Gergiev responds to ongoing controversy over gay rights

Posted on: November 7, 2013

“Valery Gergiev, the Russian conductor whose performances have drawn protests in New York and London this fall from gay-rights advocates opposing Russia’s new law placing restrictions on the discussion of homosexuality, issued a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday saying, ‘It is wrong to suggest that I have ever supported anti-gay legislation and in all my work I have upheld equal rights for all people,’ ” writes Michael Cooper in Thursday’s (11/7) New York Times. “Gergiev, the artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theater and principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, had largely kept silent on the issue this fall…. Mr. Gergiev issued the statement after one of his London Symphony Orchestra concerts was protested from the stage of the Barbican last week, with another protest planned for Thursday, and as some prominent music critics began to explore the question of his politics. ‘I am aware of the gay rights protest that took place at the Barbican last week prior to my concert with the LSO,’ Mr. Gergiev said in the statement. I have said before that I do not discriminate against anyone, gay or otherwise, and never have done, and as head of the Mariinsky Theater this is our policy.’ ” Alex Ross weighed in on the controversy in Monday’s (11/4) New Yorker, and Philip Clark wrote about it in Wednesday’s (11/6) Guardian (London).

Posted November 7, 2013