Munich Philharmonic terminates Gergiev’s contract as chief conductor; other European orchestras also sever ties

Posted on: March 1, 2022

“Valery Gergiev, the star Russian maestro and prominent supporter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, was removed Tuesday from his post as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic after he refused to denounce Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” writes Javier C. Hernández in Tuesday’s (3/1) New York Times. “Dieter Reiter, the mayor of Munich, announced his decision in a news release saying termination of Mr. Gergiev’s contract was the only option available…. The city said that Mr. Gergiev, who had held the post of chief conductor since 2015, had failed to respond to a demand issued on Friday by Mr. Reiter that he condemn Mr. Putin’s ‘brutal war of aggression’ by Monday or be fired…. On Monday … the Verbier Festival in Switzerland [said] it had asked for and accepted the resignation of Mr. Gergiev as music director of the festival’s orchestra…. The Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland, where Mr. Gergiev served as honorary president, also said Monday that he had resigned his position after being asked to do so. Philharmonie de Paris, a performing arts complex in France, announced it was canceling two concerts in April with Mr. Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra. And the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland said it was canceling two performances in August with Mr. Gergiev and the Mariinsky.”