July 4, 2022

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Gergiev, a friend of Putin, outside the Vienna Philharmonic tour of the United States

Gergiev, a friend of Putin, outside the Vienna Philharmonic tour of the United States

New York (AFP) – Valery Gergiev, an orchestra conductor close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, will not lead the Vienna Orchestra on a five-concert US tour starting at Carnegie Hall on Friday night.

The 68-year-old Russian conductor is the music director of the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and the White Nights Festival there, and he is the conductor of the Munich Orchestra. He was awarded the Revival Hero of Labor in the Russian Federation in 2013 and has often expressed support for Putin, who was widely condemned for ordering the invasion of Ukraine. which started on Thursday.

“This change was made due to recent global events,” Carnegie Hall spokeswoman Sinev Carlino said.

Orchestra spokesman Ron Pauling said the Philharmonic would not comment when asked if the decision was made by the orchestra, Gergiff or Carnegie.

The move came after Milan’s famous Teatro alla Scala sent a letter to Gergiev asking him to make a clear statement in favor of a peaceful solution in Ukraine, or else he would not be allowed to return to complete his engagement while Tchaikovsky was making the “Queen of Spades”. ”

Theatrical spokesman Paulo Besana said that Gergiev was met with a slight difficulty by the audience during Wednesday night’s show, but the situation changed dramatically with the Russian invasion at night. He is then scheduled to appear in Milan on March 5.

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

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“We ask him to take a clear stand against this invasion, and in case he does not do so, we are compelled to give up cooperation,” Sala said. “Obviously, culture can move to other levels, but in front of such a situation we need to move.”

Online publications in recent days had promised protests at Carnegie Hall, where Gergiev was scheduled to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic on Friday and Saturday nights, and on Sunday afternoons. The orchestra then travels to Hayes Hall in Naples, Florida, to perform on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Metropolitan Opera’s music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will replace Gergiev at Carnegie concerts, creating a packed schedule before Nézet-Séguin leads the Met premiere of Verdi’s original French version of “Don Carlos” in a five-hour show Monday night.

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev will not perform as scheduled on Friday. In 2014, Matsuev said he supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Vienna said that weekend programming will remain unchanged, and a soloist will be announced with the lead band for the Florida Concerts.