Demonstrations in New York and London were only to be expected for a maestro who has hitched his chariot to the anti-gay tsar, Vladimir Putin. Munich, where Gergiev is heading next after leaving the LSO with short notice, is meant to be a softer landing, a city that protects artists from unwarranted intrusion into their political connections. That’s how it has always been.
No longer, however. The junior partner in the city government, where the social democrats are the largest party, is the Green-Pink List alliance. The city provides much of the funding for Gergiev’s orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic. Expect awkward questions.
UPDATE: More warning signs. The Süddeutscher Zeitung headlines Gergiev as ‘Putin’s hero on the podium’.