Exclusive: More than half of Valery Gergiev’s chorus have caught Covid-19

Exclusive: More than half of Valery Gergiev’s chorus have caught Covid-19


norman lebrecht

October 01, 2020

A trustworthy source in St Petersburg tells us that 74 out of 140 members of the Mariinsky choir have tested positive with Covid-19, as well as more than 30 members of the orchestra.

Performances are continuing regardless under orders from the music director.



  • BP says:

    Would these be positive tests over the last several weeks and months or in the past few days ?

  • George says:

    Stupid, irresponsible gambling with lives all because someone can’t keep their ego in check.

  • Darrell says:

    Well done, herd immunity at its best. Go!

  • Max Raimi says:

    One of the most brilliant conductors I have ever played under. We did Berlioz Romeo and Juliet with him here in Chicago; an absolutely thrilling performance. But a distinctly lower order of human being.

    • Skippy says:

      Oh please. “Distinctly lower order of human being”…why? Because he’s loyal to his country, which is led by someone who has expressed skepticism about Western liberalism? Good grief. Can’t we allow for differing opinions without ad hominem attacks on those with whom we disagree?

      • Amos says:

        Yes, let’s allow for differing opinions rather than taking the approach of the leader of VG’s country and poisoning or dropping air conditioners on those who disagree with him. This isn’t a matter of differing opinions but wantonly ignoring clear public health guidelines for the sake of arrogance and nationalism. Now our own President in the US is infected and his behavior after suspecting he was infected is equally egregious.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      It’s a familiar enough story, isn’t it, about conductors.

      • Amos says:

        No actually it isn’t. Since Mr. Raimi initiated the thread I would urge everyone to listen to Riccardo Muti’s comments, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1KohpLsg3w, before he conducted the inaugural PO Martin Luther King Jr memorial concert. He concluded the concert with what seems to me his most WWII-era Toscanini-inspired performance of the Beethoven 5th. Watching live that evening in 1991 made me all the more disappointed that the city’s “main line establishment” failed to realize what a treasure he was.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    “A trustworthy source in St. Petersburg”? (Rolls about laughing)

  • Symphony musician says:

    Russia in microcosm. Such an oppressive regime and working environment for all those fabulous musicians.

  • Dave T says:

    Soooo this means that the much-heralded Russian vaccine of a couple of months back is a dud, after all? You don’t say.

  • High case numbers are good. It’s how a society gets immunity. Deaths? Hospitalizations? THESE are the important numbers, and it’s not unlikely that both of these numbers are 0.