Rotterdam comes out for Gergiev

Rotterdam comes out for Gergiev


norman lebrecht

December 17, 2013

A press release from the Rotterdam Phil and the Municipality appears below. We understand that the conductor is giving a press conference in Munich today to clarify his position on anti-gay policies in Russia. We will keep you posted.


Rotterdam, 16 December


Press Statement Gergiev Festival and the Municipality of Rotterdam


The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Municipality of Rotterdam see no reason to enter into any form of discussion regarding the Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival after alleged comments by Gergiev recently published in both the Dutch and the German press. Based on information they have, the comments by Gergiev in an article in the Volkskrant on 10 September were taken out of context.

In the article, Gergiev was asked for his opinion about the Russian law against ‘homosexual propaganda’ among minors. Gergiev said that the law is often misinterpreted, including in the Netherlands. ‘We do our utmost to protect children against paedophiles in Russia. This law is not about homosexuality, but is against paedophilia.’


Last month, Valery Gergiev already responded to demonstrations in London by issuing a statement on his Facebook page. He said that he does not discriminate against anybody, homosexual or otherwise. He said it was incorrect to imply that he supported an anti-gay law. In his work he takes the stand that all people have equal rights.

‘That has been my own experience also in all the years we have worked together’, said Hans Waege, managing director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gergiev Festival: ‘Our company promotes the fundamental values of the Netherlands and Western European culture. We shall continue to do so in our own way.’


Councillor Antoinette Laan, responsible for the Culture Portfolio, said, ‘The Gergiev Festival is subsidised because of its artistic qualities. Based on information currently available to us we have no reason to either reduce or stop the subsidy.’


6 November: Statement Valery Gergiev

I am aware of the gay rights protest that took place at the Barbican last week prior to my concert with the LSO. I have said before that 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. I am an artist and have for over three decades worked with tens of thousands of people in dozens of countries from all walks of life and many of them are indeed my friends. I collaborate with and support all my colleagues in the endeavour for music and art. This is my focus as a conductor, musician, artist and as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre and Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.



  • J F says:

    This is happening in Malta:

    “Muscat honours one of Vladimir Putin’s agents in the Russian state’s war on homosexuals – in the same list as the transsexual ‘campaigner’ and ‘anti-censorship’ campaigner whose real virtue was to campaign for him”

    This is the same Berlusconi-style government that is selling Maltese (EU) citizenship with no strings attached; who appointed the most incompetent people to the highest ranks of the country when the country is full of smart, professional people who can ‘deliver’; and the government that is embarrassing all the Maltese nationals. It takes a couple of months to ruin a nation.

    • J F says:

      For your information:

      Malta is ‘European city of the year 2018’ (due to its miniature size, the European commission has allowed it to submit a proposal as a city).

  • Lauren says:

    Russia is rushing headlong into the bad-old-days of Soviet-style oppression. Gergiev should defect to the west and renounce Putin or own the fascist, anti-gay policies he is acting as an apologist for – that should put an end to the debate.

    If you removed the gay and lesbian people from the Arts, both as participants and as audience members, the concert halls and museums would be half-empty. The narrowing and dumbing-down of global culture suits the knuckle-draggers down to the ground but it is ruining civilisation and those of us who do not wish to live in a brutal, ugly, thug-state.

  • sdReader says:

    If the pressure continues, Gergiev may decide to relinquish the Western salaries he now takes and allow himself the luxury of focusing on Putin’s Mariinsky.

    On the other hand, why should limited Western arts funds be spent on the “Gergiev” brand and the remarkable but limited talents and time of one man when there are excellent younger conductors deserving of opportunity?

  • Andrew says:

    Actually, the bad-old-days of persecuting people for their non-PC viewpoints is coming from outside Russia, from leftists who have already become the thugs of the new-world order.

    The leftists simply never listen to what people like Gergiev or Putin say, because upon review, they are expressly not anti-gay but anti-indecency, such as the public display found in grotesque and pornographic “Love Parades” and coercion and sexualization of children as per the LGBT agenda to talk to kids about their sexual orientation long before it even occurs to them to think about such things. That is the pedophiliac aspect of the extreme-left that he refers to. But nobody listen to when these courageous people clarify their positions again and again.

    • sdReader says:

      Pedophilia is not a thing of the “extreme left” or the right. It’s a crime.

      Gergiev made a stupid statement mixing pedophilia and homosexuality in a recent interview, and on Tuesday at a Munich news conference he corrected this.

      He has still not spoken out against the new Russian anti-gay law.

    • cabbagejuice says:

      The Russian law was to prevent the perversions that entered the schools in Western countries through the “sex education” canard that only serve to interest children in sex at an increasingly younger age. It has not prevented teen pregnancies but only increased them. How it is possible to prescribe a larger dose of the disease and rationalize it is beyond all commonsense.

      This article is only an example of the goofy reasoning behind all of this:

      I am ashamed to cut and paste some of it, but will continue, with the sad realization that children as young as 11 are being subjected to such abominations:

      “The 9.5-hour course, developed at the University of Hawaii…and funded by the federal Office of Adolescent Health, has already been taught to 1,700 middle school students in the public school system in 34 Hawaii public and public charter schools…many parents of the 11-to 13-year olds who have been taught the curriculum, said they have found its content offensive, graphic and inappropriate for their kids..Parents were concerned their children in sixth, seventh and eighth grade, were learning to put condoms on dildos and about performing oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex.”

      Instead of teaching actual history, like what brought down the late Roman Empire, we are simply blindly reliving it.