Ukraine asks Salzburg Festival to drop a conductor

Ukraine asks Salzburg Festival to drop a conductor


norman lebrecht

April 18, 2022

The Ukrainian ambassador to Austria, Wassyl Chymynez, has condemned a scheduled appearance at the Salzburg Festival by the Greek-Russian conductor Teodor Currentzis with his Putin-funded MusicAeterna orchestra.

The ambassador said any appearance by this group at Salzburg would send ‘a very inhumane signal’ in light of Russia’s invasion.

In an interview with the tabloid Kronen-Zeitung, the ambassador said Vladimir Putin knows how to ‘use art very cleverly.’ Currentzis’ silence on the invasion makes it ‘very clear that he tolerates all of this. It shows that he is a part of this whole system. If the Salzburg Festival is not ready to understand that, because perhaps of economic considerations, then those responsible for this institution run the risk of losing their self-esteem.’


  • Cosmo says:

    i am not a fan of currentzis but he should come to salzburg.

    möst conducted a salome with the support of russian sponsors

    nobody cried out loud.

    ukraine wants, selensky wants.
    stop with these demands

    Ukraine should finally accept the Minsk Agreement.

    the conflict should not be carried out through artists!

    • Jonathan Sutherland says:

      Russian artists who do not condemn this invasion, or more pusillanimously, refuse to make a comment, must be censured.
      What is the ‘collateral damage’ of a few cancelled gigs in comparison to the thousands of dead Ukrainian civilians who also come under the obscene euphemism of ‘collateral damage’?
      This is an all-out war of aggression by Russia mes amis, not a vague technical ‘Special Military Operation’ or any such humbug.
      All artists in doubt of the right course of action should watch István Szabó’s illuminating 1981 film ‘Mephisto’.

      • Ana says:

        What about american artists who didn’t condemn invasion of Iraq, among many others? Oh, I am sorry, thouse are americans, and they don’t have to do anything!!! Artists can express their opinion but they don’t have to. And I am not talking about Furtwangler’s case or similar.

        • Brettermeier says:

          Privit An, you must be one of those Russian trolls spreading whataboutism. Cool job! Do you get paid in potatoes or cabbage these days?

    • Gareth Jones says:

      It’s not a conflict, it’s a one-sided criminal attack on Ukraine that has perpetrated well-documented atrocities. It’s past time to take a view on musicians who support Putin’s regime

    • protest against Correntzis the corrupt says:

      “Ukraine should finally accept the Minsk Agreement”

      WTF!!!! You mean the Minsk agreement that Putin revoked by recognising the illegal occupation of Donetsk and Lugansk, and the 2014 violation of Ukraine’s borders…

      Supposedly guaranteed by the Budapest memorandum forcing Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for permanent recognition of its borders?

      Prighozin not pay you enough for your trolling yet??

    • Jonathan Sutherland says:

      Cosmo can neither spell ‘Zelenskyy’ nor ‘Welser-Möst’.
      The latter conducted Salome in Salzburg in 2019, three years before Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
      His opinions are as spurious as his spelling and lamentable ignorance of history.

  • Gareth Jones says:

    The notion of Salzburg losing its self-esteem is quaint, but it is extraordinary how easily Austrian musical institutions seem to tolerate Putin’s supporters and devotees. History repeating itself, no doubt

  • Will Wilkin says:

    Who are the famous Austrian moralists I should be reading?

  • SY says:

    This is too much. Currentzis included a work of Ukranian composer in his program and organized benefit concert for Ukraine as a response to the current situation. He had no tie with putin and the fact that his orchestra is funded by russian bank is different from supporting putin.
    In fact, Currentzis has issued a strong statement attacking the Russian justice system for its arrest of Kirill Serebrennikov, which seems to be fairly different from being fond of Putin.

    Yes, he didn’t condemn putin openly. But canceling every russian musicians for failing to do so is not right. There is no freedom in russia, and musicians of MusicAeterna lives in russia. Condemning putin puts them and their families at risk. He has to be responsible for his people as a leader. Condemning Putin might to be praised as a courageous action, but we cannot force him to do so.

    Although I can understand Ukrainians’ anger, I cannot agree with this apeal.

    • Birgit Steen-Hoefflin says:

      Antwort auf sy:Ich schließe mich Ihrem Kommentar an. Wer sich intensiver mit Currentzis befasst,weiß,dass er jede Form der Aggression ablehnt.Er ist verantwortlich für 200 Musiker ,von denen die meisten aus Russland und den benachbarten Ländern stammen.
      MusicAeterna ist wie jede Kulturinstitution auf staatliche Subventionen angewiesen.
      Ukrainische Musiker spielen mit MusicAeterna, das Orchester spielt Werke Ukrainischer Komponisten.
      Es ist Putins Krieg! Die Kultur darf davon nicht vergiftet werden.

      • Hugo Zsolnai says:

        Ihre Ansicht ist völlig richtig. Man kann nicht Künstler für alles verantwortlich machen!

        • Brettermeier says:

          “Ihre Ansicht ist völlig richtig. Man kann nicht Künstler für alles verantwortlich machen!”

          So ein Blödsinn. Natürlich kann man die mit verantwortlich machen, wenn sie sich nicht von Russlands Angriffskrieg distanzieren wollen.

      • Brettermeier says:

        “Es ist Putins Krieg!”

        Nein, ist es nicht. Es ist Russlands Krieg.

    • protest against Correntzis the corrupt says:

      you never saw this conman at “work” in Perm if you can call it that.
      There he was the very definition of lazy and corrupt.

      I recorded him many times.
      Knowing what I know and heard, rates as by far the ugliest and most hideous renditions of so called “music” I ever recorded or heard.
      There is probably just one I rated as close to the standard we get daily in St Petersburg from the Philar.

      I also happen to know what this kletomaniac walked off with, in material and cash, at the same time as flying in his stupid much vaunted foreign musicians & sound engineers into Russia at crippling prices while paying peanuts to local ones who in very many cases were a quantum leap better than the overhyped ones flown in.

      Cancel and revoke all visas for Music Aeterna.
      It’s the only way, that muppet will ever understand.

    • Ravel says:


  • william osborne says:

    According to the Associated Press, the EU continues to send around $850 million per day to Russia for oil and gas. Close to a billion a day. That won’t stop a war. But never mind, we can always beat up on Russian artists as a form of window-dressing. And of course, it has no effect on the war at all.

  • Kati Thieme says:

    Similar to science published in Nature:
    Salzburg festival decisions “should not be affected by the origins of the manuscript (and musicians), including the nationality, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, or religion of the authors. Decisions to edit and publish should not be determined by the policies of governments or other agencies outside of the journal itself.”

    When we make music together, we do not need any wars.

    • Luca Contardo says:

      This is getting simply too much. How’s possible that we left now the full autocratic power to Ukraine over us?
      Being too much emphatic slips automatically in being yielding.
      Being too much sensitive slips to be weak in decision.
      This situation is anymore tolerant.

    • Luca Contardo says:

      Thanks Kati, you made my day.
      Why journalists doesn’t write this?

  • Arseni Maximov says:

    Currentszis is clearly anti-war, in March he changed the programme of his Barcelona concert to include music by Ukrainian, Russian and German composers so it would become a sort of a musical statement, and at the end they played a Ukrainian lullaby.

    • protest against Correntzis the corrupt says:

      You mean Correntzis is clearly corrupt and managed to cover it all up by playing a few “nice pieces” to make it look like he didn’t have his snout in the trough all that time he was kissing the murderous regime in Russia for their cash.

      Look at Prague 1968, now look at Kharhiv 2022.
      See how the same corrupt band of muppets each time believed they were liberating a country from something, and who suffers.

      Correntzis doesn’t even know what the word “suffering” means.
      He shits on all the people who care, but makes believe he does.

      It makes you want to throw up, seeing people in the west continuing to believe in this cynical manipulator who can’t even rehearse and orchestra.