Valery Gergiev fired as conductor of Munich orchestra over Putin links

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Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev has been fired as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic because of his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and for not rejecting the invasion of Ukraine, the German city’s mayor said.

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter announced the decision after Gergiev did not respond to Mr Reiter’s demand that the 68-year-old Russian conductor change course.

“I had expected him to rethink and revise his very positive assessment of the Russian leader,” Mr Reiter said.

“After this didn’t occur, the only option is the immediate severance of ties.”

Gergiev has been Munich’s chief conductor since the 2015-16 season.

A day earlier, the Verbier Festival said Gergiev resigned as music director at its request.

Gergiev, a friend and supporter of Mr Putin, is the music director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Russia, and its White Nights Festival.

Valery Gergiev

He was already dropped by the Edinburgh International Festival and from the Vienna Philharmonic’s five-concert US tour, and his management company said on Sunday it will no longer represent him.

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra also said it would drop the Russian’s planned festival there this September if he does not stop supporting Mr Putin.

Milan’s Teatro alla Scala said unless Gergiev makes a clear statement in favour of a peaceful resolution in Ukraine, Gergiev would not be permitted to return to complete his engagement conducting Tchaikovsky’s The Queen Of Spades, which resumes on March 5.

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