The conductor has been talking to CNN about anti-gay politics:
I think it was seen internationally as a bad thing happening in Russia. I think in Russia, the view was different. The way people read this law is slightly different or sometimes very different. First of all, I myself hate any form of discrimination. And as the head of an institution, it’s a big institution, we have more than 3,000 people working for the Mariinsky Theatre, I would never allow any sort of discrimination to take place. But in Russia, I think it’s a very controversial issue. And now, because of the Olympics coming very soon, everyone thinks of safety. So I am sure it’s not the issue number one and number two, number three, safety, and very successful scenario for the Games, structurally and organizationally. But I think not one sportsman or anyone who comes will be upset with it. I simply can’t imagine anyone in Russia who wants to upset the world’s community during the Sochi Olympics or after or, of course, not before. I myself question very much why the country needed something like this law. And I didn’t even read it. Honestly, I didn’t have time. I only learned about this law when things started to happen that I heard about, people being against this happening in Russia.
And about Vladimir Putin:
I think a lot of people are wrong about President Putin. That’s my view. I am myself not a student, so I’m – I saw many, many people. I met many heads of state. I look at their policies or their actions better to say, especially toward culture. Many of them are totally uninterested. And I think President Putin belongs to a very small group of world leaders, a very small group, who thinks that this is actually very important. And he would do something – he recently came to the rehearsal of the children’s chorus, rehearsal. It was Christmas Day in Russia, basically. The president, like all of us, has a right to simply be free, you know. He chose to be there with the kids who represented all regions of Russia.
Full interview here.