Carnegie Hall Cancels Concerts Featuring Valery Gergiev & Mariinsky Orchestra

By David Salazar
(Photo by Valeri Guérguiev)

Carnegie Hall has canceled all performances by the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev scheduled for this May.

The Russian orchestra was set to perform on May 3 and 4. In a statement, Carnegie Hall stated that the cancelation was due to recent world events and ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19.

The world events in question are Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the behest of its President Vladimir Putin. Gergiev has been an ardent supporter of Putin, expressing his approval of the President’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and even appearing in a campaign video.

Because of his staunch pro-Putin stance, several institutions around the world have called on the conductor to speak out against Putin. Among the organizations that have called on the conductor to do so are the Teatro alla Scala, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Munich Philharmonic where he is Chief Conductor.

“I have clarified my stance against Valery Gergiev and urge him to also clearly and indisputably distance himself from the brutal assault, Putin against Ukraine and now especially against our partner city Kyiv. If Valery Gergiev does not clearly position himself here on Monday, he can no longer remain the chief conductor of our philharmonic,” said the Mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter.

To this point, Gergiev has remained silent on the matter.

Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Philharmonic already removed Gergiev from a series of concerts taking place this weekend.