Player urges Concertgebouw to protest gay oppression in Russiamain
A viola player of the Royal Concertgebouw, Vincent Peters, has urged the Orchestra to make a statement on Russian LGBT-policies during its forthcoming tour in November.
“It is the policy of the Orchestra that during tours to countries where human rights are under pressure, e.g. China and Abu Dhabi, efforts are made to build bridges via music and master classes.” The Dutch gay rights movement COC suggested to change the program and play Tchaikovsky instead of Mahler.
After a meeting with leaders of the Dutch GLBT-movement, the Orchestra
decided that no statements will be made during the tour.
In November, the King and Queen of the Netherlands plan to visit Moscow for a concert by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Mariss Jansons conducting Mahler II). It is the first time in 40 years that the orchestra goes to Russia. Queen Maxima is the patron of the orchestra.
There is diplomatic tension between Russia and the Netherlands since a Russian diplomat was arrested by Dutch police and a Dutch diplomat was beaten up in his apartment in Moscow and had LGBT scrawled on the bathroom mirror and a Dutch Greenpeace Vessel was seized by Russian marine and its crew accused of piracy.
The concert is part of the last part (Asia and Australia) of the world
tournee of the Concertgebouw orchestra. The RCO claims to be the first
orchestra to play in the fice continents in the same year. Ironically,
the visit of the Dutch Royals to Russia marks the end of the
celebrations of the Russian-Dutch friendship year.