Gergiev is titled Liberator of Palmyra

Gergiev is titled Liberator of Palmyra


norman lebrecht

May 18, 2016

The Mariinsky conductor and the male musicians who accompanied him to the Syrian historical site have been awarded a medal ‘For the liberation of Palmyra’, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence website.

Handing out the medals, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said: ‘This is a great honour for me.’

gergiev palmyra


  • John Borstlap says:

    Grotesk. The musicians did not fight.

  • Robin Bloxsidge says:

    Demonstrations of Russian might and ‘superiority’ do not quite seem the right means of supporting music in Syria, and at the moment moves to end the appalling misery of so many people would seem to be a much higher priority. Gergiev may be a great conductor, but his support for Putin makes me shudder.

  • Milka says:

    It is but hypocritical hogwash …

  • Rob Bloxsidge says:

    I’m with Milka’s ‘hypocritical hogwash’…

  • Neil van der Linden says:

    The situation of warring parties in Syria is complex. But Gergiev’s performance was a sickening publicity stunt. Or what he could have done is lead an orchestra of Syrian musicians. Not a bunch of Russian guys including that mafia cellist. Meanwhile ask musicians from the bombed parts of Aleppo and elsewhere what they think about the Russians liberating them,

    • Holly Golightly says:

      The western world is every bit as propagandistic as Russia; we’ve learned from the masters. When our media uses mostly agitprop to silence dissent and formulate group think and mass conformity (especially over immigration) then we don’t have a leg to stand on when criticizing Russia. We’ve learned everything we know from them. And obviously it works!

      • John Borstlap says:


      • M2N2K says:

        You are very wrong, HG: the masters are still well ahead of their pupils. If you don’t see that, you probably don’t know how amazingly effectively Russian propaganda works, particularly inside Russia. Of course, the methods they use to silence dissent are such as would be practically unthinkable in the West and this helps them a lot to continue leading in that department.

  • Cyril Blair says:

    If that translation is correct, it is indeed a joke, and grotesque. All except Eddie “Mars” McGuire seem to agree. And Russia has now built an army base near or in the UNESCO Heritage site at Palmyra, which they say is “temporary”.

    “The American School of Oriental Research said images released April 22 showed the new structures inside the Northern Necropolis within the boundary of the site and “in close proximity to numerous aboveground and subsurface tombs and funerary temples.”

    Two new paved roads connecting them to the main road can be also seen, it said, adding that imagery from May 10 showed a paved helicopter landing pad and military vehicles.”

  • Paul Mauffray says:

    His talk begins here at 15:00 into the video, first in Russian, and then in English:

  • Sasha says:

    That’s the best way for a musician to get his military service done. You know it is mandatory in Russia.