BERLIN (AP) — Valery Gergiev has been fired from his post as conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra over his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and for failing to reject the invasion of Ukraine, a said the mayor of the German city on Tuesday.
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter announced the decision after Gergiev failed to respond to Reiter’s demand that the 68-year-old Russian conductor change course.
“I expected him to rethink and revise his very positive assessment of the Russian leader,” Reiter said. “Once that hasn’t happened, the only option is to sever ties immediately.”
Gergiev has been Munich’s conductor since the 2015-16 season.
A day earlier, the Verbier Festival announced that Gergiev had resigned as music director at his request.
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Gergiev, a friend and supporter of Putin, is the musical director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, and its White Nights Festival.
He has already been dropped from the Edinburgh International Festival and the Vienna Philharmonic’s five-concert US tour, and his management company said on Sunday it would no longer represent him.
The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra has also said it will scrap the Russian’s planned festival in September if it doesn’t stop supporting Putin.
Milan’s Teatro alla Scala has said that unless Gergiev makes a clear statement in favor of a peaceful resolution in Ukraine, Gergiev will not be allowed to return to finish his engagement conducting Tchaikovsky’s ‘Queen of Spades’ , which resumes March 5.
Follow AP’s coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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