Universal Music quits Russia

Universal Music quits Russia


norman lebrecht

March 09, 2022

The world’s largest music company has suspended all operations in the aggressor state.

Here’s the overnight statement:

Effective immediately, we are suspending all operations in Russia and closing our offices there. We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible. We are adhering to international sanctions and, along with our employees and artists, have been working with groups from a range of countries to support humanitarian relief efforts to bring urgent aid to refugees in the region.

This will have consequences for Valery Gergiev and Anna Netrebko, both of whom work with Universal’s classical labels.


pictured: Universal CEO Lucian Grainge


  • Carl says:

    Does that mean Netrebko’s managment (Centre Stage Artists Managment), wich belongs to Universal, is about to finally distance itself from her? Judith Neuhoff I’m looking at you!!

  • Nina says:

    Just Netrebko and Gergiev? There are a lot of talented musicians who don’t support politics. But UM prefers to support just tops. Double-standart business

    • Jean says:

      We would all like to hear them. Too bad Mr. P**** and his cultural institutions are preventing us from hearing about them. Only the P**** loyalists are getting the gigs in Palmyra. — But so nice you found a way to blame the ‘rotten’ western Universal even for this situation 🙂 🙂

      The Russian word “standart” is spelled standard in English

  • Tamino says:

    It‘s a political gesture only. Russia is a niche market only for Universal.
    Now, stopping any sales of existing and revenue generating recordings with artists who actively support Putin would be a significant move, but I wouldn‘t bet on the virtue signalling armchair keyboard warriors at Universal doing that.

  • g says:

    I feel so betrayed by the whole industry. Remaining silent on all conflicts, never challenging human rights abuses in countries toured, music organisations never fundraising for Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, the Rohingya people and others… then a white majority country gets attacked and they are falling over themselves to be seen to be doing the most. It’s utterly sickening.

  • Violinista says:

    I think what we need to think of is that when we hear of Odessa we need to remember who was born there, David Oistrakh, also Igor, and Tossy Spivakovsky amongst others who are Richter, Milstein, Gilels, Cherkassky and Moiseiwitsch. So who will be born there in the future?

  • fflambeau says:

    Translation: we cannot make money here any longer.