Gavriel Heine resigns as resident conductor of Russia’s Mariinsky Theater

Posted on: April 19, 2022

“The American conductor Gavriel Heine has been a fixture at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, for 15 years,” writes Javier C. Hernandez in Monday’s (4/18) New York Times. “He has led hundreds of performances of classics like ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘The Rite of Spring.’ And he has done so as a protégé of the company’s leader: Valery Gergiev. On Saturday, Mr. Heine went yet again to the Mariinsky … to inform Mr. Gergiev—a longtime friend and supporter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia—that he was resigning from his post as one of the state-run theater’s resident conductors…. Mr. Heine, 47, had been increasingly disturbed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine…. He … served as chief conductor of the Kharkiv Symphony Orchestra … from 2003 to 2007. When he saw images of Russian missiles hitting a building in Kharkiv in early March, he was distraught. ‘That broke me,’ he said…. His family left for the United States in early March, while he went to Switzerland to lead a production of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ at the Opéra de Lausanne…. ‘The theater’s not going anywhere,’ he added. ‘I am.’ ” Heine is an alumnus of the League of American Orchestras Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview.