Just in: Gergiev cancels London

Just in: Gergiev cancels London


norman lebrecht

November 28, 2016

LSO statement:

Valery Gergiev is recovering after a knee operation, and is unable to travel to London to conduct the LSO’s concerts on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 November.

The LSO is very grateful to conductor Thomas Søndergård for agreeing to step in to conduct these concerts at short notice.

gergiev injury

Søndergård is Principal Conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Scottish National Orchestra.


  • Tim Walton says:

    Great, a much better replacement and I’m sure the LSO players will be breathing a sigh of relief.

    • Max Grimm says:

      “[…] and I’m sure the LSO players will be breathing a sigh of relief.”

      Being a self-governing orchestra, don’t the LSO players select the conductors with whom they work?

      • Tim Walton says:

        Yes,and having spoken to some of them they couldn’t wait to get rid of him. I was told that there was a total lack of discipline whenever Gergiev was around. He turned up late, broke off rehearsals to take telephone calls and is greatly over rated as a conductor.

        When he conducted the CBSO a few years ago, I heard that some of the players said he was one of the worst conductors they have ever had to play under.

        • Max Grimm says:

          Unfortunately, the Munich Phil is dealing with much of the same these days.
          Why does the LSO invite him back with the ostensible amount of dissatisfaction?

          • Sue says:

            When I was in Amsterdam last year at the Concertgebouw Gergiev came to conduct Leonidas Kavakos with that orchestra. When I was mingling in the foyer before the concert I started a conversation with a local who told me about the tremendous ill-feeling that existed between Gergiev and the orchestra!!! What gives???

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Sondegard is excellent in Wales and very popular.

  • Peter says:

    Something is not adding up.
    Apparently a small but very vocal group doesn’t tiring in claiming nobody likes Gergiev anywhere, “someone in the foyer/bathroom/lockerroom whispered into my ear”.
    Yet he lands engagement after engagement, and we do not hear that his concerts suffer from bad attendance. What is going on?

  • Peter van Laarhoven says:

    What “Sue” claims to have heard in Amsterdam is utter nonsense. After a long absence Gergiev returned to the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2012. It was a huge success with both audience and orchestra and he has been asked back almost every season since then. His long absence was related to his obligations in Rotterdam as chief conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic. In fact, his successor there, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has a contract which explicitly forbids him to conduct the Concertgebouw Orchestra during his tenure in Rotterdam.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    He did NOTwin the Von Karajan competition but shared second prize with another Russian whose name I can never remember. It has been printed so many times and not corrected like the the silly story about him being god father of Putins children that they have become written in tablets of stone.
    He must be a good conductor or the orchestras would not produce the wonderful sounds that they do when he is not tired.

    • Peter van Laarhoven says:

      Not quite correct. Indeed Gergiev won second prize but did not share it with anyone else. Jacek Kaspszyk (Poland) won third prize and Gum Nanse (Korea) fourth.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    I’m pretty certain that no first prize was awarded but Gergiev and another Russian shared second prize. I think the other was from Moscow but still can’t remember his name. Maybe Norman can jog my memory. It doesn’t help that most of his programme biogs. state that he won instead of saying “a”winner|!
    Karajan tried to get Gergiev to stay in Germany but USSR authorities wouldn’t let him.

    • Peter van Laarhoven says:

      Indeed there was no first prize and Gergiev was the only recipient of the second prize. There are pictures of Gergiev, Kaspszyk and Nanse as the three prize winners, e.g. on the site of Nanse.

  • Bviolinistic says:

    Gergiev is without doubt a talented musician and conductor and that is the reason that he keeps getting asked back. Whether or not he is liked by the musicians is another issue. He certainly has too much on his plate in my opinion and that is most likely why he has problems with time management etc. The bottom line is that his concerts are good, and that’s how it should be.