Just in: Music director is fired halfway through first season

Just in: Music director is fired halfway through first season


norman lebrecht

January 18, 2022

Stuttgart Ballet last night dismissed its music director Mikhail Agrest, midway through his first full season.

Apparently there was an incident last month during a rehearsal of John Cranko’s Onegin.

Tamas Detrich, Artistic Director of the Stuttgart Ballet, said: ‘Due to past and current events, I feel compelled to protect my dancers. If dance and music are no longer in harmony, then we miss our goal. I am deeply disappointed.’

Agrest, who is Russian-American, succeeded the long-serving James Tuggle in 2019.

A staff conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre, he had major opera successes in London and Helsinki. It appears that in Stuttgart he fell out with the veteran Canadian dancer Reid Anderson, who is the company’s powerhouse.


  • RW2013 says:

    Terrible old ballet dancer wanting the same tempi as
    50 years ago.

    • HSY says:

      If only…! 50 years ago tempi were almost always faster and more musical. Now even NYCB is somewhat slower. I blame Kirov/Mariinsky divas who started the trend.

    • Angela says:

      Reid Anderson has been ballet director at Stuttgart for 22 years, and he coaches the Cranko ballets. He stopped dancing in the 1980s.

  • M says:

    No idea what happened in Stuttgart but I will say Mikhail Agrest is a very nice guy.. He made the worst ballet score I have EVER encountered at least tolerable, simply by not taking himself or the insanity on the page too seriously… I mean, we were dying in the pit. (Oh he conducted it well too…)

  • sonicsinfonia says:

    Went too fast did he?

  • Jim Dukey says:

    Same thing happened at San Francisco Ballet.
    The NEW Music Director would NOT cooperate with the Dancers.
    Huge blow-up, and he was gone.
    What part of “Ballet” don’t they get?

  • McSynth says:

    Tempi too slow or too fast ?

  • Una says:

    Always sack the innovators in ballet, or they leave.

  • Patricia says: