Salzburg Festival goes grovelling to Moscow paymasters

Salzburg Festival goes grovelling to Moscow paymasters


norman lebrecht

November 30, 2019

The festival chiefs have made a presentation in the Russian capital, where it was confirmed that President Putin would pay a state visit to Austria to coincide with its new production of Boris Godunov.

The show’s sponsor is the Russian state polluter, Gazprom.

Report here.


  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    “Grovelling”? Take the emotion out of this item and what’s left? You have obviously lifted your headline right out of “The Guardian” playbook. You know, the one about grievance, nastiness and revenge.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Incredible. Just incredible. ‘Art is neutral’ – untill it is being used for political ends.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    It is justified to be cautious in dealings with Russia & China, but in relation to state polluter Gazprom, what other alternative is there? Should Europe do without gas?

  • Roland Berry says:

    It’s always amazing how Mr. Lebrecht weaves in those ‘political’ barbs – the main sponsor is Russians ‘state polluter’ – that’s pretty silly and all list funny. Aren’t the real polluters those who actually burn Gazprom’s gas, which is pretty much all of Europe? How does Mr. Lebrecht cook his omelets ? Curious ?

    • Tamino says:

      Probably with British gas. That’s politically correct gas. It pollutes the same, but it defends the freedom. It is good gas. All Russian is always evil. My grandpa already told me. Russian is bad, and if it weren’t we would have to make it. The image of eternal enemy Russia breastfeeds our military-industrial complex. We need Russia to be very bad bad bad. China is coming along to take over, but not yet.
      Also we will never forgive Putin, that he effectively protected Russia’s vast natural resources to be looted by foreign “investors” at a moment in history when Russia was very weak and almost ended up in a sell out by Jelzin.

      • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

        Yes, he protected Russia’s resources from being looted by foreign investors, so that they could be looted by Russian oligarchs. Bog forbid they should be used to benefit the Russian people!

        When USSR collapsed, we heard all the happy-talk about how everything was gonna be “privatized”. In real life, that meant: oligarchs stole everything which the government had previously owned, and then it was all PRIVATELY owned– by the oligarchs.

        • Tamino says:

          Pretty much, but still a lot of dividends are “trickling down” fro it within Russia, rather than elsewhere. After all, the “trickle down” principle was imported, it was invented elsewhere.

          • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

            LOL *** ROTFL *** SMLMCU ***

            Yes, “trickle-down” was invented elsewhere, and it was bullshtt propaganda, and still is, everywhere it is cited.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          Taxes on oil/gas revenue pretty much fund the Russian government’s budget (e.g. pensions, health, education etc).

      • bg says:

        I thought with your comment about “British Gas” you were referring to Mr Johnson and Corbyn. But maybe they are just both hot air, not that I support either. Staying neutral on that topic.

  • Frank says:

    Sickening. Perhaps protesters will descend on Salzburg just in time for their 100th birthday festivities.

    • Tamino says:

      For someone having a grasp on reality, Nestlé, the former main sponsor of Salzburg, is ethically more compromised than Gazprom.
      Did you protest? Why not?

  • MJA says:

    Silly non-story lacking context. The Festival President and Intendant present the next year’s programme in various major cities around the world every year in the preceding autumn. They were in London two weeks ago and were certainly not “grovelling” to anyone. Why should they not go to Moscow?

  • An Ordinary Member of the Public says:

    Companies should not be spending shareholder money subsidizing a filthy, corrupt business like classical music.

  • Dennis says:

    Kudos to Putin and Gazprom for promoting classical music culture.

    Also, I’m sure BP and other British companies, government agencies, and UK government-supported media (BBC) pollute no less than Gazprom and also probably support various cultural events (and are at least as dubious politically). Apparently its only bad when the mean Russkies do it. The amount of irrational Russophobia these days is even worse than during the Cold War.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Yes, we all know how friendly the Russian regime always has been. Whether it is the Tsar, the Soviets, or the Oligarchs, they only want to have the Western assets to help the poor Europeans build a better, more Russian society, since in the East they simply know these things better.