Exclusive: Currentzis orchestra fires non-Russians

Exclusive: Currentzis orchestra fires non-Russians


norman lebrecht

May 05, 2022

We hear that the Theodor Currentzis orchestra Musicaeterna – funded by Putin’s VTB bank has issued an ultimatum to its non-Russian players.

They have been told to move their residence to Russia or face instant dismissal.

Currentzis has not responded.


  • DG says:

    They must also adopt Currentzis’ hair style immediately or face dismissal.

  • John Borstlap says:

    So it goes nowadays: either you are in the real world or into a cruel fantasy land.

    • V. Lind says:

      Which is what a lot of sane Americans thought during the Trump years, especially regarding his policy of tearing children from their mothers’ arms at the US-Mexico border.

  • M McGrath says:

    If this is true, one wonders if Salzburg will finally cancel this act.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Should this is true, it would be dispeakable. But is this confirmed or just hearsay?

  • wiener says:

    Und für das Ende sorgt Alberich ( Putin).

  • Novagerio says:

    Thinking of it, Teo is actually Greek, born in Athens, he sudied in Athens, and had supplementary studies in St.Petersburg with Musin (like hundreds of other non-russians)…

  • Daniel Raiskin says:

    Next they will grace their performance attire with Putin’s Z swastika, demand written statements in support of “special operation” in Ukraine and play concerts in Kremlin (they regularly do this on Kremlin steps anyway). That is of course before coming to Salzburg, Hamburg, Vienna and all the other concert halls and festivals that smell of filthy Russian money. Ah, apologies – lets not mix politics and culture, lets build bridges…
    When would the real face of this clown and utter moral moron be exposed?

  • MacroV says:

    Sounds like an offer they can refuse.

  • IP says:

    I thought it was spelled currentZis.

  • Tamino says:

    Now the administration at SWR is really sweating. Currentzis can’t keep his chief conductor position there. A position paid from public funds. Unless he fully breaks with his Russian orchestra. Stupid war.

    • Achim Mentzel says:

      Yes, the SWR will probably get weak kneed and feel influenced by all the leftist schmocks and so-called “intellectuals” with their moralistic pointing finger comments on Facebook, Twitter and of course here on this blog.

  • Springbeg says:

    An overhyped, conceited, arrogant poseur with questionable political loyalties.

  • Corentzis is toast says:

    Hey Theodor “congratulations”.

    Добро пожаловать!

    ” Z Z Z Z Z Z”

    Misère + Misère = Misère !
    n’est pas?

  • he who can t shall not says:

    Why didn t they fire him – most overrated charlatan?

  • Jonathan Sutherland says:

    According to musicAeterna’s website, roughly 14 players are currently non-Russian with 5 coming from Spain.
    As sycophantic subservience to every whim and conceit of maestro Currentzis is a precondition of employment, it is unlikely that any of these musicians will refuse such an edict.
    The position of Donetsk-born first violinist Mikhail Andrushchenko however may be more equivocal.

  • Thomas M. says:

    Never again should this awful narcissist be allowed to work outside of Russia.

  • Hans Winkler says:

    This is one of those news items that confirms to me the view that truth in wartimes is always the first victim. I don’t know the truth in this matter, but I doubt very much that Currentzis is demanding this from the members of his orchestra. From his point of vew that would definitely end his career in the West. At least in Europe he is playing very much on the fact that more than half of his orchestra are non-Russians and many are from Ukraine. What I hear (I live in Vienna) is that he is trying to get away from his Russian funding sources and find new sponsors. If his (former?) Russian sponsors are trying to put pressure on non-Russian players I do not know. I should add that I am cartainly not a great friend of the Maestro. Neither artistically nor of his character.

    • Amos says:

      First, I predict that if and when he does speak it will in fact emulate the character Sargent Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes” I know nothing, nothing”. Second, the issue is the same as when the invasion of Ukraine began you either immediately and unambiguously denounce the action or as a cultural representative of the state you are complicit. If the only way you can maintain a career is by pretending that murder, rape and genocide are not occurring as well as maintaining a slavish devotion to a tyrant then clearly you are a fraud as well as a coward.

    • G says:

      Holy cow — someone who doesn’t like Currentzis, nonetheless asking for everyone to actually wait for the truth to come out rather than jumping to conclusions? This sort of balanced comment making isn’t welcome on slipped disc, we only do hearsay, rumour, bitching, prejudice, presumption and hating here, thanks very much!

    • Georg says:

      Thank you for your insightful and objective comment! It seems like you are the only commentor to treat the matter objectively and not let personal matters come through… Such are Internet comments, sadly

  • Achim Mentzel says:

    ’We hear’… So is there any official statement? I’m just curious and would like to know, before we send him to hell.

  • Peter says:

    And his agent says?

  • Roland says:

    This is a serious accusation which will have serious consequences both for Currentzis and for MusicAeterna if it would be confirmed. It is too serious to write only rumours, so Norman, please add a proof or tell the source.
    If it would turn out to be true, all the concerts of MusicAeterna outside of Russia will surely be cancelled and Currentzis would have to make a decision either to stay with the SWR Orchestra or MAe.

  • Insider says:

    Perhaps there might be some issues in flying in and out the members of the orchestra who are nether Russian residents nor citizens, also as some other logistical issues like payments, taxes etc. As usually, the author of this blog is exaggerating his statements.

  • Stephan von Cron says:

    The orchestra should be sent way beyond the Ural and Currentzis with them. What a waste of time and money!!

  • Mikhail says:

    It doesn’t say whether this was requested by Curentzis personally and I doubt he would do that

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Let’s bring back the real Musica Aeterna orchestra — Frederic Waldman’s. And bring back Waldman’s haircut while we’re at it.

  • Ben says:

    The hairstyle is somewhat reminiscent of that sported by the villain played by Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element. As far as actors go, Oldman is far superior to Currentzis.


  • Philip Owen, Volga Trader says:

    VTB is sanctioned. The.orchestra can’t be paid outside Russia.

  • Tom says:

    Googling Musicaeterna, the first biography in the results contains this rather chilling line:

    “The players were handpicked from around Russia, and persuaded to move to Siberia, where they underwent Currentzis’ grueling rehearsal and recording schedules…”