, Rotterdam can fire Gergiev, London falls to the Bolshoi

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