Munich to Gergiev: You have 3 days to condemn Putin or get firedNews
The mayor of Munich has told the city’s conductor that he has untilFebruary 28 to deplore the invasion of Ukraine.
‘Otherwise, we will have to end the contract relationship as the chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic,’ said OB Dieter Reiter in a letter to the conductors.
The report comes from the reliable Abendzeitung reporter Robert Braunmüller.
Mirga, Munich is only 1.5 hrs by train.
Gustavo, this is a serious site!
I don´t think that´s a realistic option…
Please! Comparing Mirgas quality with Gergievs is a total nonsense.
Indeed it is. Gergiev is a show-off and lazy to boot (leaving most of the REAL work to nameless underlings), while Mirga is an ambitious, techically well-equipped maestra.
mmm i dont know, just compare recordings and you will get an answer. Mirga is just a normal Conductor with a really nice Marketing.
Do svidaniya, Maestro Gergiev.
P.S. – I’m not a fan of your Bruckner. Stick to what you do well, like Mussorgsky.
Playing Bruckner (as well as other Austrian/German composer) under Gergiev was always extremely frustrating. He has, in my opinion, a very limited understanding of what makes this kind of music great.
Also this just now in the Guardian:
The mayor of Milan has told Valery Gergiev, a conductor close to the Russian president Vladimir Putin, that he will not be allowed to lead an orchestra at the prestigious La Scala opera house in March unless he condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reports the Guardian’s Angela Giuffrida from Rome.
Mayor Giuseppe Sala, who is also president of La Scala, said.
We are asking him to take a clear position against this invasion, and in the event he doesn’t do so, we will have to renounce the collaboration.
Gergiev, a music director of St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre who was awarded a Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation prize by Putin, is due to return to La Scala on 5 March to finish a programme of Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Queen of Spades’.
and what will the hypocrisy of all the Socialists do with their ridiculous figure Gerhard Schroeder, gauche caviar or don’t the Germans call it a typical Salonsozialist, aren’t most Sozis this way? Isn’t it that all the left forget ‘Haltung’ when all of a sudden money is tempting them? Horrible gang!
The artists are punished if they keep music alive worldwide across borders and boundaries but their awful politicians are excluded and they can go on bloody German TV and tell their rubbish in mostly lousy talk shows….
‘Pfui’ and deplorable, wasn’t Madame Clinton using this explanation, why didn’t she use it for describing her fellow so called liberals, her colleagues in politics!
Tell me another thing, where are the demonstrators?
What a foolish rotten world
These European Mayors have a lot of clout over their artistic institutions.
Somebody’s world is shrinking.
If other politicians were as firm and decisive as the Mayor of Munich, we would have fewer dictators ruining the lives of ordinary citizens. Moral authority comes from making a stand. It only requires courage.
So, forcing a musician to express a particular opinion on current events, even though he doesn’t believe it, is not dictatorial?
No when that musician has expressed again and again support fir a criminal.
Bravo to the mayor of München.Finally he has to pay a price being for so long on the wrong side.
is there a link to the Braunmüller article mentioned above?
on the Abendzeitung website I can not find the mayor’s ultimatum – only a critical, but more general article about the conductor.
Good to see mounting pressure. For me, long before I became more acquainted with Gergiev’s politics, his (and Decca’s) cynical hiring of impostor Andrea Bocelli for their (truly awful) recording of the Verdi Requiem strongly signaled Gergiev’s ethical and artistic vacuum.
But that is the outcome of a long process. In the beginning of his career, G was actually very good.
After the smoke clears, however, the Nordstream 2 gas pipe line will be activated, supply Russia with billions of euros, and thus strengthen Putin. Or will Germany hold firm?
Nordstream 2 is a decoy. Putin wants Germany to block its final deployment as he knows this will damage the country’s energy policies and that he can sell the gas elsewhere.
This is the price of being Green in Europe; you get to be beholden to Russia for your energy!!
Europe needs that gas for its harsh winters and had better think twice about cutting it off. That pipeline will supply energy to Europe, not Euros to Putin – one is vastly more important than the other. Didn’t see that coming!!!!!
You kid yourselves if you think there will be viable alternate energy sources. Apart from nuclear, that is. But that has a very long lead-time.
Better get those wind turbines spinning like an aircraft propeller in the meantime.
Probably relations with Russia will change profoundly, now that the regime has fully shown its real face. No more or less sane nation wants to be dependent upon the whims of a dangerous brute.
Bayerischer Rundfunk has a detailed and more up to date report on Gergiev, including the ultimatum of the Munich major:
VG would rather lose everything abroad than displease VP, I bet he won’t say anything. I for one won’t miss him, his bad BO, unshaven self or his twitchy toothpick baton technique.
This is very strong from Munich. I believe, the times where artists can stay away from politics are over at some point. How can you do music that is supposed to connect people and, at the same time, support war and the actions and vision of somebody like Putin?
I would think that it is still possible for a musician to stay away from politics, for the most part. But that isn’t what Gergiev has done. He was sitting on a knife edge in recent times, as Putin’s behavior and intent became ever more sinister and active, and that knife was just sharpened this week.
For artists to be independent from politics only goes as far as till peace and lives are threatened.
WHAT were they thinking when they hired him?!
Good. He shouldn’t be granted a visa to conduct in the US, EU, and UK ever again. And whatever money he has in overseas accounts should be confiscated. Putin can reimburse him out of the billions he’s stolen from the Russian people.
This is all a longtime coming and shouldn’t have taken a war to happen.
This is the statement posted by the MPhil on FB a few minutes ago:
‘Für die Münchner Philharmoniker hat Oberbürgermeister Dieter Reiter heute folgende Entscheidung getroffen:
OB Reiter: Gergiev muss sich von Angriffskrieg distanzieren
(25.2.2022) Oberbürgermeister Dieter Reiter hat den Chefdirigenten der Münchner Philharmoniker, Valery Gergiev, aufgefordert, sich von der russischen Invasion der Ukraine zu distanzieren: „Ich habe gegenüber Valery Gergiev meine Haltung klargemacht und ihn aufgefordert, sich ebenfalls eindeutig und unmissverständlich von dem brutalen Angriffskrieg zu distanzieren, den Putin gegen die Ukraine und nun insbesondere auch gegen unsere Partnerstadt Kiew führt. Sollte sich Valery Gergiev hier bis Montag nicht klar positioniert haben, kann er nicht länger Chefdirigent unserer Philharmoniker bleiben.“
Das OB-Schreiben an Valery Gergiev hat folgenden Wortlaut:
„Die aktuelle Situation in der Ukraine beunruhigt mich zutiefst, die Ereignisse seit heute schockieren mich. Kiew ist Partnerstadt Münchens und ich habe mich öffentlich deutlich dazu positioniert:
‚Mit großer Bestürzung mussten wir alle zur Kenntnis nehmen, dass Russland jetzt einen offenen Angriffskrieg gegen die Ukraine führt. Ich bin fassungslos über diesen barbarischen Akt des russischen Machthabers Putin, der seine nationalistischen Ziele mit aller Brutalität und ohne Rücksicht auf Menschenleben verfolgt. Diese schreckliche, völkerrechtswidrige Aggression muss schnellstmöglich gestoppt werden. Unsere Sorge gilt dabei ganz besonders unserer Partnerstadt Kiew, die, wie viele andere Orte in der Ukraine, bereits gezielt beschossen wurde. Selbstverständlich werden wir zivile und humanitäre Unterstützung zur Verfügung stellen, um das Leid der Menschen vor Ort bestmöglich zu lindern.‘
Gemeinsam mit den Orchestervertretern der Münchner Philharmoniker erwarte ich von Ihnen als Chefdirigent des Orchesters jetzt ein deutliches Zeichen der Distanzierung von den völkerrechtswidrigen Angriffen gegen die Ukraine, und damit ein klares Signal an die Stadtspitze, die Öffentlichkeit, die Musikerinnen und Musiker der Münchner Philharmoniker und ihr Publikum bis Montag, 28. Februar. Anderenfalls werden wir das Vertragsverhältnis als Chefdirigent beenden müssen.“’
There problem with this is that it is ethically counterproductive to force people to denounce things.
He isn’t forced to denounce anything. He can always go back to Russia and play for his half-naked pal.
Anyone with true ethics would not need to be forced
The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra published a similar statement today. If Gergiev doesn’t distance himself from the war in Ukraine, they will cancel his concerts later this season as well as the Rotterdam Gergiev-festival in September.
Nicely done Munich!
Will Muti and the Ravenna Festival dissociate themselves from Gergiev, who has been their flagship guest conductor for years?
I wouldn’t give him three days. Three seconds is enough and out!
About time. It’s time to stop giving musicians (especially half-rate ones) a pass for this kind of behavior in the name of “culture”.
Well, that kind of thinking will really open up a huge can of worms. Don’t stop with politics, if you please.
Everyone knows that Russia was able to go into Ukraine without any fear because of China’s explicit and implicit support. These two countries are partners to establish a new world order. The New York Philharmonic has a long association with China. The public should ask their CEO, their current music director, their favorite Chinese conductor Yu Long to condemn this, or face a boycott.
Hang on — China has weighed in, very cautiously, on the side of negotiations.
China’s vision of a New World Order (I knew that crowing term would come back to bite the west) does not include Russia. The Middle Kingdom has its own very definite ideas.
It won’t be a problem at all for Yu Long. You only have to ask. Classical music is nowhere near important enough in China for Chinese politicians to care about what he has to say. On the other hand, you can be sure Chinese media will not miss a chance to blow it out of proportion about how only artists who hold the “correct” political opinions are allowed to work in Western institutions now. Next thing you know some Chinese nationalists are going to demand all western orchestras to issue official statements condemning every single illegal foreign military intervention big and small committed by their countries in the last few decades before they are allowed to perform in China. On and on the escalation goes. It will all be worth it.
Let me ask you; has Yu Long made any political statements regarding the current situation? Has he cultivated ties with anyone that is directly involved in the current war? Simply being Chinese isn’t a good enough reason to condemn someone. Your thread of logic has a few too many gaps in it to hold up.
By the way, Long is scheduled to conduct one series in April at the New York Philharmonic. I suppose you could call him their favorite conductor, since he is currently the only one. New York’s long association with China? Touring there, much like many of the other major orchestras of the world.
A distinction sould be made between the regimes of those two countries and their populations, who have no intention whatsoever to ‘change world order’. It’s the regimes who are desperately afraid of Western ideas of freedom and democracy sipping into their populations, which would undermine the reigning elites’ power. However much the regimes try to manipulate opinions, the people are not responsible for the misdeeds and strategies of their governments. There are many protestations in Russia. Also the Chinese regime keeps rather aloof, because endorsing Putin’s crime undermines their stance that national borders cannot be violated – fearing their own minorities within China’s borders.
What good news. I wonder what Gergiev will do. If he condemns, I wouldn’t feel it was genuine but a political ploy. He probably will call Putin and ask what to do.
Wise decision by Munich’s mayor, made even more urgent in light the fact that Munich is a partner city of Kyiv.
Valery Gergiev’s management for Germany, Felsner Artists, a lacklustre firm operating out of Freiburg, but using a fake cover address in Munich also needs to take a position on its relationship with the conductor.
Excellent. Muenchen hat Hoden!
“Muenchen hat Hoden!”
😀 That not how… never mind. 😀
next step is the Verbier festival, where Gergev is artistic director? what next…? all his usual artistic partner? or should we ask all artists that collaborated with him to make a public statements against Gergev?
Nobody is making statements against Gergiev. He is being asked to state his position on this reckless warmongering by his crony.
He is presumably hunkered down somewhere with advisors (think Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick) working out a position.
Bravo. Now they can get a better conductor while they’re at it.
Should American conductors have been banned after the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Did any of them have to condemn the war? The only musicians who I recall publicly condemned that war were the Dixie Chicks and their careers suffered for it.
Once again, no American conductors were intimately involved with Bush. Gergiev has as many photos alongside Putin as he has with a baton in his hand. He openly supported the Russian annexation of Crimea, and he played a concert in Syria on a battlefield after Russians had taken out installations. He has taken a political position in the past. He is being called upon to take one now.
As for the Dixie Chicks — that was a disgrace, as was the craven, lockstep reaction of the US media and anyone else with a platform. If you remember back to those days it was practically a hanging offence (no idle threat in the US) to speak or write a word against the invasion of Iraq. US coverage was dreadful. And duplicitous — I remember seeing the toppling of a Saddam statue in central Baghdad on US TV, making it look as if there were crowds of cheering Iraqis around. The BBC showed the same event with a wider shot, and clearly there were only about a dozen people there.
Post 9/11 — a traumatic event, God knows — Americans were expected to line up behind this incompetent, unelected president and his rightwing, self-serving and money-grubbing ex-Halliburton exec of a VP, whatever they did. What they did was criminal. And anyone who ventured even a timid counter-argument was excoriated, like the Dixie Chicks (whose name, I gather, has had to be changed to accommodate the new wokery — they have really had a time of it).
America threatens its own democracy, such as it is, far more than any external force ever could.
Are you comparing Saddam Hussein with Zelensky?
Were any muslims banned from the USA after 9/11? How far can this go, or will the fascists of the hard Left be making all the moves about cancellation, based on their very own criteria, about who stays and who goes?
It’s all rather late, if you ask me:
There is no equivalence with the large internationally sanctioned Iraq action in 2003. Only a Putin apologist would make that leap.
We’re talking about today, not yesterday. Also, there was at least a semblance of a pretext for the Iraq war, however dubious. What’s the pretext here, other than post-USSR era Russian expansion?
No one is listening. And why should anybody be responsible for destroying half of the Middle East. It’s not Europe, it’s not brave new free democratic world. Also, I think this website was particularly sensitive about calls to boycott Israeli musicians because of their state policy and actions against Palestinians.
But, how dare anybody draw such parallels? Putin is Hitler and there should be no discussion about it anywhere on “our side”.
Neil Young did, but he’s (obviously) a whole different level of clout.
He even had a whole album about it.
Name one American conductor who is the household name that Gergiev is, cozied up to President Bush, supported the Iraq invasion, and then took his orchestra to play in some bombed-out place in Iraq.
It’s an absurdly false equivalance that even a Russian stooge should understand.
This is a ridiculous argument. Gergiev isn’t being spotlighted and called upon to condemn Putin because he’s Russian. It’s because he is an overt supporter of Putin and has, quite specifically, endorsed Putin’s military engagements in Ukraine and the Crimea going back to 2014.
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are not aware of Gergiev’s record. He isn’t just a known supporter of Putin: during the invasion and annexation of Crimea, he literally put his name to an open letter “firmly declar[ing] our support of the position of the President of the Russian Federation in regards to Ukraine and Crimea”.
That is an entirely wrong comparison. American conductors did not have personal ties with the president, as far as I know.
Sorry Karl, but you are simply not aware of all the cancellations that happened to Americans due to that military action in 2003. I was personally scheduled to lead a major orchestral concert in celebration of the anniversary of the WWII American liberation of a European city. As soon as the Iraq invasion began in 2003 the mayor of that town cancelled our concert.
Thanks for the information Paul. I’m sorry that happened to you. Did they give you a chance to condemn your President? If they had asked you to would you?
Oh that’s interesting, I didn’t even know you had a career.
BBC is showing protests in the streets of the major cities of Russia. Many comments that Putin has gone mad. In my ideal world, the government would have the guts to go to the Kremlin, arrest him and ultimately take him to the Hague to be charged with crimes against humanity, sadly we don’t live in my ideal world and people are just protesting against artists guilty by association.
He made it to 68 years before having to make this choice.
Good on the Mayor of Munich!
Well it’s the right step… but three days? Three days to do the maths on how it might affect him, three days to consult his agents on other openings, three days to watch the death toll tick up before deciding it goes against his conscience? What a joke. Did the dead Ukrainian civilians get three days to choose whether to leave or stay?
It’s about time our city took a stand. As permanent member of the Munich Phil, it would be a disgrace for me to ever play under the toothpick *ahem* baton of Gergiev ever again (not that it wasn’t already).
I always thought this schtick was hilarious and that Gergiev was on temporary respite from a retirement home because of his Parkinson’s Disease!!
Police of thinking. Of course this invasion is to be condemned vigorously.Why should Gergiev pay for occidental negligence for years? His positions are not mine, but as a Russian involved in public life in his country with official position, no way he will comply to this ukase. Unless he packs and ask Swiss asylum….
That’s an option. He’ll have plenty of work in the world’s leading orchestras and opera houses.
Gergiev never needed the personal support or friendship of the Russian president. The current outcome shows him the real nature of that choice.
In 2003 Berlin did not ask Rattle to condemn the British invasion and occupation of Iraq or be fired. I can recall no such condemnation on his part (would be happy to be enlightened if I’m wrong). Conservative estimates are 200,000 Iraqi civilians killed as result of the invasion, 14,000 at the hands of the Brits/Americans. Let us hope the Russians are less blood-soaked than the Brits/Americans. It is long past time musicians and all artists stood up for a world free from violence by whomever and wherever inflicted, even at the cost of losing their jobs. Freedom for Ukraine and ALL countries facing foreign aggression.
See my reply to Karl, above. How often was Rattle entertained at Downing Street? How often did Tony attend a Rattle concert? Nobody is calling for all Russians to be blamed for Putin. Just. His. Cronies.
If you can’t recall any such condemnation on Simon Rattle’s part, I’m sure you can make a further effort and recall no cheering on on his part of any occupation / annexation either. This is the difference between Gergiev and Rattle. Gergiev has openly supported Putin’s politics.
Can’t recall Rattle supporting any British aggressions either…(If we are to pretend that these events and Iraq are comparable in moral content)
Did Sir Simon have the relationship to Tony Blair that Gergiev has to Putin? And did Sir Simon praise the Iraq invasion, the way Gergiev endorsed the annexation of Crimea. Did he take FY, as Gergiev did with the Maryinski in Syria and Tskhinvali? (there’s even a CD of the latter event).
Lame false equivalence.
That’s not a suitable analogy at all. Gergiev is a well-known Putin supporter and endorsed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to annex Crimea in 2014. To avoid any doubt about that, he put his name to an open letter in March 2014, expressly supporting the invasion while it was happening.
Given that history, how can one complain about Gergiev coming under scrutiny for his attitude toward this new invasion?
That’s why he and Matsuev (another Putin supporter who signed the same letter) have been singled out in recent days, and why other prominent Russian musicians have not been.
Entirely wrong comparison. Rattle had no personal ties to the British government.
In the West, culture is no ‘state concern’. In Russia, it is, because during Soviet times culture had to function as a fig leaf for a criminal regime, and that need has simply remained in place.
Excellent! These putin-friendly musicians/propagandists should know that they are responsible for this war too.
Netrebko is also full of admiration for Putin
Why they hired this muzhik is still beyond understanding….
The problem is Gergiev is a very fine musician and his speaking out against Putin’s action would perhaps help his “friend’ see the error of his ways.
Guilt by association with Putin, not for supporting the war, but failure to support Ukraine.
So, all Russians musicians are cancelled by the politicians in the West, if they do not turn against Putin? Good idea?
Nope, not guilt by association with Putin, if you believe this, you must have lived under a rock for the last 20-30 years. Gergiev has supported Putin’s politics openly.
They probably are just as afraid of that barbarian, violent street thug, who plied his trade on the mean streets of St. Petersburg as a child, as we all are!! Many of these comments seem to imply that musicians have some control or influence over what happens in the re-badged USSR. They do not, nor have they ever. Like many Germans prior to and during WW2, they are afraid for themselves and families most of the time. If you know anything at all about Russian history you’ll realize it has lived under the yoke of dictatorship for hundreds of years.
Gergiev’s problem is not being Russian, but publicly defending Putin including the earlier annexation of Ukrainian Crimea.
You made up that Russian musicians must take a stance in order not to be “cancelled”. No one has uttered such an idea.
No. Only if they have a history of toadying to Putin. A few of those musicians in the West have already spoken out against the invasion. Others can, too.
Yup, that is the group think that pervades the Left anymore.
Wrong. Gergiev enthusiastically supported the last Russian invasion of Ukraine (the annexation of Crimea), endorsing it publicly while it was happening. He is rightly being called upon to repudiate the current one. Guilt by mere “association” this is not.
The point is: do musicians have personal ties with Putin and/or depend upon his support and/or friendship?
Yes, a good idea.
… and you’v gotta conduct Ukraine’s national anthem, too, or you’ll feel like Karl Muck in USA 1917…
Tokenism. FIRSTLY, you need to elect a President who knows what day it is!!!
The Munich Philharmonic should start negotiations with Manfred Honeck ASAP. And yes, Honeck could still keep his Pittsburgh post.
Rather prominent story on BR Klassik:
“Sollte sich Valery Gergiev bis Montag nicht klar positioniert haben, kann er nicht länger Chefdirigent unserer Philharmoniker bleiben.”
–Dieter Reiter, Oberbürgermeister von München
Sounds like the world’s easiest lawsuit to me
If Gergiev does not make the kind of statement that the mayor of Munich wants, will the Maestro be subpoenaed to appear before the House of Un-Germanic Activities Committee? Will the Mayor coerce Gergiev to bend the knee before a newly formed Banderastan in the Ukraine? Stay classy, Mayor, for classical music’s sake.
Your lively imagination says more about you than you realize, and nothing at all about the mayor, who never made such statements. Stay classy, Nicholas, for classical music’s sake.
Beethoven would like a word…
The likely outcome:
Coming from Germany, this is a bit ironic.
On the contrary!
Gergiev may say something but he is a deeper man than Dieter Reiter and, faced with this ultimatim, will consider the relationship over today.
There isn’t anything for Gergiev to “consider.” His fortunes have always been, and will always be with Putin. Putin made him what he is today, and Putin doesn’t take kindly to defectors.
Much as I have admired some of his work, he cannot ride two horses in these circs.
Munich needs to fire Gergiev and appoint Vanessa Benelli Mosell as their next chief conductor.
We all know how much Gergiev earns in Munich. Since his political views are certainly not in the employment contract with the city and the termination is on the part of the employer, he will sue the city for damages, since his contract still has a few years to run. This will cost taxpayers tens of millions of Euros, in a situation where the city of Munich has already cut its contributions to the orchestra because of Corona. Nevertheless, I think it is the right way to fire him.
What a lively imagination you have. _We_ know what he earns in Munich but _you_ apparently don’t. No way his contract costs tens of millions of Euros, what are you smoking? Rest assured the mayor has consulted first with a host of lawyers before issuing that ultimatum. Secondly, he won’t sue. If he wants an international career _after_ the war ends, he won’t sue, because if he sues, his international career is toast. He may have a chance for the West to turn a blind eye to his political allegiances, and allow him to restart his career in the West, if he behaves nicely. He has no chance if he is greedy and sues for a few tens of thousands Euros, because this is all his contract is worth, if at all.
He will be booed off the stage in West for the rest of his life. Not a great way to have classical concerts when they will be sabotaged by the cheap seats.
This is rich coming from a country that has all but abandoned its domestic energy supply (nuclear) to become a dependency of Russia. Germany has also appeased the tyrants of China to ensure their exports of Luxury cars does not get cut. They ought to look in the mirror before jettisoning a conductor who has no role in politics. Needless to say, Bavaria was not a bastion of moral courage some 80 years ago.
Not their domestic energy supply, their domestic electricity supply. Electricity use is a small fraction of overall energy use.
China’s greatest buddy is Russia, Alank. Reading the news not your strong point? Some people live in the past… Don’t see evil, don’t hear evil, don’t speak evil of the present?
I just want to say in how Gergiev has the nerve to conduct all the orchestras world over being a friend of a ruthless dictator. He has no conscience.
Regarding the Vienna Philharmonic, I am disappointed that they invited him to do a tour with them. They could have invited Christian Thielemann or Daniel Harding. Herbert Blomstedt would have been a good choice also
Should never have been appointed in the first place.
He is absurdly overrated.
So he must denounce Putin and never be able to go back to Russia, or stays silent and is cancelled for a few years.
Very liberal everyone. Very liberal.
I know don’t know, what would Maxim Shostakovich do?
He won’t do it, so he’s as good as gone. Sorry Munich Phil., but your Bruckner cycle with Gergiev is a complete non-starter. Should have thought of that first. Why not hire Muti to do a complete Gershwin/Bernstein cycle, Segerstam to do a Ravel cycle, or Currentzis to do an Elgar cycle? Would you like borscht to go with that Wiener schnitzel?
Don’t give him a deadline – just do it!
It is ironic that Gergiev succeeded Sir Georg Solti as conductor of the World Orchestra for Peace, which he founded. Sir Georg would have been horrified at the present situation.
On the other hand,what do you expect? On the day the Sovjets invaded Prague,the Russian State Philharmonic under Jewgenii Svetlanov played at the Proms.Of course,there were huge demonstrations in front of RAH,and heckling inside,when the orchestra came onstage.Would you have expected Svetlanov to condemn the Sovjet invasion????Cutting all ties? I am fully aware of the problematic relationship between Gergiev and Putin, and certainly find it hard to digest it for some while now…But things are so easy for us,living in a cozy democracy,making such brave comments on social media in agreeable anonymity….Life is much more complicated…