Salzburg pledges peace offering (as Russian orchestra awaits)

Salzburg pledges peace offering (as Russian orchestra awaits)


norman lebrecht

July 10, 2022

‘The Salzburg Festival has very deliberately chosen these three works, given Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,’ says tonight’s press release on the festival’s opening concert.

It consists of three peace-related works, one by a Ukrainian composer:
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847)

Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich Choral cantata for mixed chorus and orchestra MWV A 11 (composed 1831)

Giacinto Scelsi (1905–1988)

3rd Movement from Konx-om-pax (composed 1968/69)

Valentin Silvestrov (*1937)

Still Music for string orchestra (composed 2002)

The conductor is the Englishman, Duncan Ward.

However, the festival still intends to go ahead with concerts by Teodor Currentzis and the Kremlin-funded MusicaAeterna, representing the ugliest face of war.


  • music4you says:

    hey norm, can you share some “evidence” of MA being kremlin supported ? thx

    • Peter M. says:

      The homebase of mA is Radio House in St. Petersburg, which is managed by the “Petersburg TV” and the radio company “Channel Five” (part of Yuri Kovalchuk’s National Media Group. Since September 2014 Alina Kabajewa, is chairwoman of the board of directors of the National Media Group. According to media reports, Kabajewa’s the lover of Putin).

      The general sponsor of mA is VTB Bank. The chairman of the board of trustees of MusicAeterna Foundation Elvira Nabiullina is also Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

      In May they did a huge tour around the cities where Gazprom Group companies operate. The tour was generously sponsored by Gazprom.

      On June 1, 2022 they opened the new Nizhny Novgorod Concert Hall on Strelka. This event was
      held for the participants of the CIPR conference (“Digital Industry of Industrial Russia”) in Nizhny Novgorod on June 1 til 3. Largest conference where issues of interaction between government and business in the digital industry are discussed.

      On June 16 they were invited to do a private concert during the “St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2022” (the forum is personally patronized by Putin). They were flown in from Perm for this concert only (during this time the “Diaghilev Festival” happened in Perm).

      On June 20 the information was released, that VTB head Andrei Kostin reported that shortly about a after February 24 Currentzis asked for a meeting. And Currentzis told him “that he is not a traitor and that he will stay in Russia”.

      And these are “only” the facts which where accessible through public media!

  • Teo says:

    Love that you know who funds MusicAeterna. Would you be so kind to provide me with this list of their financial operations?

  • Peter M. says:

    I really would love to ask Mr. Currentzis and his musicians how they are feeling, aber doing a Gazprom tour (!!!) performing now in Austria, Salzburg at the most important music festival in the world, where the citizens of the Austria (as many other countries), the economy and also a lot of cultural enterprises are going to crash, as soon as Gazprom stops the delivery of gas to Europe.

    • Gergiev & Correntzis are corrupt says:

      It is widely known in Perm, Correntzis is corrupt.
      His so called Diaghilev festival has nothing whatsoever to do with Diaghilev, but is just another one of his “money pumps” to keep his “keep up with the Joneses”, highly inflated salary up to the kind of level of the other Musin bloke – Gergiev.

      One word for Correntzis same as the Gazprom building in St Petersburg, sponsoring a second Holodomor
      Hässlich, –
      Ugly does as ugly is.

      Correntzis is a con-man, doing a strict minimum of work for a strict maximum of payments. Everyone knows this in Perm.

      Not only is he noticeably lazy, but also quite incapable of rehearsing an orchestra,- a talent that he noticeably shares with Gergiev.

      It’s not music, it’s a charlatanesque personality cult.
      (Witness all the queue of dolled up Russian girls and tv interviews queuing up to get signatures and his latest pronouncements to go with his cultish hair style).

      Having witnessed BOTH of them attempting to get some order into their rehearsals, then producing some of the ugliest sounds ever heard.
      My heart bleeds when I remember the fantastic work of people like Roddy Brydon, Celibidache or Fricsay or our much missed Ivry G, who I recorded live so many times.

      A good quote from my famous mentor (O S).
      “It makes life so much easier for a sound engineer when you are working with real musicians, you have nothing to do”.

      Ie;- eg by contrast.
      Correntzis flew in some “hot shot” from Sony to do his recordings, borrowed our equipment and still turned out endless over-hyped crap, and of course stupidly made vinyl records from digital sources.
      You can’t make it up.
      Ugly and stupid combined.

      The Beethoven 5 still remains the worst most ugly “performance” of this work I have ever witnessed, that is if you could understand his overt occult overtones as a “performance”.

      • Questionable says:

        Maybe you could name yourself because i dont imagine that any of your equipment was used for any of his recordings as i perfectly know what was used and by who and i can not imagine one those people talking like you are

      • John Kelly says:

        His Tchaikovsky 6 is an obscenity (I foolishly bought it on the hype and fortunately sold it to a “greater fool” on Ebay). Have you read his notes in the CDs? Pretentious doesn’t even begin to describe them…………..

  • Hypocrite says:

    Can‘t we agree we accept Russian artists as long we accept gas from Russia?

    • PG Vienna says:

      Then we are going not to accept them soon as Putin cut the gas line ….

    • Hmus says:

      They ‘accept’ gas from Russia only because Russia has gone out it’s way to make sure there are no alternatives, like a pipeline through Syria for example…

  • M McGrath says:

    The up-front piety to the Salzburg Festival is usual. I don’t really see a difference this year. As for Currentzis and MA: I find their playing so abominable that for that reason alone they should not be allowed to perform at Salzburg.
    As for one person’s comment that Salzburg is the ‘best music festival in the world’ – let’s agree that it has one of the strongest BRANDS along with Bayreuth. But in my opinion, neither festival is but a shadow of its former quality (1960s-80s). And let’s not forget Glyndebourne as a contender the very top.

  • Stephen says:

    I suspect Theodore Kurrentsis has been fairly closely entwined with the financial-industrial-political complex for many years, 25 say; I don’t know how much he has yet been loaded with gifts – which effectively result in the recipient selling their soul to the devil, though. So so in One Sense if you want to receive Russian sponsorship at all you’re going to start that process of becoming entwined. so it’s really a question of whether he feels his life (?) and career is at risk if he were to change course. He seemed to be quite well connected even when he was a student in 1997, but of course well connected can easily become entwined. As for the staff of musica Aeterna, well they face a tricky decision. I wonder how much they value the chance to tour in foreign countries…? I would have thought travelling anywhere must be very very difficult anyway