Valery Gergiev, a Putin supporter, will not proceed at Carnegie Hall

The Carnegie Hall and Vienna Philharmonic announced on Thursday that Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, a friend and prominent supporter of Russian President Putin, will no longer lead a series of concerts there this week during The international scene is increasingly condemning Putin’s aggression. of Ukraine.

Mr. Gergiev, who has been expected to command the Philharmonic in three prominent appearances at the hall starting Friday night, has come under increasing scrutiny for his support of Mr. Putin, whom Mr. he has known for three decades and has repeatedly defended. .

No reason was cited for his removal from the show. But the unusual last-minute decision to replace a star conductor is clearly because of his relationship with Mr Putin – just days after the Philharmonic president emphasize that Gergiev would appear as an artist, not a politician – reflecting the rapidly growing global uproar over the invasion.

While Mr. Gergiev has not spoken publicly about the ongoing attack, he has supported Putin’s past moves against Ukraine, and his appearance at Carnegie is expected to draw backlash. relatively large. He has been the target of similar protests in previous appearances in New York amid criticism of Mr. Putin. The law prohibits “propaganda about non-traditional sexual relationships,“Considered as an attempt to suppress the Russian gay rights movement, and annexation of Crimea.

Carnegie and the Philharmonic also said that Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, who was scheduled to perform with Gergiev and the orchestra on Friday, would not appear. Mr. Matsuev is also an associate of Mr. Putin; In 2014, he expressed support for the annexation of Crimea.

Mr. Gergiev will be replaced for three Carnegie concerts by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who on Monday directed a new production of Verdi’s “Don Carlos” at the Metropolitan Opera, where he is music director. Mr. Matsuev’s replacement was not immediately announced.

Both Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Philharmonic had previously defended Mr. Gergiev. But Mr. Putin’s announcement of the start of a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Thursday put new pressure on the hall and the orchestra to reconsider.

Activists have started a hashtag #CancelGergiev on Twitter and are circulating photos of Mr. Gergiev with Mr. Putin. The two have known each other since the early 1990s, when Mr. Putin was an official in St.Petersburg and Mr. Gergiev was beginning his tenure as head of the Kirov Theater (later the Mariinsky Theater) there.

In 2012, Mr. Gergiev appeared in a TV advertisement for Putin’s third presidential campaign. In 2014, he signed a petition praising the annexation of Crimea, after the Russian Ministry of Culture called Leading artists and intellectuals suggested they endorse the move. Mr Gergiev was quoted by a state newspaper at the time as saying: “Ukraine for us is an essential part of our cultural space, where we grew up and where we lived until now.”

In 2016, Mr. Gergiev lead to a patriotic concert in the Syrian city of Palmyra, shortly after Russian airstrikes helped drive Islamic State out of the city. On Russian television, the concert featured videos of atrocities by the Islamic State, part of a propaganda effort to foster pride in Russia’s military role abroad, including the its support for the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Putin thanked the musicians via a video link from his vacation home on the Black Sea.

In recent days, Mr. Gergiev has also come under pressure in Europe, where he maintains a tight touring schedule. Officials in Milan said on Thursday that he should either condemn the invasion or face the prospect of breaking his covenant with Teatro alla Scala, where he led Tchaikovsky’s opera “Queen of Spades,” according to Italian media reports.

The Vienna Philharmonic recently said a few days ago that Mr. Gergiev was a talented artist and would stand on the podium for Carnegie dates. Daniel Froschauer, the orchestra’s president, said in an interview Sunday with The New York Times: “He’s going to be a performer, not a politician.

Clive Gillinson, Carnegie’s artistic and executive director, had also previously issued support for Mr. Gergiev, saying he should not be punished for expressing political views.

“Why should artists be the only people in the world who are not allowed to have an opinion?” Gillinson said in an interview with The Times in September. “My point is that you only judge people based on their artistry.”

Mr. Gergiev is expected to return to Carnegie in May to conduct two concerts with the Mariinsky Orchestra; It is not yet clear whether those performances will go ahead as planned.

Mr. Gergiev has appeared regularly with the Vienna Philharmonic in recent months, in Austria and abroad. He recently tested positive for coronavirus and was forced to cancel several concerts, including last week’s concert with the Philharmonic. He has since recovered and returned to conducting business, including performing “Queen of Spades” in Milan on Wednesday night. Valery Gergiev, a Putin supporter, will not proceed at Carnegie Hall

Fry Electronics Team

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