Moscow apparatchik takes over Mikhail Pletnev’s orchestra

Moscow apparatchik takes over Mikhail Pletnev’s orchestra


norman lebrecht

April 07, 2022

We reported exclusively some days ago that Svetlana Rips had been fired as head of the Russian National Orchestra, for reasons apparently connected to Putin’s war in the Ukraine.

The Ministry has now replaced her with the reliable Irina Shigoreva, head of the Moscow State Academic Symphony Orchestra, which is conducted by Pavel Kogan.

Irina, who will manage both orchestras, said: ‘I hope that we will be able to get to know each other as quickly as possible and work fruitfully and efficiently.’

Mikhail Pletnev who has not spoken about the war, is believed to be away from Russia.

Moscow ripples with rumours that he is about to be replaced.

UPDATE: We hear that Kogan, too, has cancelled his concerts and left the country.


  • John Borstlap says:

    It is clear: everybody in the country who refuses to live in the upside-down world, will be cancelled.

  • Christopher Clift says:

    Just so you know, the definite article is no longer used when naming Ukraine – it is just that – Ukraine. No-one says ‘living in ‘the’ England – Ukraine does not have the definite article.

    • Pauker says:

      Exactly right, and it is insulting to Ukrainians.

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      Ukraine was always the exception that proved the rule. I started not hearing it any more a few months ago. Is it because we only use the definite article when referring to regions or areas – The Cotswolds, The Auvergne, The Alps – and continuing to do so with Ukraine would imply that it was merely a region of Russia? By dropping the definite article we subconsciously confer autonomous nation-state status on it.

      Apart from ‘The Ukraine’ as was, we only use the definite article when referring to unions: the United States, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the European Union (whatever that is) etc.

  • M.A. says:

    Pletnev is scheduled to play a piano recital in Düsseldorf, Germany, next Monday (11 April). So unless he cancels, it would indeed seem that he is probably away from Russia.

    • M.A. says:

      He played indeed in Düsseldorf this evening, even though he cancelled his other two appearances in Hamburg and Berlin that were originally scheduled also for this week.

  • Matthew B. Tepper says:

    Anyone who remembers that great Canadian radio play “The Investigator” will instantly know why this reminds me of Otto Schmink.