Winning conductor walks out on his job

Winning conductor walks out on his job


norman lebrecht

September 11, 2021

The gifted Belorussian conductor Dmitry Matvienko who won the Malko Competition earlier this year has quit the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus.

He writes: ‘Today I learned that while I was on tour that I was agreed on last May, I was REMOVED from the production of Samson and Delilah…The current leadership of the theatre believed that 1.5 months of my participation in the production is too small….I consider these actions to be very mean and I do not see a chance to stay in this theatre…’

Local observers note Matvienko’s departure follows a mass exodus of Belarusian artists from the theatre. Over the last season, conductors Vyacheslav Volich and Andrei Galanov, singer Ilya Silchukov, pianist Regina Sarkisova, violinist Alla Dzhigan, violist Alexandra Potemina and choirmaster Ivan Titov were dismissed. The contracts of People’s Artist Vladimir Petrov and singers Natalya Akinina and Ekaterina Golovleva were not renewed.


  • CA says:

    Quite common in Eastern European theatres. I was removed without any explanation from one of the ‘bigger’ theatres in Russia. “.I consider these actions to be very mean ” is definitely sugar-coating it. Maestro Matvienko you have my support!

  • Musicman says:

    Of Course a Russian theatre would dismiss Belarusian artists. Putin certainly wouldn’t want people from a country that once was controlled by Russia and later broke free in leadership positions in a major Russian arts institution. Vlad is eliminating any threat to his power and I’m sure they will all be replaced by Russians, who are loyal to him.

  • Uncle Sam says:

    Here’s the stunning clip recorded about a year ago by one of those mentioned in the article (a fine baritone Ilya Silchukov) after the peaceful post-elections mass protests in Belarus were brutally suppressed by “the last dictator of Europe” (aka – the Potato Fuhrer) Alexander Lukashenko (the President of Belarus since – think about it, since 1994!), who had badly lost those elections in August of 2020 and then turned to terror against his own country to usurp the power by violence. That whole outrageous situation (in the center of Europe, no less!) deserves, IMHO, much more attention from the civilized world than it gets – including the attention of the international artistic community.
    The clip has the English subtitles that can be turned on if you wish. Watch, listen – and weep for my beautiful and long-suffering homeland, which – after being raped and tortured by Nazis in the WW2, is being raped and tortured again now by another Fuhrer, local one this time…