This maestro is trapped between Russia and Ukraine

This maestro is trapped between Russia and Ukraine


norman lebrecht

February 24, 2022

A message from Vladimir Jurowski, music director of Bavarian State Opera and chief conductor of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin:

‘“I did not believe that the start of military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine was possible. I am deeply indignant about this action but also extremely sad because I am connected to both countries through my family history. I hope that peace will be restored as soon as possible. With the program change for our weekend concerts, we want to send a signal of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.’

The RSB has replaced Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave with the Ukrainian national anthem.

‘Den Beginn der militärischen Aggression seitens der Russischen Föderation gegen die Ukraine habe ich bis zuletzt nicht für möglich gehalten. Ich bin zutiefst entrüstet über diese Aktion aber auch extrem traurig, weil ich durch meine Familiengeschichte mit beiden Ländern verbunden bin. Ich hoffe, dass der Frieden so schnell wie möglich wieder hergestellt wird. Mit der Programmänderung für unsere Konzerte am Wochenende wollen wir ein Zeichen der Solidarität mit dem ukrainischen Volk setzen.’


  • RW2013 says:

    Well meant, but nothing is Tchaikovskys fault.

  • DG says:

    “The RSB has replaced Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave with the Ukrainian national anthem.”

    Bravo! More of this from other orchestras!

  • John Kelly says:

    Think Gergiev will do that with the VPO tomorrow at Carnegie? Nah. No chance.

  • Bloom says:


  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Obviously he’d paid zero attention to the media in the past few weeks and the imminent invasion of Ukraine.

    Where are the street protests, “Ukraine matters”??

    • Bill says:

      You whine about everything under the sun. What have you gone out and protested in public?

    • Brettermeier says:

      What’s wrong with you?

    • Nydo says:

      Were you following his movements the last few weeks? Otherwise, you don’t really know.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Sue…seriously, you need to stop pulling yourself away from your all-important Jordan Peterson studies of his books, lectures, videos, etc. It is wrong of you to deny yourself as much time as you can possibly spend studying Jordan Peterson by instead commenting here. Please, save yourself and return to your Jordan Peterson immersion. We will all feel so much better for it.

    • Krunoslav says:

      Well, NO ONE will ever argue that YOU matter!

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    Let’s not forget that Tchaikovsky was dealt with poorly by the Russian authorities of his day and almost certainly contributed to his early death. His music should not be used as a bargaining tool in this situation. As for the 1812 Overture it is – by the composer’s own admission – the worst piece he ever wrote.

  • Musician says:

    Don’t bring music into this. It’s wrong! Do you remember Richard Wagner’s music suffered because of Hitler! Hitler loved the music of Richard Wagner and was a special guest in Bayreuth. But it was not Wagner’s fault!! Tchaikovsky is a great composer!

    • Una says:


    • Michael Wolff says:

      well, of course that’s not the whole story. Wagner’s passionate and notorious anti-semitism is well known and peppers his operas. Whether that should infuence one’s attitude to his music is an issue constantly debated, but it cannot and should not be brushed aside as ‘irrelevant’. On the other hand tainting all Russian music with the hand of today’s Russia is quite obviously nonsensical.