Gergiev issues anti-discrimination statement

Gergiev issues anti-discrimination statement


norman lebrecht

December 19, 2013

The city of Munich has published a letter from Valery Gergiev to Munich’s Kulturreferent (cultural advisor) Hans-Georg Küppers, saying that he fully and completely supports the city’s anti-discrimination laws. Text follows.


gergiev munich

Dear Dr. Kueppers,
Once again I would like to return to our yesterday’s press conference.
In this press conference you mentioned.
“For the city of Munich it applies that any exclusion, discrimination or harassment of people because of their gender, origin, color, religion, disability or sexual orientation must not occur. Ways of behaviour that contradict these principles will not be tolerated.”
I fully support this attitude of the city of Munich. In my entire professional career as an artist I have always and everywhere adhered to these principles and will do so in the future. All other allegations hurt me very much. In addition, I think it is useful to have a conversation with the community during one of my next stays here in Munich.”
Valery Gergiev
Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Küppers,
noch einmal möchte ich auf unsere gemeinsame Pressekonferenz von gestern zurückkommen. Sie hatten dort geäußert:
“Für die Stadt München gilt, dass jede Ausgrenzung, Benachteiligung oder Belästigung von Menschen aufgrund Geschlecht, Herkunft, Hautfarbe, Religion, Behinderung oder sexueller Identität unterbleibt.
Verhaltensweisen, die diesen Grundsätzen widersprechen, werden nicht toleriert.”
Ich unterstütze diese Haltung der Stadt München voll und ganz. In meinem ganzen Berufsleben als Künstler habe ich überall auf der Welt nach diesen Grundsätzen gehandelt und werde es auch in Zukunft tun. Alle anderen Unterstellungen treffen mich sehr. Darüber hinaus halte ich es für sinnvoll, bei einem meiner nächsten Aufenthalte in München ein Gespräch mit der Community zu führen.”
Valery Gergiev
Gergiev is due to become music director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015, with a reported wage of four million Euros.


  • sdReader says:

    I think the €4 million is based on Thielemann’s old reported salary of €800,000 times five contract seasons (2015 thru 2020).

  • Funny how, “For the city of Munich”, discrimination on the grounds of political beliefs/associations/affiliations is not, according to Dr Küppers, cited as explicitly proscribed. Seeing as foreign artists are already facing vituperation for maintaining professional relationships with the incumbent politicians of their home countries — where such politicians are unfashionable, usually on account of speaking out and acting against American espionage, warmongering, or other special interests — it is surely only a matter of time before public figures will be forced to openly take sides in local elections (and face professional consequences on the basis of their choices), too.

    • Musiker says:

      Sad to hear that you think that the fundamental human rights of everyone who is not white, heterosexual, abled-bodied and male is just a matter of trivial party politics to you.

      Gender, sexual orientation, skin colour, origin and disability are NOT matters of political affiliation. Deal with it. And stop trying to trivialize those issues.

  • CDH says:

    Well, maybe it’s time to stop hounding Gergiev because of how he voted, as opposed to how he lives. Few of us who vote are endorsing a perfect figure, even if we campaign for him/her. People and politics are complex.

    Gergiev was far from the only Russian to vote for Putin. And effort would be far better expended upon trying to raise the consciousness of the millions of Russian citizens who would — unlike Gergiev in a long public career in which his personal conduct toward gays has never been impugned — willingly consign all gays to the Gulag.

    • Musiker says:

      But that is precisely the point.

      Gergiev, like other prominent Russians, is in a position to “raise the consciousness” of millions of Russians and perhaps even sway — or at least assuage — Putin.

      So far, he’s done nothing but fudge and obfuscate on the matter.

      I don’t think there is really anyone out there who genuinely believes that Gergiev himself is homophobic.

      So what’s wrong with or what’s to stop him standing up to Putin’s thugs?

    • sdReader says:

      Consciousness? You mean education. Russians, it appears, are a little slow on the science when it comes to pedophilia, which they still confuse with homosexuality.

      And Gergiev’s vote — if in fact he ever set foot in a voting booth, which seems unlikely, given his schedule — is known only to him, surely?

      These threads concern his campaigning and endorsements.

  • curious says:

    I want to know what is going on with Mikhail Pletnev in all this. Does he still manage to make a career in Russia? After all those allegations a couple summers ago? Where is he?

  • He’s dealing with Germany, and he’s going to say what Germany wants to hear. When he’s in Russia he will say what they want to hear. This is, unfortunately, what international musicians need to do in order to stay international, and Gergiev is playing it like a boss. Good for him.