Munich city council to discuss Gergiev case today
A good deal of disquiet remains after the conductor’s press conference yesterday, when he denied any knowledge of Russia’s anti-gay laws. The matter has been rushed onto today’s council agenda. Our man on the spot says it’s a long agenda, with 71 points, but the Pink List feel strongly enough about the city’s new conductor to keep the issue alive. See UPDATE below.
Here is a further selection of the conductor’s comments, confirmed to us by the Munich Philharmonic:
“Ich bin ein vielbeschäftigter Künstler” (I’m a very busy artist).
On equating homosexuality with paedophilia, Gergiev said that there were increasing reports of paedophilia and kidnapping of children in Russia. “People are really angry.”
Asked whether he supported Putin’s law that makes it illegal to even talk about homosexuality in front of minors, Gergiev replied that he would be happier if children would learn more about Pushkin and Tchaikovsky.
“Of course, there is no place for discrimination in the artistic community. If someone is discriminated against in my presence and I remain silent, that is my responsibility.”
But he was a musician and not a politician, Gergiev noted. He could only speak about his area of expertise.
“I’m not a member of the Duma or of the government,” Gergiev said.
UPDATE: Mayor Christian Ude said he feels that Gergiev has managed to clear up his “unclear” and “unfortunate” comments. Ude added that the city council’s anti-discrimination regulations were binding for all employees, including Gergiev.