Russian invasion of Ukraine sounds in the world of classical music, where star conductor Valery Gergiev, who has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is forced to cancel his engagement to La Scala in Italy as well Carnegie Hall and other places in the United States
The last time he conducted was Gergiev, known as an old friend and vocal supporter of Putin On Wednesday evening, Tchaikovsky’s opera “The Queen of Spades”. at the famous Milan Opera House “La Scala”, where he was slightly booed, according to the Italian press.
On Thursday, when Russian tanks entered Ukraine, Milan Mayor Giuseppe Salo, president of La Scala, publicly called for Gergiev condemned the Russian invasion, saying that if the conductor – who did not comment on Putin’s move – did not make a statement, “The cooperation will be over,” he said.
Gergiev’s next visit to La Scala is scheduled for March 5. La Scala spokesman Paolo Besana on Friday confirmed that Variety that Gergiev’s participation in the theater will not continue unless the conductor opposes the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is considered unlikely.
“We are still waiting for his answer. If he does not respond to our request, we will have to find another conductor, ”a La Scala spokesman said.
Meanwhile, after the mayor of Milan publicly urged Gergiev to perform, Carnegie Hall announced that the 68-year-old Russian conductor, who is an integral part of American classical music, will not lead the Vienna Philharmonic on a five-day US tour. which was to begin at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Friday.
In response to growing protests, Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Philharmonic on Thursday at the last minute, defending Gergiev, announced that the pro-Putin conductor had been removed from the program, several US news agencies reported.
“This change has been made in light of recent world events,” Carnegie Hall spokeswoman Sinnew Carlina told the Associated Press.
In addition, Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Philharmonic also announced that Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, also known for his close to Putin and vocal supporters of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, will not perform with Gergiev and the Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday. Gergiev will be replaced by the musical director of the Metropolitan Opera Yannick Neze-Segen. Matsuya’s replacement is not named.
Gergiev, musical director of the famous Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg and the White Nights Festival, and chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, has been close to Putin since the early 1990s, when the Russian president began his political career in St. Petersburg.
Since then, Gergiev has repeatedly supported Putin, including appearing in a TV commercial for his 2012 presidential campaign, signing a petition in support of Crimea’s 2014 annexation and holding a patriotic concert in the Syrian city of Palmyra in 2016 shortly after Russian airstrikes there.