Currentzis to make Concertgebouw debut

Currentzis to make Concertgebouw debut


norman lebrecht

January 15, 2023

The Kremlin-funded Greek-Russian conductor will make his Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra debut with Mahler’s 4th symphony on February 2, almost a year to the day since Putin invaded Ukraine.

The orchestra’s chairman Dominik Winterling says: ”We have discussed this with representatives of the orchestra, the artistic committee and the board. We think we should make a difference between Currentzis as guest conductor and Currentzis as leader of the Russian orchestra Musicaeterna.’

Teodor Currentzis’ career has been dependent on the Putin-linked VTB bank and the Gazprom energy non-supplier.

The Dutch as strenuously equivocating.

See here.


  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Given all the incredible performances and recordings of Mahler’s fourth symphony the Concertgebouw has been involved in over the decades, this strikes me as ‘slumming’ indeed. I want to be wrong.

  • Alan says:

    At what point will the persecution stop? It’s shameful at this stage.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      Well my point is about music and not politics. I haven’t been convinced by Currentzis. If I’m proven wrong, fair enough. The music is more important to me than who’s performing it.

      • Permski schools have no bog paper says:

        Correntzis is a conman.
        It’s well known in Perm.

        and HEY, who said you Theodor, could use the/our B+K/DPA mic inventory for your SONY cretin sound engineer to record Mozart, while there were better ones in Russia?

        And again, when can we have the “hi end” DAC back you walked off with on “perm”anent loan? Mr Correntzis?

        And how about paying for your personal Tannoy speakers instead of ripping off Perm city gov (who can’t even put bog paper in their schools, while the school kids throw up, after eating those shitty meals in Perm schools…)

  • nun says:

    Laughable, the Dutch could split hair as much as they want, they could if they wanted to, differentiate Putin the war criminal from Putin the classical music lover, it’d still be Putin at the table if they were to invite him for dinner.

    If the Dutch public shows up for Currentzis, that too will speak volumes about Dutch values.

    • Achim Mentzel says:

      You could say the same about German, Austrian and Spanish audiences. Since the beginning of the war Currentzis has conducted in these countries many even sold-out concerts. Why should it be different in the Netherlands?

  • Amos says:

    Perhaps Chairman Winterling is of the opinion that the conductor is actually 2 different people one when he is sponsored by a mass murderer and another, perhaps he thinks sponsored by Amnesty International, when he appears with the RCO. No doubt the Chairman would have argued that during WWII Mengelberg conducting the RCO was a sign of resistance and ignored his appearances in other Axis-occupied countries and banquet toasts complete with nazi salutes. A quick visit to the Anne Frank memorial seems in order.

  • Nikolis says:

    Dont you get tired of this bs labeling norman? For gods sake

    • Simpson says:

      Norman is not labeling anyone. He is simply stating the facts – the sources of Currentzis’ funding are not secret to anyone. Right after Russia invaded Ukraine and started killing people there, TC himself requested a meeting with Andrey Kostin, the chairman of VTB, TC’s main sponsor, and assured Kostin that he “is not a traitor” and he will continue to perform in Russia (under the same sponsorship, I suppose).

  • Simpson says:

    Wow. It surely feels like a deep insult to every child and adult who continue to die every day under Russian bombs. Currentzis has just finished conducting at a Festival in Perm there. Making sure festive times in Russia continue nonstop.What war? The RU government makes sure big money flows into lavish festivities. The Perm festival sponsors included sanctioned Sberbank and Gazprom. If understood the quote in Norman’s post correctly, inviting, say, a certain compromised person with a “guest” sticker on a lapel would somehow make him a different person?

  • Achim Mentzel says:

    It’s the same old story over and over again and it’s getting boring. Should we separate the artist from the work? Is that even possible? The brutal anti-Semite Wagner composed brilliant music. Karajan was a member of the Nazi party and yet an outstanding conductor. There are people who can differentiate, others don’t want to. That says it all. In the end, it is always an individual decision. Nobody forces you to go to Bayreuth. Nobody forces you to listen to Karajan recordings. No one forces you to attend Currentzis concerts.

    • Amos says:

      So you’ve decided for everyone else that they should opt not to express an opinion when an artist uses their platform to support hatred and genocide? I think it has been well documented that remaining silent to on-going mass murder of civilians by those directly responsible as well as those who prosper thanks to their ties to the perpetrator(s) is immoral. That someone like Karl Bohm was physically embraced by Leonard Bernstein in ~1965 is imo a blight on his memory.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      If you want to look for musicians who actively supported the Nazi party, there are far more controversial cases than Karajan, who was merely an “also ran” (Mitläufer), and had a half-Jewish wife. Check Oswald Kabasta, for instance.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      Yes, but the ‘brutal anti-Semite’ Wagner composed well before the first world war, much less the second. This is a war that is happening now. I think there’s a difference.

    • Simpson says:

      The context always matters and makes a big difference. Given the enormity of what’s happening in Europe right now, a full scale war, your “principle of keeping art separate from politics may be a good one under democratic regimes and in peacetime, but it cannot function in a reign of terror, brutality, and war.” (H. Sachs, “Furtwängler and the Führer”, The Yale Review, Volume 81 No. 3, July 1993)

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Up to this point, I haven’t fallen for the narrative that the Concertgebouw is a slipping organization, or one in free-fall. Now I am in that camp. I watched a Youtube video of Klaus Makela conduct the Concertgebouw in Mahler 6. It struck me as absolutely ‘paint by the numbers’, and working on autopilot. He had absolutely nothing new or interesting to say about the piece. It was just routine maintenance. This orchestra, in my opinion – and it’s only an opinion – has made a number poor decisions in recent times. If true, it’s not the end of the line. Many other orchestras will gladly pick up the slack. Frankly, I often times find Rotterdam more interesting to listen to.