Just in: Peter Tatchell states his case against Valery Gergiev

Just in: Peter Tatchell states his case against Valery Gergiev


norman lebrecht

November 07, 2013

The rights campaigner has set out his stall in the Guardian’s comments section, ahead of tonight’s demonstration at the Barbican.


gergiev schchedrin




Sample text:

In response to the protests, Gergiev yesterday issued a public statementin his defence: “I do not discriminate against anyone, gay or otherwise, and never have done, and as head of the Mariinsky Theatre this is our policy. 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.”

While his affirmation of personal non-discrimination is commendable, Gergiev’s statement does not renounce his support for Putin, whose regime does discriminate against gay people. Moreover, contrary to his protestations, he has defended Russia’s anti-gay law, reportedly claiming that it is solely concerned with stopping paedophilia. The Dutch newspaper Volkskrant quoted him as stating: “In Russia we do everything we can to protect children from paedophiles. This law is not about homosexuality, it targets paedophilia.”



  • Steve Foster says:

    This was a bad move on his part. He should’ve kept quiet to continue the role of the conductor in politics, which is nonexistent except during wartime. Quite frankly, this isn’t even his responsibility to answer to such insinuations. His job is to conduct orchestras in front of compensating eyes, and he does his job well.

  • In his press statement Peter Tatchell wrongly stated that Valery Gergiev was a great conductor. Gergiev is a third rate conductor. Gergiev recorded terribly loud, grotesquely fascist and over inflated performances of Strauss’s Elektra and Mahler’s Symphonies on the LSO’s CD label. I heard Gergiev try to conduct Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at the Barbican Hall and he had absolutely no sense of tempi, rhythm, dynamics or structure and so the performance just fell flat and fell apart but at least some members of the audience booed him!

    Gergiev is thug conductor and so has a lot in common with the thug leader Putin.

    • Lauren says:

      Agreed. It is disappointing that there is so much ugliness behind the scenes of such beautiful art. This is the 21st century, all of this homophobia and sexism and racism needs recede back into the Dark Ages where it belongs.

    • Martin says:

      What exactly makes a musical performance of Strauss or Mahler sound fascist?

    • Branimir says:

      Really, fascist performance!? By the way, regarding Richard Strauss, shouldn’t we ban forever all music of that Hitler’s supporter? This whole campaign against artists like Gergiev or Netrebko is shameful and disgusting.

    • Sanda Schuldmann says:

      alexverneyelliott, I do not know your credentials. How do you know that Gergiev is a thug? What qualifies you Sir to determine what class the maestro is? And how did you arrive at the third class?

      I heard the maestro’s Onegin at the Met and I personally adored the performance.

      I think it is so very sad for stranger to try and assassinate a musician’s record, label a person without a shred of evidence.

      Have you sir ever tried conducting the Stravinsky? I wonder how that went.

  • In The Grauniad? You’re kidding! They’d never collude with that.

  • TMM says:

    How does Gergiev feel about Pletnev?