Star Russian music conductor sacked in Munich over failure to denounce close friend Putin
New Delhi: The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra has sacked the star Russian conductor Valery Gergiev after he failed to speak out against the invasion of Ukraine or distance himself from his close friend and supporter Vladimir Putin, The Guardian reported.
Mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, said on Tuesday morning that Gergiev’s contract had been terminated with immediate effect. It came a day after the conductor’s management dropped him for refusing to end what it said was his “long-expressed support” for a “criminal regime”.
The decision leaves Gergiev, hailed as one of world’s greatest conductors, more or less isolated in the world of classical music. The Scala in Milan, the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg have also cut their ties with the 68-year-old, The Guardian reported.
The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which has run an annual Gergiev festival since 1996, is expected to cancel its event this September if the conductor does not end his support for Putin, the report said.
In the US, Gergiev had already been replaced for several performances by the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in New York and in Naples, Florida, and for two performances again at Carnegie Hall in May where he was due to lead St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Orchestra, of which he is music director, The Guardian reported.