Russia fires St Petersburg Conservatoire chief

Russia fires St Petersburg Conservatoire chief


norman lebrecht

August 19, 2015

Mikhail Gantvarg, 68, rector of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, has been sacked by the Culture Minister, Medinsky.

It follows an open letter sent to the minister by heads of other institutions, demanding Gantvarg’s resignation.

He had been in the job four years. His predecessor was dismissed in similar circumstances.



Everything in Putin’s Russia has to be cleared from the top oligarch down. Gantvarg would not have been fired without Valery Gergiev’s consent.



  • RedFever says:

    The Director of Melodiya gets beaten & and the Director of St. Petersburg Conservatoire gets sacked – both for speaking out. So, stay tuned for the Doctor’s Plot, and all the Russian composers being publicly accused of formalism.

  • Rosana Martins says:

    Does anyone know the reasons for the firings?

  • PDQ.BACH says:

    No doubt Vladimir Medinsky is hankering after the happier days of his illustrious predecessor, Andrei Zhdanov. It was simpler to just bump off recalcitrant members of the intelligentsia then — or pack them off to the Snowy Lonesome, if the Gardener of Human Happiness felt charitably inclined.

  • Dominique says:

    Maybe it’s only the age. In some countries you are forced by law to retire at certain age. 68 sounds like retirement.

    • Pirkko says:

      Surely 68 sounds like retirement age, but are people normally sacked to make them retire?
      Nothing surprises in Russia anymore.

    • Wurtfangler says:

      Certainly in the late 1990s the St Petersburg Conservatoire had at least two teachers who were still teaching into their nineties – Ilya Musin and Isaak Glikman – so I’m not sure whether there is such a thing as an age-related retirement there! Certainly in the case of both these amazing individuals, they still had knowledge and experience to impart so why should they have retired?